The fourth edition of Dotz co-sponsored Nine Knights freeski spectacle was a fantastic week for athletes, media representatives and the spectators. Dotz filmmaker Björn "Bommel" Mager has banned the best scenes on and around the castle surrounding Dotz teamrider Bene Mayr on film.
On invitation of Dotz teamrider Nico Zacek some of the best freestyle skiers of the planet came to the pretty mountain village of Livigno, Italy. There they showed their skills for film and photo cameras on the huge and hugely imaginative snow castle.
Born in Munich, Mayr managed to complete a Double Misty 1080 at Kaunertalergletscher in Austria past May, but was, after a knee surgery in early summer, not yet in top form. Despite an ever-impressive air state the 23-year-old did not qualify for the finals.
At the beginning of the week some unpleasant weather pushed the mood, but as the riders saw the “castle” itself for the first time, the mood turned into pure excitement. "This feature is just awesome," said Smith Optics team rider Gus Kenworthy. "There are so many possibilities!.There's the huge kicker, there are two massive hips, two quarter-pipes, where you can jump from one to the other, and in addition various rails and jib options."
What more could you ask of a snow sculpture? After eighteen inches of new snow had fallen on Wednesday onto the Mottolino Fun Mountain, the mountain shone along with its snow castle on Thursday under blue skies in fresh white and it was the absolute highlight of the week, the "Big Thursday".
The "Big Thursday" began early in the morning with a sunrise shoot, for which everyone was on the mountain at half past seven. The photographers put their cameras delighted to incandescence and an OktoKopter of the film crew hovered over the scene. After a short pause and then a second breakfast followed an epic heli-session, where all the riders showed their best tricks and their whole style, while a helicopter with a camera crew followed the riders in breathtaking close.
... the drivers showed despite bad visibility and blunt snow, what is big air state of the art at the moment. The young Swiss Kai Mahler (pictured right, with organizer Nico Zacek) secured the win in front of...
As a special award the winner of the "Wanna Be A Knight" video contest, Roy Kittler, was named "Most Valuable Player." No one else jumped as often as he did over "Il Castello" and it was the reigning German Slopestyle Champion, who showed some fantastic Bio 1260 Blunts.
The complete event-edit with some incredible action from the last week.