Execution & creativity key to success down under
Day two of competition at the Cardrona Games took place today with the finals of the men’s and women’s first ANC snowboard slopestyle contest of the season with local Zoi Sadowski Synnott (NZL) and Canada's Sebastien Toutant taking home the win in dominant fashion.
Riders enjoyed clear conditions as they competed for top scores in the Big Bucks Park at Cardrona Alpine Resort, with the female competitors first to take to the course this morning.
Wanaka's very own Zoi Sadowski Synott dominated the women’s snowboard competition with her smooth style and technical tricks.
Even with a large point deduction following a fall on the second rail feature on run one, her jumps were impressive enough for a score of 62.7.
Another Kiwi, Natalie Good (Cambridge), laid down a challenge with a score of 63 on her final run of three but Sadowski Synnott answered with a final score of 75.3 for the win.
Overcoming some nerves after stumbling on the rails on run one, it was the front three out of the top rail on her last run which would end up as her personal highlight of the competition.
Knowing that she has even bigger and more technical tricks in her arsenal, Sadowski Synnott said she would have liked to have landed a personal best run in competition today.
Nevertheless, she was “super happy” to come away with the win and relieved to have earned a strong result at the biggest competition of her NZ season.
Natalie Good finished in second place and Corrah Phillips in third securing the podium sweep for New Zealand.
Seb Toots shines out
In the men's event, third best qualifier Sebastien Toutant walked away with the win and the knowledge of having earned some precious FIS points which are part of the qualifying criteria for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
“I’m stoked to be back in New Zealand and just to be snowboarding. I came to do the competition to get some FIS points. I just wanted to land my run and have fun, winning is a real bonus,” he said.
Whether he was focused on the end result or not, chances were always high that the five-time X Games medallist would put together a good show.
The judges were impressed by Toutant’s smooth riding top to bottom on course and especially by his unique and technical tricks which saw his score lift from 85 on his first run to 91.3 on his second.
Japan’s Hiroaki Kunitaki had an impressive second run which scored him 82.3 points and second place. 16-year-old Kiwi rider Tiarn Collins (Queenstown) finished in third place on 80 points, stepping up yesterday’s qualifying run with back to back 1080s to secure his spot on the podium.
Competition continues at Cardrona Alpine Resort tomorrow with a snowboard halfpipe event.