It was way too close to call in the AST Halfpipe at Snowmass, Colorado January 24, 1999. As Saturdays windstorm gave way to cloudy skies and light snow, 33 men and 29 got ready for competition.
Talk at the top of the pipe centered around the pipe. Riders had complained on Saturday that the pipe was not very good. Frank Wells and the crew from Snowmass took about a foot of snow out of the bottom and then re-cut the pipe. Unfortunately, it was not an improvement. “Yesterday it was okay,” said Jeff Billo. “Today it sucks.”
After a hour using rakes and blowtorches to reshape the transitions, the pipe was as ready as it could be for competition. During the qualification round most riders got the pipe dialed.
In the first run of the finals Chauncey Tanton mixed epic spins with booming amplitude to land a score of 35.7, just one tenth of a point ahead of Mark Radefeld. JJ Thomas had trouble landing one of his spins and ended up with a 31.2.