Landgraaf, The Netherlands (20 November 2014) –Para-snowboarder Carl Murphy (Wanaka) has made an encouraging start to his Northern Hemisphere season with a third place finish in the banked slalom at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Europa Cup held overnight (NZ time) in The Netherlands.
Around 40 snowboarders from over 10 countries lined up at the indoor course at Snowworld to compete in the inaugural banked slalom races at the first para-snowboard World and Europa Cups of 2014-15. The start list included the all-American podium from the men's snowboard-cross at the Paralympic Winter Games Sochi 2014.
Sochi silver medallist Mike Shea took the win in last night’s Europa Cup race with Sochi gold medallist Evan Strong second and Carl Murphy rounding out the podium in third.
A return to the podium marks a significant step forward for Murphy who was disappointed to place fourth in Sochi following an injury plagued build-up to the Paralympic Games. Before his injury Murphy has been ranked number one in the world for men’s para snowboard-cross.
The banked slalom has been added as a new discipline this season following the successful debut of para-snowboard cross in Sochi. Banked slalom is a timed event with each rider given three runs of a slalom course and the combined time of their two fastest runs counting as the final result. The slalom gates are set in either natural banking terrain, or in this case man-made berms, with riders required to make tight radius turns.
Competition continues in Landgraaf tomorrow with the World Cup banked slalom. The competitions are the curtain-raiser on the season which features the 2015 IPC Para-Snowboard World Championships in La Molina, Spain, between 23-28 February.
Full results can be found at http://www.paralympic.org/snowboard/calendar.