Snow Sports NZ athletes Luca Harrington (19) and Ben Barclay (22), both of Wānaka, have finished in an impressive fifth and sixth place respectively at the stacked FIS Freeski Slopestyle World Cup in Mammoth.
After week of challenging weather caused delays and disruptions to the schedule, the Freeski Slopestyle got underway today. The small weather window in-between storms made for a compressed schedule, especially for the men.
Harrington and Barclay both had qualification up first this morning, with Harrington putting down an epic run to qualify through to the heavily stacked 16 man final in the top spot. Barclay also put down a solid qualification run and went through to the finals in 11th place.
Conditions remained tricky for the two run final, with gusty winds and flat light making it difficult for the athletes to judge their speed into the three jumps that made up the bottom section of the course.
Barclay was up first out of the Kiwi men and put down a solid first run, lacing together a technical rail section that included a huge misty 810 off the up rail and three well executed tricks on the jumps to score 79.88. Harrington was putting together a strong first run, but came up short on the first jump which resulted in the judges deducting his score.
Barclay was sitting in fourth place coming into run two and knew he needed to dig deep to push into podium position but came unstuck on the second rail so unfortunately it was a throw away run and ended up in sixth place after all the athletes had completed their runs.
Harrington, today’s top qualifier, dropped into run two with nothing to lose. He put down a top to bottom run that included a super unique front cork 450 ‘Screamin Seaman’ Japan grab off the up rail and then left and right double cork 1440s and a right double cork 1620 on the jumps. Harrington scored a 80.48 for this run which put him in fifth place.
Beijing 2022 Freeski Slopestyle Olympic Champion Alex Hall (USA) took the win today, with his compatriot Colby Stevenson finishing on the podium in second place. Andri Ragettli of Switzerland rounded out the podium in third.
The Snow Sports NZ Park & Pipe team will next be in action next weekend at the Calgary Snowboard Halfpipe World Cup in Canada.
17 days ago