TTR World Snowboard Tour

Points List

Behind The Scenes With The 8Th Nanshan Open Crew Part 1


As organizer of basically all things rider related for the 8th Red Bull Nanshan, I had a reasonably busy week for this competition! Follow my day-to-day madness, headaches and good times at Asias largest snowboard competition on the Swatch Ticket to Rider World Snowboard Tour. Day 1- Arrivals A relaxed day for the riders, but one of the most stressful for me. Basically the whole day is spent on airport pickups. (starting at 7am and finishing at 9pm), Thanks to some recent snow and general awesomeness of air carriers, almost none of the flights arrive when scheduled, messing up my whole transport schedule. I make a few changes, and luckily have some girls helping me out which takes some of the pressure off. As the invited pros come in its awesome to see some familiar faces from last year, and we greet each other like old friends. I head back to the hotel with a big group of them, and while they get to check-in and rest, I meet up with big boss / event organizer Steve Zdarsky and setup for a Press Conference that evening in the hotel bar.Fast forward a few hours past the really exciting press conference, we get to relax with one of the best dinners of the trip – all you can eat and drink teppanyaki. Just as Im enjoying myself, I hear one of the late-arrival riders still hasnt been seen at the airport. Uh-oh. Meanwhile, we have a few drinks, get to know each other and are reminded of that ‘school trip feeling from back in the day. A relaxing group foot massage follows, and mid-massage I hear the missing rider has arrived – but his boardbag hasnt. I decide to sort it out tomorrow. Finally by 1:00am I drop a few guys off at a nearby club to continue partying, and head home for a little bit of sleep. Day 2 – Sighteseeing I join the guys for an awesome buffet breakfast at the Hilton. Ive got to make sure all the guys are checked out, bags packed by 11:00am, but Im not surprised when by 10:30am theres still no sign from last nights ‘clubbers. I get their room number from reception and pay them a visit – as expected, theyre still in bed, with some uneaten room service in the doorway.. haha.We board the bus and head straight to the Olympics Birds Nest Stadium to check out the snow-world-park-thing they have going on there. Its actually a pretty solid effort! Snow had been blown throughout the stadium, and just outside was a ski slope made out of scaffolding. Some of the riders opted to ski with hilarious results, a few hungover riders slept on the bus and some just wandered off. I make a call to the airports lost baggage claim to try and track down the missing boardbag. Theyre not too sure about it, but tell its still in San Francisco and might arrive tonight.A few hours later, and were on our way to the ski resort. The hotel is expecting us and weve made sure they pre-heat the rooms this year, the weather is freezing! Its pretty funny watching the first-timers see the man-made ski resort for the first time, and you can feel everyone getting more excited.A delicious and cheap Chinese dinner with the local crew allows everyone involved in the competition to bond and familiarize themselves. We have some hassle trying to get an official receipt for the meal, and they tell us to come back tomorrow. I wish I could relax sometimes! Day 3 – Practice day Ah.. today I dont have quite as much to worry about. The riders are left to themselves for a full day of practice, however every 10 mins theres another question. Where can we use the internet?” Can I get my board waxed?” What times lunch?” Despite all this information being in the riders booklet I so thoughtfully prepared and handed to them on the first day.. I send them in the right direction. Theres still no sign of the missing boardbag, so I make another call to the lost baggage department. Apparently the bag missed its flight last night (bags can be so unorganized!) but is on its way now and will be delivered to the ski resort that night. I politely emphasis how important this bag is… the riders been forced to practice on a borrowed board in borrowed pants, boots, and glovesAnother good local dinner is followed by more desk work. I sit down with the head judge and we develop an excel file that will streamline tomorrows judging process. Thankfully my girlfriend has come up to join for the weekend, so after a long day I finally get to lie down next to her! I get a phone call at 2:00am letting me know the bag has arrived and will be delivered in an hour. I try to sound enthusiastic about this. Day 4 – Competition, Day 1 I wake up, half excited and half stressed. Today will be non-stop madness, but at the same time Ill get to witness and help run the largest Asian snowboard contest on the Swatch TTR World Snowboard Tour… which still stokes me out.I get about two minutes to make a breakfast sandwich from the buffet selection before having to rush off. I get briefed on what the days plan of attack is, draft todays press release, set up the judges booth for scoring and do a hundred other things that come up. The weather is great, theres no wind, and eventually I get together with the judges to check out the practice runs. Were all impressed by the level of riding and the vibe today is super good! My good friend Eric is doing a wicked job at MCing the event in Chinese, and the crowd is obviously hyped.As the competition gets under way, Im quietly proud that the judging system we made last night is working flawlessly. Im even more stoked to see fellow Kiwis Nick Hyne and Nick Brown make it through to tomorrows finals – especially as it was Nick Hynes bag that was missing! Tobias Karlsson, however, injures himself on his second run, and as the scores are tallied up were left with quite the predicament. Tobiass first run was good enough to qualify him, but with a suspected broken rib and no word back from the doctors, it seems unlikely he will compete tomorrow. We decide to bring through the 13th placed rider, which by chance is Chinese rider Wang Lei. The media and Chinese fans are ecstatic, and its great to have a local rider in the finals.No time to see the announcement though, as were under tight deadlines! The second the qualified riders are announced, I head straight to the office to write up the press release on todays results. Im halfway through, and suddenly realize I cant remember what the first placed qualified riders run consisted of! I hunt down the head judge, and he goes over the tricks with me. One hour and three-hundred rewrites later, and I send the draft to Steve – he gives it the OK, my colleague Jess translates it to Chinese, and we blast it out to the media – only 2 hours after the competition finished! Jess and I high-five, were a good team.Theres still lots of work to do – as the riders head for dinner, we stay in the office; going through pictures, updating the judges sheets, sending out our own newsletter, drafting tomorrows press release, it seems to never end! However by the time the crew gets back from dinner with leftovers, were finished, and have a quick snack and beer before calling it a night. TO READ THE FULL STORY CHECK BACK TO THE TTR BLOG THIS WEEKEND – THE SECOND PART UP AHEAD :)