Cardrona, New Zealand (27 August 2019) – Following yesterday’s postponement due to weather, the qualifying rounds for the FIS Australia New Zealand Cup Freeski & Snowboard Halfpipe presentedby Cardrona Alpine Resort were back on the schedule at the QRC Winter Games NZ, fuelled by Forsyth Barrtoday.
127 competitors dropped in to the 22ft high, 160m long superpipe with two chances to qualify through to the finals. In the Snowboard category, six women and 10 men would make the cut, and in Freeski, eight women and 10 men.
World number two Xuetong Cai led a strong contingent of Chinese riders in the Women’s Snowboard division, Xuetong earning the top qualifying score of 96.00 on her second run with clean back to back 720s. Five Chinese athletes qualified in the top six with Australia’s Emily Arthur also making the cut in fifth place.
The Women’s Freeski field saw a close battle between Russia’s Valeriya Demidova and China’s Eileen Gu. Eileen set the bar with a score of 93.00 on her first run, getting good amplitude out of the pipe and showcasing a variety of tricks. Valeriya pushed hard on her second run, upping her score from 89.33 to 93.66 and just edging into the top spot but Eileen was quick to answer, upping her trick difficulty and landing the biggest switch hit of the morning, a switch left 720,for a score of 95.00 and the lead.
Just one point separated China’s Yiwei Zhang from Korea’s Kwang-Ki Lee (KOR) for the top spot in the Men’s Snowboard field, setting the stage for another close finals competition. Yiwei scored 92.33 with stomped back to back 1080s in his first run.
Fletcher Craig was the top placed New Zealand athlete qualifying in fourth place, less than a point behind Korean snowboarder Chaeun Lee. Rakai Tait also made the final 10, qualifying in eighth place.
USA competitor Jaxin Hoerter’s first run score of 91.00 booked him a spot to finals at the top of the Men’s Freeski field.
Robin Briguet (SUI) and Bingqiang Mao (CHN) were hot on his heals on 89.66 and 88.66 respectively.
Finals are now scheduled to take place on Wednesday 28 August and will be shown live on Sky.
Right 540 lead tail, left 540 Japan, right 720, switch left 720 Japan, straight air safety.
Left alley oop seatbelt, straight air Japan, right 540 mute, left 540 mute, right 720, switch right alley oop 540 mute.
Switch right 360 safety, left 540 safety, right 540 safety, straight air Japan, right 720, switch right alley oop 180.
Nose grab, backside 540 mute, frontside 720 indy, cab 720 mute
Crippler melon, backside air, frontside cork 720 indy, cab 360 mute, frontside 540 melon
Frontside 360 indy, cab 720 mute, backside 540 melon, backside 540 mute
Backside 900, front double 1080, can double 1080 mute, crippler indy
Frontside 1080 tail grab, cab double 1080 mute grab, front 1260 tail grab, back 540 mute
Front double 1080, Haakon flip, front 900 melon, back 900 mute
Left flair, right 7 safety, switch left 7 mute, right 9 Japan, left 9 truck driver
Left 9 lead tail, right 7, switch left 7 mute, alley oop flat 5 japan, left flair nose grab
3 Bingqiang Mao CHN
Left 9, right 10, switch left 7 Japan, right 9, left flat 5 Japan.