Janne Korpi with qualifier high score
Some big names stumble in the season's first halfpipe event
2011 Freestyle Overall World Cup title winner Janne Korpi seems to like the superpipe at Cardrona Alpine Ski Resort, New Zealand.
The 26-years-old flying Finn earned the highest score (88.66) during the men's qualifiers for the season's first halfpipe World Cup.
The winner of last year's Cardrona event nailed a run with maximum air time and extremely high executed tricks.
Korpi started with a frontside 540 alley oop to backside 540 mute, front to tail, cab 720 and a frontside 900 lean proving that spinning to win not always pays off.
He thus made it straight to the finals and will meet up with Taku Hiraoka (JPN), who nailed a frontside air to backside 540, frontside 1080, haakon flip to backside 900.
2010 Olympic Silver medalist Peetu Piiroinen (FIN) killed it in his heat with frontside 720 to cab 1080 double cork, chuck flip, backside 900 and a crippler.
Another fellow countryman of Korpi, Markus Malin (FIN), also won his heat with frontside air, backside 540 mute, frontside 720 melon, cab rodeo 720, frontside 40 to backside 900 tail.
The fantastic four are accompanied by the four heat runner-ups Ayumu Nedefuji (JPN), 2010 Olympic Bronze medalist Scott Lago (USA), Yiwei Zhang (CHN) and Shuhei Sato (JPN).
From twelve to six
Also hoping for one of the remaining six spots in the finals are twelve riders who will battle things out next Sunday in the semi finals scheduled for 10 AM.
The semis will feature the likes of James Scott (AUS), Kent Callister (AUS), Sergey Tarasov (RUS), Benjamin Farrow (USA), Matthew Ladley (USA), Ryo Aono (JPN), reigning World Champion Nathan Johnstone (AUS), Brennen Swanson (USA), Taylor Gold (USA), Johan Baisamy (FRA), Kim-Rune Hansen (NOR) and Dominic Harington (GBR).
Surprisingly, the strong Swiss team couldn't get any of their riders into the finals nor semi-finals. Iouri Podladtchikov as well as highly valued Christian Haller didn't bring down a decent run.
In addition, riders like Gregory Bretz (USA), Arthur Longo (FRA), Staale Sandbech (NOR), Justin Lamoureux (CAN) and Ilkka-Eemeli Laari (FIN) are also missing their chance for a top result.