With the winter in full swing in the Southern Hemisphere, the FIS World Cup season has already started with the first big air FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Cup of 2018/19.
Blue skies and calm conditions welcomed some of the world’s best freeskiers and snowboarders on top of Cardrona’s 75-foot big air jump last weekend in the Audi Quattro Winter Games New Zealand final event.
The freeski competition took place first with Elena Gaskell (CAN) and Andrii Ragettli (SUI) claiming huge victories to wrap up two weeks of action in New Zealand that began with the FIS Junior Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships.
Caroline Claire (USA) finished the competition in second place, while Gaskell’s teammate Yuki Tsubota rounded out the ladies’ podium on third.Top qualifier Evan McEachran (CAN) capped off Cardrona’s men’s competition in second place. Third place went to local Kiwi, Finn Bilous, who was pushing it hard in front of the home crowd, showing new tricks all week long to grab his first spot on the World Cup podium.
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The first FIS Snowboard big air World Cup of 2018/19 served as the spectacular finale to the action in New Zealand. Chris Corning (USA) was able to celebrate a jaw-dropping World Cup win on his 19thbirthday. Newly minted FIS Junior World Champion Takeru Otsuka (JPN) secured second place and his career-first World Cup podium with a great third run. Mons Roisland (NOR) claimed his third World Cup podium with a third-place result.
Reira Iwabuchi (JPN) claimed top spot for the ladies, while Miyabi Onitsuka (JPN) and Klaudia Medlova (SVK) battled hard for second. PyeongChang 2018 silver medallist Medlova initially put herself in front but Onitsuka leapfrogged into second place in the third run.
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