Monday, February 27, 2006

Nike ACG UK Weekly Update W/C 13/02/06 & 20/02/06

Hi everyone,

2 weeks worth of news coming at you this time round:

Zoe Gillings

Zoe has taken a huge amount from her Olympic experience. She obviously had to get over the disappointment of having her quarter-final run being ruined after Katharina Himmler crashed into her at the top of the course. Unfortunately that is the nature of SBX though and Zoe knows this better than most. The most important achievement for her was to qualify for the ¼ finals which she did against the odds…

The previous night snow began to fall on the course and continued all the way through competition day. This was always going to be a factor for all competitors to deal with, but to the astonishment of all watching, Zoe was sent into a powder field for her first run! She could be heard voicing her frustration on her way down the course and was struggling to clear the knuckles of the hits. Starting at no.2 again for her second run, the course workers had clearly not swept the line since the end of the first heat. Zoe’s chances were in jeopardy of being ruined by the apathy of those workers on the course. After a vocal interjection by her coach word got around that the first batch of riders were going to be disadvantaged by the conditions and delegates began grabbing rakes and shovels to work the line themselves. Zoe was eventually able to ride a partly groomed course and clocked a time 15 seconds faster than her first run!

Zoe’s overall result of 15th makes her performance one of the best a British snowsports athlete has produced at an Olympics: not bad for a girl who’s still walking with a heavy limp.

The viewing figures of the SBX have also been said to have eclipsed the halfpipe, which blew most of the early events out of the water. This further underlines what she has achieved in terms of raising the profile of British snowboarding. But it’s not quite time for her to put her feet up; she will be heading out to Lake Placid for the last World Cup event of the season before kicking on to Japan for the WC Finals straight after.

Zoe is going to be unavailable for the Brits as event dates conflict with her WC commitments. At present she is considering exactly how much she’ll have left in the tank for the Road Trip.

Dan Wakeham

Dan has had a bit of a breather since he left the Olympic Village after the halfpipe.

Dan will be heading out to Lake Placid along with Zoe to hunt for more World Cup points but will be able to spend 4 days at the Brits before he jets out to Japan to catch the WC Finals. After last year’s disappointment at not taking the pipe title he’s clearly returning to the Brits to show the guys how far he’s come in the past 12 months.

Dan will be with us for the Road Trip and will be making an appearance at BUSC for the halfipe Demo.

Noddy Gowans

Noddy’s just made it back from the Verbier Ride where he came a cropper to the judges. He’s disappointed he didn’t get the nod for the super-final and was even given a formal apology! However, on the bright side he has been confirmed as one of the riders who will be featuring heavily in the London Ride.

As mentioned previously, Nodds will be at the Red Bull Snowthrill in March. The competition window is flexible which could mean that there could be some overlap at the Brits. He is confirmed for the Road Trip but heads off to Russia straight after.

Paddy Graham

Paddy’s got a few more weeks on the road before winding up back on his own stomping ground for the Brits. He took a view on the Verbier Ride not offering up much in the freestyle department so he’s moved on to Poland on another quest for silverware. He will also be filming out there with Regime Change Productions for next season’s DVD.

Post Brits, Paddy will be staying in Laax for the Orage Open before shooting over to the Road Trip. Word has it that Paddy’s been spinning a few cab 9s in recent weeks which could well be competition ready for the Brits!

Tom Last

Tom’s got plans to shoot with some top names out in Tahoe before he returns to Europe for the Brits. He’s got wind that the Matchstick (film) crew will be out there filming, and there’s a chance an invite will be extended to him which would be huge.

After the Brits, Tom will have to shoot back to the UK for a week before re-convening in the Dolomites with the rest of the team. He will also be heading on to BUSC to represent along with the guys.

Dolomites Road Trip

At present we have the following confirmed:
Noddy (25th – 30th)
Mark Harris (25th – 30th)

It’s still chucking it down out there!


Monday, February 13, 2006

Nike ACG UK Weekly Update W/E 10/02/06

Afternoon all,

Dan Wakeham: Olympian!

