Axamer Lizum, Austria- (16 February 2014) – A win at the three star Freeride World Qualifier event in Austria, has given New Zealand freeskier Neil Williman a much needed confidence boost and put his competition season back on track.
The Freeride World Qualifier (FWQ) Tour consists of a series of events with different point values from 1-star to 4-star. The FWQ acts as a feeder to the Freeride World Tour (FWT), the most prestigious of events on the international freeride calendar. Neil is one of three New Zealand skiers competing on the 2014 Freeride World Tour.
Neil’s best FWT result of the 2014 season so far has been a 10th place at the FWT Chamonix stop. He placed 21st at the first stop in Courmayeur and 22nd in Kappl, Austria following a crash. Having also struggled with sickness and minor injuries to his knee and ankle, Neil’s 2014 competition campaign seemed to be coming a little unstuck. Finding himself atop the podium in Austria this weekend, Neil was therefore more than a little relieved.
“It felt great to stick a run in a comp that I was happy with since I haven't managed to do that in a FWT run so far this year,” he commented. “It did wonders for my confidence and I'm looking forward to the FWT comp in Snowbird, Utah.”
Competition day brought near perfect conditions and the strong field of international skiers were able to put down speedy lines and spectacular moves. Neil, the only New Zealander in the competition skied a strong run ending with a backflip to take the win in convincing style.
Next up on the competition schedule is the fourth event of the 2014 Freeride World Tour which has been moved from Tahoe to Snowbird resort in Utah, USA due to lack of snow. Neil will be joined by fellow New Zealand skiers Sam Smoothy and Charlie Lyons and snowboarder Ruari Macfarlane.