INAWASHIRO, Japan (Feb. 15) - Wind, fog and about a foot of snow Sunday forced organizers to change a scheduled World Cup dual moguls event to a one-run moguls contest. Defending World Cup moguls champion Travis Cabral (South Lake Tahoe, CA), Toby Dawson (Vail, CO) and Jeremy Bloom (Loveland, CO) went 1-2-4 while Jillian Vogtli (Ellicotville, NY) was sixth behind Austrian Margaret Marbler in the women's contest.
"We had maybe an inch of snow at night and it cleared, then it started dumping," said Coach Liz McIntyre. "The wind was blowing snow out of the trees along the course, so you couldn't see. It was blizzardy - and I mean Japan blizzard, not light and fluffy. ...This was definitely a big mind-game day. It came down to experience."
Cabral's run earned 24.73 points and the fourth win of his career with Dawson - the winner Saturday in another moguls event - at 23.87. Finn Mikko Ronkainen took third (23.58) and Bloom had 23.47. Dave Babic (Washington, VT) was ninth and Nate Roberts (Park City, UT) 11th with Ryan Riley (Steamboat Springs, CO) 16th.
Late start equals one-run contest
It wasn't until about 3 p.m. before action got underway as organizers and International Ski Federation (FIS) officials waited for a break in the weather.
"I've been around long enough to know the way FIS works and I know they try to run things as late as they could," Cabral said, "but it was starting to get where the sun was going down. And there were no lights, so ya know there's only gonna be one run."
When he started, Cabral said he couldn't tell where the jump was or where he would be landing. "On that top air, I didn't know what I was doing, but once I landed it kinda cleared and I was pretty much okay."
The weather brought another element to the steep course. "We've gone from an ice course to slush and then powder...and hardpack at the beginning of today," he laughed. "We had it all...but I like it. I've skied well here."
Finn Janne Lahtela, who was 10th in the messy weather, continues to lead the World Cup points, which include moguls and duals results, but U.S. men fill the next five places — Dawson in second, Bloom third, Cabral fourth, Luke Westerlund (Breckenridge, CO) fifth and Nate Roberts (Park City, UT) sixth. Click the links below for full results.