The FIS Snowboard and Freestyle Ski Half Pipe World Cups will take place this week at Cardrona Alpine Resort; where more than 200 skiers and riders representing 26 nations will compete for a chunk of the NZ$115,000 prize pool. The athletes will be judged mainly on their ability to pull off unique tricks, exciting flips, and high air.
On the start list for the freestyle ski competition are Tanner Hall (USA) and current Overall AFP World Champion Devin Logan (USA). Logan will ski alongside five time European Open Champion, Virginie Faivre (SUI), and Kiwi entrants Rose Battersby and Janina Kuzma on Wednesday.
FIS World Cup Champion Benoit Valentin (FRA), AFP Overall World Champion Gus Kenworthy (USA), and fellow New Zealanders Jossi Wells and Janina Kuzma are among the top competitors for the men’s freeski.
Saturday and Sunday will feature the snowboarding competitions. One athlete sure to make waves is World Snowboarding Championship gold medalist and multiple X-Games medalist, Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland. Podladtchikov will be up against last season’s World Cup champion, Nathan Johnstone (AUS), the current Bronze Olympic medal holder, Ryo Aono (JPN), and Scott Lago (USA).
The female contenders include gold medalist, Torah Bright (AUS), and 2012 Winter X-Games gold medalist, and recent winner of Burton High Fives ,Kelly Clark
“Both events are going to be great for the competitors as well as the spectators. Snow sports competitions in New Zealand have certainly raised the bar over the past five years and this will continue through to next season when we host the 2013 Winter Games NZ. The 2013 Games will include at least five World Cups and feature many who will go on to podium at Socchi.” says Winter Games NZ CEO, Arthur Klap. Also representing New Zealand will be Ben Stewart, James Hamilton, and Rebecca Sinclair.
The FIS Freestyle Ski Halfpipe World Cup will take place on 22 August while the FIS Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup will take place on 25-56 August, both at Cardrona Alpine Resort.
Off mountain the Winter Games Adventure Film Festival from the 24-26 August returns to Queenstown. There’s an action packed programme of spectacular adventure films to inspire and entertain. Tickets are still available.