Salomon Ski Halfpipe
Skiers across all age groups (Primary School Year 1 through to Secondary School Year 13) competed in the Olympic pipe which measures 22ft high, 21m wide and 160m long. The younger competitors (Primary Years 1-6) were the first to drop into the pipe and had two attempts to impress the judges with the technicality of their tricks, amplitude and overall style; the better of two runs counted as their overall score.
“The younger competitors came out charging and didn’t seem at all worried by the size of the pipe, it was good to see them competing on the big stage and with plenty of support from parents, friends and coaches cheering at the bottom of the pipe,” said judge Luke Hetzel.
In the Year 3-4 boys’ category Finley Melville Ives (Wanaka) impressed judges by gaining impressive height in the pipe and finishing his run off with a 540 spin. Gustav Legnavsky was another standout amongst the younger skiers, winning boys’ Primary Years 5 – 6 with a run which included back to back opposite way 540s, a technical switch 360 and a good variation of grabs on his straight airs and alley-oops.
While the Junior Nationals provide the ideal platform for New Zealand’s most promising young athletes to showcase their skills, the event also provides an opportunity for competitors to try their hand at a new discipline. Today’s competition saw several halfpipe ‘newbies’ in action, some even making it onto the podium.
Newcomer to the discipline, Margaux Hackett (France), who topped the Year 11-13 girls’ slopestyle class in Tuesday’s competition surprised even herself by gaining some impressive amplitude out of the pipe but maintained composure to land a solid run and first place in her age group.
“I’m pretty overwhelmed and really happy,” she explained after her run. “Slopestyle is my specialist discipline and I haven’t done that much halfpipe but I’ve really enjoyed it.”
Nico Porteous (Christchurch) and Finn Bilous (Wanaka) were the stand out performers in the halfpipe, claiming convincing wins in the Year 9-10 and Year 11-13 boys’ categories respectively. Opening the show with a switch 900, Nico signalled that there would be no holds barred. Keeping the speed on and the amplitude high, he span every which way and never missed a grab. While Finn stomped his run using a combination of old favourites and new progressive tricks including an alley-oop cork 360 with safety grab to finish.
With the snow softening as the day went on a safety call was made to finish competition after the first run for the older competitors (Years 7-13).
Check out all the action in the highlights vid of Day 2.
Video footage will be available through competition week. Catch day one’s highlights here
Competition continues tomorrow with Bonfire Snowboard Halfpipe and K2 Ski Big Mountain. Strong winds yesterday (Wednesday) led to the cancellation of the Ski Giant Slalom and Smith Ski Cross.
The week’s competition will conclude with a prize giving ceremony at the Lake Wanaka Centre, Ardmore Street, Wanaka at 5pm on Saturday 10 October. Photos and footage will be shown of the Cardrona Junior Nationals event and the overall prizes will be awarded.
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