New Zealand snow sports athletes have been making their mark on the international stage with some strong results across a range of disciplines over the weekend.
Ski racer Adam Barwood (Queenstown) finished 15th in a six point North America (Nor-Am) Cup Slalom against a quality international field. The races were held over two days at Colorado’s Copper Mountain Resort. Adam improved his result from 25th on day one. His final run saw him post the third fastest time and bumped him into 15th place overall on day two.
Adam then went on to win a FIS race at Norquay in Canada two days later.
Piera Hudson also earned a podium spot over the weekend, finishing second in Slalom at a National Junior Race at Copper Mountain. Piera said she felt confident heading into the races following a good training block.
“We've had some amazing training up at Copper and Vail… I've had some fast splits and have been within reach of some of the World Cup girls we've been luckily enough to train with. I'm happy with how I'm skiing this early in the season,” she commented.
Meanwhile cross country skier Andy Pohl raced to a second place finish in the 12km free mass start at the Alberta Cup in Canmore, Canada on Saturday 6 December. Andy explains how the action unfolded:
"I was pretty nervous going into this race as I haven't raced at this level for over a year. I was happy to find myself in the leading few skiers up the first climb. The legs felt good throughout so on the second of four laps I broke away with an ex-team mate of mine. We skied the remaining laps together and then had a great sprint for the line. I was piped by 0.8 of a second."
Andy took to the snow the following day for the 11km classic: "I held on for eighth spot but it was tough out there," he explained. Nevertheless, Andy was pleased with his season opening results against a hard-racing field.
"There were a lot of strong junior and u23 skiers racing really hard as the races were selection trials for the Canada Winter Games (a mini winter Olympics for u23 athletes across Canada who compete for their provinces.). There were also a few strong senior skiers including Olympian and Paralympian multiple medallist Brian Mckever and his guide Eric Carleton."
Ski-cross racer Jamie Prebble had his first race of the season with the Audi Ski Cross World Cup in Nakiska, Canada, on Saturday. The moderate temperatures were welcomed by the athletes who faced temperatures in the -30c range at the same event last year.
Racing was tight with the top 21 racers’ times within one second of the winner. Jamie finished 2.19seconds off the lead in 41st place. The top 32 racers qualified through to finals.
Janina Kumza made an impressive start to her northern hemisphere season, winning the Copper Grand Prix freeski halfpipe at Copper Mountain. Read full story here
Image: courtesy Adam Barwood