The FIS Alpine Continental Cup series in the Southern hemisphere, both the South American Cup (SAC) and the Australia New Zealand Cup (ANC) concluded their 2017 racing seasons. This season, some of the world’s top male and female racers competed for the overall titles, with the regional winners earning starting positions for the 2017/18 Audi FIS Ski World Cup which starts in one month from now in Soelden (AUT).
In the Australia New Zealand Cup, the season started as scheduled with tech events in Thredbo (AUS) in late August and was meant to conclude with super-G races in Mt Hutt (NZL) in early September, but those races fell victim to strong winds.
As for the top positions, Sara Hector (SWE) topped the overall rankings as well as the slalom and giant slalom rankings. On the men’s side, Czech Krystof Krysyl took the overall win with Andreas Zampa (SVK) winning the giant slalom and Linus Strasser (GER) the slalom rankings.
In the technical disciplines, Piera Hudson (NZL) and Adam Barwood (NZL) claimed a personal starting spot for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup slalom races, while Alice Robinson (NZL) and Willis Faesey (NZL) claimed this opportunity in giant slalom.
Due to the cancelled races in Mt Hutt, starting spots in the speed events could not be awarded.
In South America, the Continental Cup series came to a close after speed races in El Colorado (CHI) from 18th-21st September 2017.
South American athletes had strong performances with Noelle Barahona (CHI) locking up the ladies’ overall title with consistent performances, especially across the speed events where she was the regional winner. By earning the overall title, she has secured a World Cup starting spot in all events in the upcoming Audi FIS Ski World Cup season.
The downhill standings were won by Carmina Pallas (AND) while the super-G and alpine combined rankings were dominated by Aleksandra Prokopyeva (RUS). In the alpine combined ranking, Macarena Simari Birkner (ARG) secured a starting spot as the best South American athlete, while Nicol Gastaldi (ARG) won the giant slalom ranking, and Salome Bancora (ARG) claimed second place in the slalom ranking, behind Nuria Pau (ESP).
On the men’s side, the overall win went to Serbian Marko Vukicevic, with the best South American racer Sebastiano Gastaldi (ARG) claiming second place, less than 50 points behind. Chilean Henrik Von Appen locked up the qualification spots in both speed disciplines, topped by Jack Gower (GBR) in super-G and Marko Vukicevic (SRB) in downhill. The alpine combined standings went to Norwegian Rasmus Windingstad with best South American athlete being Cristian Javier Simari Birkner (ARG). The tech disciplines were won by Sebastiano Gastaldi (ARG) in giant slalom and Tomas Birkner De Miguel (ARG) in slalom.
FIS Continental Cup Coordinator Peter Gerdol commented: “We have enjoyed a very successful Continental Cup season both Down Under and in South America, despite the cancellation of a few events. Many of the World Cup stars were at the start, especially in the Australia New Zealand Cup with the Audi Winter Games NZ taking place again, which provided for a high level of competition. We wish all athletes best of luck in the upcoming season and thank the Organisers for their excellent work in staging the events.”