Axamer Lizum, Austria (27 March 2016) - A year after suffering a season-ending knee injury Wanaka skier Sam Lee has made a convincing return to competition. Over the Easter weekend Sam claimed his first major international win on the Freeride World Qualifier Tour at the Axamer Lizum 3* event in Austria.
Sam explains: “The face was a pretty difficult one to pick a line on, with lots of sharp rocks buried under a thin layer of new snow catching a bunch of people out. I went for a technical drop at the top that no one else hit and followed it up with some smaller hits down the fall line to the finish. I wanted to do a bigger drop at the bottom but couldn't find anything that really felt good so I just put together smaller stuff. I had a heap of fun skiing my line so to win was a great bonus!"
Sam currently sits in seventh place on the FWQ worldwide rankings and third in Europe/ Oceania. The top three from each region including the Americas and Europe/ Oceania qualify for the 2017 Freeride World Tour so Sam is currently on track to make the cut. A podium result at his next competition, the Obergurgl FWQ 4* in Austria on 9 April could be enough to make this happen.
Second place in Axamer Lizum went to Swiss skier Adrien Hidlebrandt while Neil Williman, who holds dual British and NZ nationality placed third.
Image credit: Dom Channon Photography