Lake Wanaka, New Zealand (30 September 2014) –200 keen competitors returned to Cardrona Alpine Resort today for day two of the Cardrona NZ Junior Freeski and Snowboard National Championships. On today’s agenda were the Bonfire Boarder-cross, Snowboard Giant Slalom and Smith Ski Slopestyle.
New Zealand Paralympian Carl Murphy was happy to get proceedings underway on the Speed Zone Gravity-Cross track this morning, acting as course forerunner and providing some inspiration for our up and coming athletes.
Following the same format as the ski competitors yesterday, racers first completed a single time trial before being ranked into elimination rounds and then taking on the nerve wracking prospect of racing head to head. Some spectacular high speed crashes added to the action packed day with competitors describing the event as both ‘terrifying’ and ‘fun’.
Fastest racer of the day was Junior boys’ Duncan Campbell who represented New Zealand in men’s snowboard cross at the 2014 FIS Freeski and Snowboard Junior World Championships in Italy earlier this year.
Snowboard Giant Slalom
The giant slalom course was set on the Race Course Trail and racers competed side by side two at a time. Each racer completed two runs with the combined time deciding the final placings.
Duncan Campbell was once again fastest man on course with yesterday’s Slopestyle winner Carlos Garcis Knight close behind in second place for Junior boys.
“It’s been a great day here at Cardrona and it’s always good to do well on your home mountain,” commented Duncan.
Cassandra Lyell (Ruggies girls), Zedyn Fellows (Ruggies boys), Martha Macdonald (Grommet girls), Valentino Guseli (Grommet boys), Hannah White (Ripper girls) and Corrah Phillips (Junior girls) all backed up wins in yesterday’s slopestyle for first place in their respective age groups for the dual giant slalom.
Smith Ski Slopestyle
The Smith freeski slopestyle competition was split across three venues: Lil Bucks, Antler Alley and Big Bucks Park, according to age of the competitors.
The Shredder boys’ age group saw some of the most intense competition of the day and a hard fought battle for podium positions. Nico Porteous came out as the clear winner but the judges had their work cut out to separate second, third and fourth place. The final decision came down to Jed Ebsworth second, Jasper Klein third, Fraser McClellan fourth.
Nico Porteous’ run was so impressive that one of the judges gave him a near perfect score of 97 out of a possible 100. “I’m really ‘stoked’ with my run,” he said. “Junior Nationals is a great event to finish the season with and Cardrona have done a really good job with building the park.”
Nico’s goal is to defend the Junior Nationals overall title he won last year and he says he’s “looking forward to riding the freshly cut halfpipe tomorrow.”
Maggie Little was the stand out performer in Shredder girls achieving her competition goal “to pull together everything I’ve been learning over this season, show the judges what I’ve got and put down a clean run.”
Finn Bilous appeared to cruise through his runs in the Youth boys’ group, making it look easy to come away 16 points ahead of the rest of the field. While in Junior boys Jackson Wells made it three from three adding a win in Slopestyle to his top finishes in the Ski Dual Giant Slalom and Salomon Skier-Cross.
Video footage will be available through competition week. Catch day one’s highlights here
Competition continues tomorrow with Salomon Ski Halfpipe and K2 Snowboard Freeride. Click here for full event schedule
The week will conclude with a prize giving ceremony at the Lake Wanaka Centre, Ardmore Street, Wanaka at 3pm on Friday 3rdOctober or 5pm if the weather day is used. Photos and footage will be shown of the Cardrona Junior Nationals event and the grand prizes will be awarded.
Image: Finn Bilous in action in the Smith Ski Slopestyle
Credit: Wanaka TV