Kiwi Freeskiers Ruby Star Andrews (Queenstown, 18) and Luca Harrington (Wānaka, 19) have finished in eighth and ninth place respectively at the FIS Freeski Big Air World Cup held Sunday morning NZT in Colorado.
Andrews dropped into the Big Air World Cup finals, in what was her debut Big Air World Cup event. The star-studded field included both the current Olympic Freeski Big Air silver and bronze medalists, Tess Ledeux of France and Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland.
The level of skiing in the women’s finals was incredibly high, with the increasingly difficult tricks showing just how quickly the sport is progressing as the women continue to push themselves and each other.
Andrews took the event in her stride, laying down two solid runs to finish in eighth place today. She started with a solid switch right 1080 safety grab and combined that with a tidy left cork 900 tail grab in her second run.
With her third and final run to go and two landed scores on the board, Andrews opted to try and up the score on her switch right 1080 safety grab. She tidied up the trick and was rewarded a few additional points by the judges, giving her a combined overall score of 144.50.
Tess Ledeux of France took the win, with a standout performance that included a double cork 1620 and a switch double cork 1260. Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland finished in second place and Kirsty Muir of Great Britain rounded out the podium in third.
In the men’s competition Harrington delivered a solid performance in the men’s Freeski Big Air finals debuting a brand-new trick, a right triple cork 1980, for the first time in competition.
Straight out the gate he attempted to lay down his huge new trick, slightly over rotating the first attempt but putting down the landing gear on his second run attempt. A slight bobble on the grab did hurt his score in the high level event, but landing the hugely technical trick sets Harrington up well for the upcoming World Cups in the new year.
For Harrington’s third and final trick he stomped a switch right double cork 1800 with a blunt grab, giving him a combined total score of 149.00.
The men’s podium consisted of American Mac Forehand in first, Miro Tabanelli of Italy in second and current Freeski Big Air Olympic Champion Birk Ruud of Norway in third.
Today’s event wraps up the Freeski and Snowboard Park and Pipe competition for 2023, with the action set to start back up from mid-January 2024 with the LAAX Open the first event on the roster.
2 months ago