Hope you managed to catch a glimpse of the halfpipe event yesterday: it was quite a spectacle and one that Dan can be hugely proud to have been apart of. His final position of 26th is an amazing achievement for him as well as British Snowboarding, and although he didn’t make the final his riding belonged right up there on the world’s biggest stage.

Dan’s second qualifier received the better score of 27.8. His run consisted of a huge f/s double tail off his first hit, into a super smooth McTwist, into a f/s 7, then a Haakon Flip into an air to fakie. It was a really polished run that had a range of technical tricks and some great style: Dan was elated as he faced the cameras at the bottom and his achievement sank in. Thanks to injuries and hectic schedules never before have all the world’s best been in attendance at the same pipe, and to finish 26th amongst that company (and beat some major names in the process) is a great achievement.

The final results are available here: Also, you can check out a quick BBC edit of Sean White’s winning run which has the last 3 hits from Dan’s first run at the end. The last one he went for was a ‘Viking flip’: if he’d landed it he would have pulled off a 1080 himself! Check it out

Prior to yesterday’s comp, Dan had spent time mixing with Olympic bigwigs: check out the photo of him with fellow team members (including Zoe) and Princess Anne!

His plans now may take him away from the Olympic village early so he can catch his breath and look ahead to the rest of the season: there are still valuable points to be scored on the World Cup circuit.

Zoe Gillings

The spotlight now turns to Zoe who has to wait until Friday for her big moment. She’s counting on some class support and has been sending back instructions to buy some Union Jacks which we’ll make sure are adorning the grandstand. By the looks of it, the BBC’s coverage on digital allows for viewers to choose the sport they want to watch, so it may be possible to watch the qualifiers live before their dedicated coverage picks up midway through the quarter finals.

Also worth noting that Miss Gillings sat and watched Dan compete yesterday alongside Princess Anne (at her request): we’re not worthy!

Paddy Graham

Paddy has just made it back from Andorra having been called out to a Fall Line shoot. He had a great time but is looking forward to hitting the Laax park again.

Paddy’s also just found out that Dark Summer is doing a major feature on him in their upcoming issue. In addition, Fall Line has lined him up for a kit selection piece similar to what SUK have just done with Dan.

Tom Last

Tom’s switched location over to Lake Tahoe and has hooked up with some of the crew he was riding with last season. He’s feeling really positive about the next few weeks out in the Rockies now that he’s riding with some good friends. They got a major dump and the kickers are looking great so he’s been enjoying throwing his whole repertoire of tricks in preparation for the Brits.

Before heading back to Europe, Tom will be shooting over to Breckenridge for a few days before cramming in a couple of weeks training with Mike Wilson who will help him push his riding up another level.

Retail Activities

The latest ACG retail communication (aka: Flash News) has arrived in stores in time for the start of the Olympics. The ‘Groms to Glory’ edition focuses on Dan and Zoe’s journey to Torino as well as tracking the progress of the rookies in the team. The fold out poster is dedicated to Murray Buchan: an awesome shot of him shredding the pipe at the Brits last year.

That’s all for now: looking forward to bringing you more news on Zoe as soon as we have it

All the best


Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Nike ACG Strengthens Its European Snowsports Team With New Appointments

Nike ACG continues to strengthen its snowsports and snowboarding position in Europe with the appointment of the following new team members and a European Snowsports Team Manager.

First up, it’s a pleasure to announce that 3 time Nokia FIS
Big Air World Cup champion Jukka Erätuli has joined the
Nike ACG team. At 25, Jukka has been snowboarding for
16 years and entering competitions since he was 12. He is
spending this winter travelling between events and competitions on the TTR circuit, as well as attending photo and film shoots, including his regular appearances in the Storbis project.

