Alpina Watches is delighted to announce its partnership with the Freeride World Tour has been renewed for the third year running, with three new ambassadors joining its Mountain Team: Juliette Willmann, Victor De le Rue and Hugo Hoff.
“We’re thrilled to announce that our partnership with the Freeride World Tour has been renewed for the third year running, with Alpina Watches serving as the official timekeeper for the 2020 season. 2020 is set to be a very special year indeed, as this March marks the 25th anniversary of the Xtreme de Verbier. And to celebrate, we’ll be releasing a limited edition of our AlpinerX. We also have the pleasure of welcoming in new ambassadors to the Mountain Team, some of whom will be attending the FWT. We’d like to wish them the very best of luck ahead of time, and extend these wishes to all the athletes competing in this incredible event!” said Oliver van Lanschot Hubrecht, Brand Manager at Alpina.
The FWT 2020 will kick off at Hakuba in Japan from 18 to 25 January 2020, continuing on to Kicking Horse in Canada from 6 to 12 February, followed by Andorra’s Ordino Arcalis from 28 February to 4 March, Fieberbrunn in Austria from 7 to 13 March, and finishing off with an anniversary edition of the Xtreme de Verbier grand finale in Switzerland from 28 March to 5 April.
AlpinerX – Freeride World Tour Limited Edition
In celebration of this partnership, Alpina is proud to present an AlpinerX edition with a very special design, developed in partnership with the Freeride World Tour. To mark the Xtreme de Verbier’s 25th anniversary, just 150 watches will be produced, 25 of which will be released as part of a safety set to include a Black Diamond Safety Beacon.
Designed especially for lovers of the great outdoors, this watch is linked up to the AlpinerX app (available for iPhone and Android) that monitors your heart rate via a belt, measures altitude and pressure, comes equipped with a GPS location tracker and sends data to your watch in real time to help take performance to the next level.
This special edition stands out through the official Freeride World Tour logo featured at two o’clock, and will be sold in a sleek case with a commemorative engraved plate numbered one through 150 to mark the Xtreme de Verbier’s 25th anniversary, along with a RECCO helmet rescue reflector.
The timepiece will only be available from select retailers in France, Austria, Canada and Switzerland, in addition to the FWT and Alpina Watches websites.
About the Freeride World Tour (FWT):
The Freeride World Tour is an annual series of freeride competitions, bringing together the world’s very best skiers and snowboarders for a line-up of individual competitions that give athletes a chance at winning the freeride world championship title in their respective categories. From backcountry and big mountain to extreme events, the competitions take place on dizzyingly precipitous mountain sides, in lush powder snow.
The first edition of the official Freeride World Tour competitions was held in 2008. It was originally named Xtreme Verbier, a competition launched in 1996 and initially open to snowboarders exclusively. In 2004, the event was opened up to include skiers. For the 2013 season, the Freeride World Tour merged with the Freeskiing World Tour and The North Face Masters of Snowboarding, condensing the three events into a single elite world championship.
Nicolas Hales-Wood, CEO of the FWT, explains that “the Freeride World Tour is delighted to be entering its third annual partnership with Alpina Watches, a brand that has been supporting authentic outdoor activities since 1883”.
About Juliette Willmann:
23-year-old Juliette hails from the Vallée de l’Ubaye in the southern Alps region, and is now based in Chamonix.
Having learnt to ski at an incredibly young age, she always knew she wanted to become a professional skier, and initially focused on downhill skiing. After a good few years competing, she found herself drawn to freeriding.
Having set her sights on the Freeride World Tour, the road that lay ahead was a long and twisting one for Juliette: but this born competitor never gave up on her dream of making it to the holy grail of freeriding. She kick-started her first real season as a freeriding competitor in 2016, and much to her surprise and delight, she came second in the European rankings. With her head spinning from her success, the following year she aimed higher than ever before – only to find herself held back by a misfortune double injury that put her out of action for a year.
In 2018, she was back – this time stronger than ever before. She came first in the Freeride World Qualifier, snagging herself a ticket to 2019’s Freeride World Tour.
At her first FWT season, she glided in to a respectable seventh place in the overall rankings, hinting at a fantastic 2020 season to come.
About Victor De le Rue:
French athlete Victor made his snowboarding competition début early on, kicking off with boardercross and freestyle. Passionate and committed, Victor emerged as the French Junior Champion in boardercross, slopestyle and halfpipe. At the tender age of eighteen, he was ranked fourth in the World Cup. Despite these successes, he found himself torn by another dream: to make films. He soon decided to follow his heart, and turned his attentions to filming. Thanks to his new-found medium Victor thrived, and began expressing his passion for freestyle and adventure.
He was voted Best French Rider in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and named Rider of the Year 2015 by Snowboarder magazine. In 2019, he set himself a fresh challenge: to take part in the Freeride World Tour for the very first time. Having always been an ardent advocate of reinvention, progression and pushing at your personal boundaries, Victor came top of the overall rankings at the FWT, securing the World Champion title in his category. As well as excelling in his discipline, Victor is a multi-faceted athlete who also loves freestyle snowboarding, rock-climbing and paragliding – sometimes all at the same time!
About Hugo Hoff:
Hugo is a 20-year-old freerider from Serre-Chevalier who started off with downhill skiing.
Upon turning sixteen, he began soul-searching and realised that he felt a yearning for wider, open spaces and a new challenge. He decided to try his hand at freeride skiing, and joined the Freeski Academy at Les Arcs.
He trained tirelessly, pouring heart and soul into honing the tough, competitive mindset this sport requires, doing everything in his power to reach the standard set by the very best riders in his age group – despite a handful of injuries and forced rest periods.
In 2017, he finished joint-first in the Freeride Junior Tour’s Europe/Oceania division, before scooping up first place at the French Freeride Junior Les Arcs 3, another first-place medal at the Nendaz Freeride Junior 3, and finishing second in the Freeride Junior Verbier 3.
In 2019, Hugo came fourth at the Freeride World Qualifier, and now has his sights set on winning himself a ticket to the Freeride World Tour for the 2020 season. Hugo may still be a young up-and-coming athlete, but he is most definitely a rising star destined to join the greats.