The final day of the Cardrona NZ Freestyle Nationals went down today at Cardrona Alpine Resort. With sunny skies and warm temperatures the vibes were high.
Today a new event for 2023 was debuted, a fun and creativity focused Rail Jam. This format is a lot freer than traditional competition, allowing the athletes to hike and hit two rails as many times as they can in the allocated time window.
There were six rails set up across two rail pads, with the athletes given complete freedom to choose which features they hit. The judges used a ranking system to determine who won each category. The medals and prizes were awarded immediately after each category on the snow, with plenty of spot prizes up for grabs.
The U8 and U10 athletes were excited to try a new format, and impressed all those who were watching at the rate they were hiking the park. Coaches and parents jumped in to carry equipment to help their little legs get as many laps as possible.
Tatum Ball (9 years old, Nelson) scored her second gold medal of the NZ Freeski Nationals in the U10 freeski girls category. Hitting multiple features throughout the course, Ball said she was super happy to win both events and enjoyed the flat-rail feature the most.
Two of the most tightly contested age divisions over the last few days, U12 and U14, were next in action. 60 athletes across ski and snowboard were lapping the rails, showing what they could do and cheering each other on.
Ellie Stevens (10 years old, Wānaka), was filled with energy after winning gold in the Women’s U12 Snowboard Category. Stoked to be competing today, Stevens said her favourite trick of the day was her switch front blunt 270.
Arguably even more important than winning was Ellie’s sportspersonship, she was seen during the event supporting all her competitors and ensuring everyone was having as good a time as she was!
Finally the U16, U18 and Open divisions dropped in, throwing down some huge tricks in the rail garden.
Today concludes the 2023 Cardrona NZ Freestyle Nationals. It was an incredibly successful three days with plenty of happy faces and an incredible level of skill shown by all age divisions.
All the competitors are invited to attend a disco at Apres, Wānaka on Friday, where we will spend time together and celebrate the overall winners of each age division.
5 months ago