Barwood, Hudson claim back-to-back National titles in New Zealand
QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand – Racers Adam Barwood (Queenstown) and Piera Hudson (Havelock North) have claimed back-to-back national titles at the 2018 New Zealand Alpine National Championships held at Coronet Peak. Barwood and Hudson claimed the slalom championship titles on 14 August after having also been crowned the giant slalom national champions in Sunday's race.
Warm temperatures overnight created soft snow conditions, and Hudson was happy to be the first racer on course. “I got a lucky draw with bib one today with the soft conditions,” she said. Hudson made the most of the advantage and laid down the fastest first run in the women’s field. Defending national champion Alice Robinson (Queenstown) moved up 15 places from bib 19 to finish fourth after run one and was happy enough with her performance. “The course was really soft and bumpy,” she said. “My slalom isn’t my strongest event so I am really pleased to be in fourth after run one.”
In the men’s field, defending NZ champion Adam Barwood never looked in too much danger of relinquishing his title so long as he could hold on in the tricky snow conditions. After the first run, Barwood was placed fifth with Willis Feasey the closest of his teammates way back in 19th place.
A mistake on the bottom half of the course on run two would put an end to Feasey’s second run charge for the men’s national championship title while Barwood hung on, dropping back to eighth overall but managing to retain the men’s slalom title for another year.
Colbey Derwin (28th) and Hamish Garrick (29th) rounded out the NZ podium.
Sam Maes of Belgium, competing with Global Racing, completed the hat trick with three wins in three days (including the men's giant slalom on Sunday) with a spectacular, agile second run. “I had a lot of fun today. I knew I was fit coming into the race but I haven’t been training much slalom yet so didn’t have any expectations,” he said.
As the leader of the first run, Hudson started 30th in run two and had to battle the ruts to make it to the finish line. A few mistakes on the bumpy course cost her the overall lead, putting her in sixth place, but she still claimed the national ladies’ slalom title. Robinson was charging on the second run but a rut towards the bottom of the course put an end to her run and she did not finish. “I’m pretty disappointed with the mistake, but you live and learn,” she said.
Georgia Bushell finished ninth overall and Eliza Grigg in 13th to round out the NZ ladies’ podium.
Tuva Norbye of Norway won the ladies’ slalom race.
Full results from this series are available here.
Release courtesy of Snow Sports NZ