Bluebird sky + high-class riding = perfect slopestyle day at Cardrona
Day nine of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2013 saw more bluebird skies at Cardrona for the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup Slopestyle qualifying. A total of 16 men and 8 women progressed to Sunday’s finals drawn mostly from the USA and Scandinavia. They include the reigning men and women’s overall champions on the AFP World Tour, American Gus Kenworthy and Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen of Norway.
Both finals are must-see events with athletes looking to take their runs up a notch. The men’s final has the four best freeski slopestyle athletes in the world – Nick Goepper (USA), Russ Henshaw (AUS), James ‘Woodsy’ Woods (GBR) and Kenworthy – plus 11 other riders who will all battle it out at the World Cup season's slopestyle opener.
Kenworthy was consistently excellent scoring 91.20 and 86.20 on his two runs. Joining him in the men’s final are fellow Americans Nick Goepper, McRae Williams, Lyman Currier and Willie Borm, world number three Henrik Harlaut from Sweden plus countrymen Jesper Tjader and Oscar Wester, Norwegian skiers Per Kristian Hunder, Johan Berg and Oystein Braaten, Antti Ollila from Finland, Canada’s Noah Morrison, Russ Henshaw from Australia, Benedikt Mayr from Germany and James ‘Woodsy’ Woods from Team GB.
Tiril Sjåstad Christiansen was the first woman dropping in and immediately stamped her mark on the comp with a score of 89.00 that only she was able to beat with a stomping second run of 90.6. Lisa Zimmermann from Germany qualified second with 87.40 followed by USA’s Devin Logan who continued her great form after winning halfpipe gold on Saturday with a first run score of 81.40.
Other women qualifiers, in order of best scores, are Eveline Bhend (SUI), Dania Assaly (CAN), Maggie Voisin (USA), Dara Howell (CAN) and Anna Vincenti (GBR).
Head judge, Greg Tuscher said: “The course allowed most of the riders to put down some really good runs. It was a really high level; all the best riders were here. It's a really good comp and the weather was nice so they could really express themselves.”