Nike ACG is also stoked to announce that Austrian rider,
Flo Mausser has joined the team. Flo has been pro since
2001 and has had significant competition success in Big Air
and slopestyle events. This season in addition to his event
schedule, he will be filming a section for Fat Gipsy
productions and the Nike ACG European DVD currently in

And last but not least, another great snowboarder
has joined the team, this time as Team Manager.
Graham McVoy has become Nike ACG’s new
European Team Manager. A Scotsman who has
lived in Tignes, France since 1997, Graham is well
known throughout Europe both for his snowboarding
talents and as one of the best shapers and event
organisers in the business (Red Bull Rail Storm,
Iceland Park Project, Jib-Vid etc).
Graham will be responsible for both the Nike ACG
snowboard and ski team on a European level.

Nike ACG European Marketing Manager, Thierry Peuchot said, “Nike ACG is committed to developing and supporting one of the best snowsports teams in Europe. We are very excited that riders of the calibre of Jukka, Flo and Graham believe in the brand and where it’s heading. We are committed to supporting our athletes and someone with Graham’s background and experience is going to help us do a great job”.
For more information on Nike ACG snowsports athletes, contact Paul Knipe on
+44 207 226 8787 or
For more general information on Nike ACG contact Thierry Peuchot on
+31 35 626 9240 or
Graham McVoy can be contacted on

Nike ACG UK Weekly Update W/E 04/02/06

Hi all,

Here’s the rundown on the team since my last update:

Dan Wakeham

Dan’s been catching his breath since cramming in a World Cup, Europa Cup and the O’Neill Pro the week before. Based back in Morgins last week he was looking to add another trick to his repertoire during training: a 1080.

Yesterday the team uprooted and headed over to Italy to join the thousands of other athletes converging on the Games.

Needless to say, the media has heightened its focus on the Olympics and Dan has been picked out by numerous national titles. In addition to the Independent piece last week, he appeared in the Metro (London) on 7 January. Whitelines also made a point of dedicating a major part of its news section this month to acknowledging Dan’s qualification.

We’ve also just had word that Snowboard UK (SUK) are printing an 8 page feature of Dan in their upcoming edition.

Zoe Gillings

Zoe spent last week training in Morgins along with Dan and is now similarly preparing in Bardonecchia. The clock is ticking until the opening ceremony gets underway on Friday (BBC2 coverage from 6pm – 10pm).

The BBC have also just added the ‘Zoe Gillings Snowboard Masterclass’ to their site. Zoe introduces basic techniques to viewers as well as demonstrating them herself. Click here to view:, -- you will find Zoe’s video at the bottom of the screen, under the Academy banner.

Mark Harris

Mark’s snow-dancing is clearly well below par: he’s still waiting for a proper dump of snow over in Zermatt. In the meantime he and the boys are going to jump in the car with some photographers and check out other options in Switzerland. He’s had his eye on Engleberg to hit some cliffs but the chances are that without more snow it won’t be worth risking.

Murray Buchan

Murray’s itching to get out on snow again. With not much more than a month to go to the Brits he’s got his season’s climax in sight. Murray’s determined to get as much practice in as possible prior to the events kicking off and will be arriving in Laax a few days ahead of the rest of us to get familiar with the park and pipe.

Noddy Gowans

Noddy’s Italian shoot went by without a hitch and he got back to Serre Chevalier just in time to catch another snowfall.

However, he will also have a keen eye on the conditions in Gressoney (It) which is to stage the next Red Bull Snow Thrill. Noddy is one of only 20 riders worldwide to have been invited and will be amongst some formidable company. Snow conditions dependent, the comp is due to take place between 27th Feb and 1st March.

Noddy will of course be on the scene for the Brits, but will be leaving for a month long ‘mission’ to Russia soon after. We will secure him for as many days of shooting as possible before he goes.

The British Universities Snowsports Council (BUSC)

Nike ACG are working closely with BUSC this year to help deliver their best ever alpine championships. Having taken ownership of the halfpipe events at their ‘Main Event’ in April we will be guiding an innovative partnership that will reinforce the brand’s credentials to a substantial network of 18 – 24 year olds.

The association has kicked off with an online competition which we thought we should share with you. Students have been asked to submit a photo of their riding that shows them pushing it to the limits. Check out some of the entries below. We will be doing more work with them via in the run up to their championships which take place from 1st – 8th April in Les Deux Alpes.

That’s all for now- have a great week and roll on Friday!