12th July 2013 – Wanaka, New Zealand. The countdown is on to the start of the biggest freeski competition in the Southern Hemisphere! The North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand – the only event in the world to hold Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Mountain competitions in one – will take place from 29th August to 7th September 2013.
The event’s organisers are looking forward to welcoming the world’s best freeskiers to the awe-inspiring playground of New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
Now into its ninth year of competition, The North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand has a reputation for combining a high quality event with a laid back atmosphere and fun social schedule. 2013 will be no exception.
Despite having to overcome a few hurdles in the build-up to the event, organisers say this year’s NZ Freeski Open will be as awesome as ever. The combination of a challenging financial environment and the closing of Snow Park has led to some changes being made to the event format; however, as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining.
Competitors will now have the opportunity to experience the world-class facilities of Cardrona Alpine Resort as the venue for the Halfpipe and Slopestyle competitions. Treble Cone and Remarkables are still scheduled to host the Big Mountain event, with the final venue to be determined by prevailing weather and snow conditions.
In an attempt to cut operating costs while still delivering the same standards of excellence a decision has been made to reduce the overall prize purse. The North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand will now have Bronze rather than Gold AFP status for the Halfpipe and Slopestyle competitions and the Big Mountain will be classified as a 3-star Freeride World Qualifying event, not 4-star as originally intended. Organisers are anxious to point out that this will in no way compromise the calibre or integrity of the event.
Freeski athletes already planning to be in the region for the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ earlier in August can also enjoy the opportunity to compete at the NZ Freeski Open. For those aiming to compete at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia the NZ Freeski Open will be seen as a valuable training opportunity.
Registrations for the Halfpipe and Slopestyle competitions are currently open at www.register-for-events.com.
Competitors wishing to enter the Big Mountain competition will be able to do so from Saturday 13th July via the Freeride World Tour member portal. As the first event using the new registration portal, riders will need to visithttp://www.freerideworldtour.com/registration.html where they can purchase their competition license and register for the North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand with a credit card. Late entries will be available, however, there are limited spaces in 2013 and a late payment fee will be added.
Entries for all events will be capped at 80 men and 40 women on a first-in-first-served basis. Competitors can apply for invitation status by contacting Event Manager, Cameron Craighead, at [email protected]. Invited riders will progress directly to the semi-final and their competition costs will be complimentary. To view the current invitation list please refer to the event website www.nzfreeskiopen.com
The revised schedule for the North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand competition is as follows:
29th of August: Slopestyle Qualifiers at Cardrona Alpine Resort
30th of August: Slopestyle Finals at Cardrona Alpine Resort
31st of August: Halfpipe Qualifiers and Finals at Cardrona Alpine Resort
2nd of September: Big Mountain Qualifiers
3rd of September: Big Mountain Finals
4th – 7th September: Weather Days
In the event that the CHILL Series (scheduled for 30th August– 1st September) uses its weather day, or there is significant fatigue on the Big Mountain competitors travelling between competitions, The North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand will utilise one of its weather days in the best interests of a fair competition for all involved.