Thousands flock to see snowboarding on the beach.jpg

Thousands flock to see snowboarding on the beach

AUSTRIAN SNOWBOARDER Chris Kröll won the 10th edition of the Big Air Sand N’ Snow Portimão 2006, the Portuguese round of the Snowboard World Cup held on Praia da Rocha at the weekend. Second place went to Martin Cernik of the Czech Republic and third to Friedl Kollar of Austria. Julia Baumgartner of Austria won the female category.

Around 10,000 spectators watched the competition, which took place over two hours late on Saturday night. In total, 14 male athletes and four female athletes took part, performing jumps over a series of three rounds. The jury scored the performances according to the grade of difficulty, the height and quality of the moves.

Portugal was represented by four Portuguese boarders who won qualification through the Portugal Snowboard Series earlier in the evening. It was contested by 14 of the best athletes in the country with the top four going through to the night competition. Diogo Patrocínio was the best qualifier and obtained fifth place in the main competition.

This was the first time the event has ever been held on a beach. The impressive structure that the athletes competed on consisted of a ramp 80m long, 22m high and 20m wide, holding 240 tons of snow.