Copper Mountain, Colorado – (19 November 2013) – Summer may be fast approaching in New Zealand but for our elite snow sports athletes winter remains the true focus. Many have already departed for Europe and North America where they will train and compete across a range of snow sports including alpine ski racing, freeskiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and adaptive snowsports throughout the Northern Hemisphere winter.
For our national ski racing team the first events of the season are already in the bag with Adam Barwood, Nick Prebble, Willis Feasey and Ben Griffin competing in FIS races at Copper Mountain, Colorado from 9 – 10 November.
“It's great to be back on snow after just a short break since the end of the NZ season,” said Adam Barwood.
With a world-class field in attendance, including some of the top Austrian, Canadian and American ski racers, the first races of the season provided a good benchmark for the New Zealand team. Nick Prebble was the best of the Kiwis in 19th place from bib 59, Willis Feasey 23rd and Adam Barwood 24th.
While in the United States, the ski racing team will be concentrating on the North America (NorAm) Cup races of which there are four, in Loveland, Copper Mountain and Vail. NorAm races provide a valuable training opportunity ahead of World Cup events and typically attract strong international fields as part of the early season warm-up.
Following the NorAm events, the New Zealand ski racers plan to compete in a series of slalom races at Steamboat Springs before leaving for Europe.
New Zealand ski cross racer Jamie Prebble also has a busy competition schedule ahead of him. His first event is a World Cup at Nakiska, Canada on 6th and 7th December.
Cross country skiers Andy Pohl and Nils Koons have decided to take a break from major competition for the 2013 – 2014 Northern Hemisphere season. However, Katerina Maluschnig will be undertaking her first year of FIS competition and we look forward to hearing her results.
The freeski and snowboard park and pipe team will also base themselves at Copper Mountain for their early season events. With the team focused on the Winter Olympic Games in February 2014 the FIS Freeski and Snowboard World Cup at Copper Mountain from 18 – 21 December will be key. This is one of the final four qualifying events for the Sochi Games.
Ahead of the World Cup the freeski team will compete at the North Face Park and Pipe Open from 6 – 8 December followed by the Dew Tour from 12 – 15 December. Snowboarder Rebecca Sinclair will travel to Finland for a World Cup halfpipe event from 12 – 13 December.
Outside of the park and pipe events New Zealand will also be well represented on this season’s Freeride World Tour. Skiers Sam Smoothy, Charlie Lyons and Neil Williman will challenge themselves against the world’s best big mountain skiers while Ruari Macfarlane will represent New Zealand for the first time in the snowboard division. Skier Sam Lee will compete in five of the Freeride World Tour qualifier events.
For adaptive skiers Adam Hall and Corey Peters the season begins with a NorAm series at Winter Park, Colorado from 1 – 3 January while para-snowboarder Carl Murphy will begin competition with a World Cup event at Copper Mountain from 17 – 19 January. All three athletes have been named for the New Zealand team to compete at the Paralympic Winter Games in March 2014.
Snow Sports NZ will be providing news updates and results from all athletes throughout the Northern Hemisphere season. Keep up to date via our website www.snowsports.co.nz, get the latest news pushed to your phone via our app or follow us on social media:
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