Mammoth Mountain, USA (1 February 2017) – New Zealand snowboarders were on impressive form in the qualifying rounds of the Snowboard Slopestyle World Cup staged at Mammoth Mountain in the USA today. Zoi Sadowski Synnott (Wanaka) and Tiarn Collins (Queenstown) both qualified for finals.
It was 15-year-old Zoi’s World Cup debut in this discipline, and the fourth time this season that 17-year-old Tiarn has qualified for World Cup finals.
With just over one year to go until the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea and qualifying points on everyone’s agenda, Mammoth Mountain, has attracted a stacked field of riders.
Zoi finished third in her heat, fifth on overall points and will now compete in the eight-woman final against Olympic champion Jamie Anderson (USA) as well as 2017 X Games gold medallist Julia Marino (USA).
“I had two really good days of practice so I was feeling confident about getting my run down today,” says Zoi.
With moderate tail winds adding to the challenge of the day, Zoi made a tactical run choice, sticking to familiar tricks and opting for strong execution. The course included seven features with rails to start and three jumps to finish and competitors had two runs to earn their top marks.
Zoi crashed on her first run after an under-rotation of her backside 540 on the first jump caused her to lose speed. However, on her second attempt she was able to put together a smooth flowing run with clean trick execution top to bottom.
Rails: cab boardslide, frontside boardslide, 50-50, indy grab off the transition transfer
Jumps: backside 540 stale grab, switch backside 540 melon grab, frontside 720 mute.
Tiarn also finished third in his heat, fifth on overall points and will compete in a sixteen-man final. Tiarn landed his top scoring run on his second attempt after falling on his final jump of run one. He explains:
“On my first run I landed everything perfectly up until the last jump where I did a back double cork 12 and only just slipped out on the landing. So I was feeling pretty nervous for my second run.”
Keeping it technical but scaling back his final trick to a backside 1080, Tiarn landed his second run cleanly for third place.
Rails: front blunt change up 270, can boardslide 450, 50-50 frontside 360, front 180 off the toes to switch backside 360 off the whale tail.
Jumps: cab 900 nose grab, frontside 1080 mute, backside 1080 melon.
“I’m feeling really excited for finals,” he says.
Finals are scheduled for Friday 2 February US time but with storms in the forecast postponement is likely and organisers have until Sunday to run the competition.
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