New Zealand team member Taylor Rapley, 21, (Queenstown) had double success when she won the national giant slalom and slalom titles at the New Zealand National Alpine Championships at Coronet Peak (August 30 and 31) while Ben Griffin, 25, (Ohakune) and Adam Barwood, 20, (Queenstown) won the men’s giant slalom and slalom trophies respectively.
The national championships attracted international fields from Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and USA but only New Zealanders are eligible for the national titles and trophies.
The men’s giant slalom featured world class skiers and well known New Zealand alpine coach Nils Coberger says there was a high finish rate and several young Kiwi skiers made standout results in the 20 points range.
“It’s great to see these young guys making results like this at the national champs. Some of the younger up-and-coming women skiers also put in some good results.”
Ben Griffin took out 10th place in the 70-strong field after starting in 17th position to win the 2012 giant slalom title, skiing just outside his current points while runner-up Nick Prebble,19, (Christchurch) had close to a personal best 26 point result finishing in 13th place. Third placed Kiwi Adam Barwood will lower his world ranking after recording a 28 point result and taking 15th place.
Finlay Neeson, 19, (Oakura) improved almost 20 places to finish 23rd and ski below his points with a 29 point result.
The race was closely fought by the Europeans with Fritz Dopfer (Germany) taking the honours in 1.42.28 ahead of countryman Felix Neureuther in 1.42.80 and Jon Olsson (Sweden) in 1.42.86. Griffin recorded 1.43.97, Prebble 1.44.44, Barwood 1.44.69 and Neeson 1.45.54.
The men’s slalom was again a battle with Manuel Feller (Austria) taking the gold medal in 1.30.07 just pipping David Ryding (Great Britain) who finished in 1.30.15 and Anton Lahdenperae (Sweden) in 1.30.23.
Barwood stamped his mark on the national slalom title improving ten places to finish 23rd in 1.34.69.
“It was a tough race with a world class field and I was very happy to be in first place on the podium. It’s always good to get a podium result but particularly skiing at home in the nationals.”
Jamie Prebble,21, (Christchurch) was runner-up in 25th place in 1.35.03 while Nick Prebble claimed third spot on the podium in 1.37.25 skiing just below his current slalom points to finish 29th.
Rapley, who was the 2011 overall New Zealand women’s champion, was pleased with her consistent results which gave her both the giant slalom and slalom national titles.
“It’s the first time I have ever won the national giant slalom title. The new course in Rocky Gully this year was great and has a lot of variety with some steep and some flat terrain so it suits everyone.”
The giant slalom was won by Jessica Depauli (Austria) in 1.44.65 just ahead of Connie Suter (Switzerland) in 1.44.95 and Merle Soppela (Finland) in 1.45.42.
Rapley finished 17th in the field of 38 after starting in 24th place in 1.50.88 followed closely by Piera Hudson, 16, (Hawke’s Bay) who was second Kiwi in 18th place in 1.51.64 after starting in bib 22. Third place went to Monique Oosterban, 22, (Wanaka) who skied below her points to finish third on the podium in 1.51.95. Sophie Corser, 16, (Wanaka) took out 21st place in 1.52.09 and her result will reduce her world ranking.
The national slalom was won by Wendy Holdener (Sweden) in 1.37.79 ahead of Bernadette Schild (Austria) in 1.38.37 and Rikke Gosmann-Brott (Norway) in 1.38.39.
Rapley finished 18th and first Kiwi in 1.43.75 while Emily Wright, 18, (Christchurch) was runner-up in 16th place in 1.50.32. Melissa Jones, 18, (Queenstown) took third place in 1.51.06 skiing below her current slalom points.
The National Super G will be held at Mt Hutt next week to decide the overall national men’s and women’s titles.
Junior National Titles:
Women’s giant slalom: Piera Hudson 1, Sophie Corser 2, Emily Wright 3.
Women’s slalom: Emily Wright 1, Melissa Jones 2, Victoria Taylor (Wanaka) 3.
Men’s giant slalom: Nick Prebble 1, Adam Barwood 2, Finlay Neeson 3.
Men’s slalom: Adam Barwood 1, Nick Prebble 2, Finlay Neeson 3.
11 years ago