Verbier, Switzerland – Following days of high winds and heavy snow, and despite best efforts from the organizers and mountain professionals, the Freeride World Tour’s final stop, the Yeti Xtreme Verbier, was canceled on Tuesday morning, leaving the World Championship titles to be announced based on the current rankings. After a consistently good season, where he landed his runs and stayed towards the top of the table in all comps, SCOTTAthlete Valentin Rainer was awarded the Freeride World Tour Ski Men’s World Champion title. Valentin Rainer, age 24, from Tirol, Austria, is a former ski racer who took to freeride as a teenager, competing in his first competition in 2016. After joining Ski Club Arlberg and working with SCOTT legend Stefan Hausl, Rainer soon grabbed attention as the one to look out for, and he quickly rose through the ranks of freeride competitions. In 2021, Valle embarked on his rookie year on the Freeride World Tour. When he didn’t make the cut in 2022, it was all eyes on being back for 2023. After a committed season at the Freeride World Qualifiers, he qualified in 1st place, ready to take on the toughest comps in freeride skiing once again. The 2023 season was filled with challenging conditions, technical faces, and some huge tricks, and today Valentin Rainer secured the title of 2023 Freeride World Tour World Champion.
The 2023 season faced challenging conditions from the start, with Kicking Horse being postponed and the first comp, set for Spain, seeming uncertain. The weather gods brought the goods at the last minute, however, and the first comps of the season – in Baquiera and Ordino-Arcalis – set the bar high. Rainer’s accumulated experience was on show as he put down confident runs, adapting to the changing conditions, that earned him a win in Andorra and immediately put him near the top of the rankings table.Heading into Kicking Horse, excitement was high for the only North American stop of the Tour. And it didn’t disappoint. Valle, riding on his success in Andorra, put down another solid run securing a podium spot and pushing him to the top of overall rankings. The stoke continued into Valle’s home event in Fieberbrunn, where a last-minute storm brought prime conditions to the event. The local threw down another good run on the challenging Wildseeloder face to take an emotional 4th place and hold on to the overall ranking at his home event. With the Yeti Xtreme Verbier canceled on Tuesday due to unsafe snow conditions, Valentin Rainer is crowned 2023 Freeride World Tour Ski Men’s World Champion after a consistently excellent season.
Molly Armanino takes 2nd Place for 2023 FWT Ski Women’s
SCOTT Athlete Molly Armanino finishes 2nd Place for the 2023 Freeride World Tour Ski Women’s! With solid riding throughout the comps, it was an impressive first season on the Tour for the Californian rookie. A native of South Lake Tahoe, the 29-year-old freeskier is known for her adventurous and confident freeskiing style. Molly stormed onto the 2023 Freeride World Tour with a wildcard spot, awarded following her stellar performance in the North American IFSA Freeride Comps. Despite missing the end of the season due to injury, Molly’s early performances were impressive enough to catch the attention of the FWT organizers. In her first year on the Tour, Molly brought her fierce skiing style to each competition, taking to the podium in Baqueira and Ordino-Arcalis, and maintaining a consistently high position in the rankings. Even when faced with tricky line choice and falls in Kicking Horse and Fieberbrunn, Molly’s stand-out performances in the first comps kept her high enough in the rankings to eventually finish 2nd Overall in the Ski Women’s.
FWT regular Carl Regner finishes in 7th Overall
30-year-old SCOTT Athlete Carl Regner, from Sweden, is a regular on the Freeride World Tour and was one to look out for after 2022’s 2nd Overall finish. He started the season very well in Baqueira with big tricks and a technical line choice putting him on the podium and high in the rankings. Continuing to consistently place in the top 10 throughout the comps, Regner made it through to the finals and, while not quite reaching the podium as in previous years, finished the season overall in 7th.
Simon Perraudin places 11th in his Rookie year
At only 20 years old, this was Simon Perraudin’s first year on the Tour as one of the youngest competitors. After two good runs in Baqueira and Ordino-Arcalis, Simon was able to make the cut for the finals, already placing himself ahead of more experienced skiers. While the Verbier local didn’t get to finish the season with his dream of competing on the Bec des Rosses, he did finish in an impressive 11th Overall, showing there’s plenty more to come from this young Swiss skier.
Official Goggle and Protection Partner
As official Goggle and Safety partner, SCOTT provides goggles, helmets, and back protectors to all staff, officials, and competitors, designed specifically for use in the backcountry and extreme conditions. Valentin Rainer, Molly Armanino, Carl Regner, and Simon Perraudin all ride and compete with the React Goggle, SCOTT’s latest goggle featuring cutting-edge lens change technology and the contrast-enhancing Amplifier lenses, and the Symbol 2 Plus D Helmet, SCOTT’s ultimate freeride helmet featuring MIPs and D3O reinforcement for maximum protection in the most extreme impacts. In addition, SCOTT has launched a Limited Edition FWT goggle to celebrate the 2023 edition of the Freeride World Tour.