Ruby Star Andrews (Queenstown, 18) has claimed a third-place finish at the FIS Freeski Slopestyle World Cup season opener held in Austria on the Stubai glacier. This marks the second slopestyle World Cup podium of 18-year-old Andrews' promising career.
A thrilled Andrews explained, “This one feels pretty crazy, it all came around so fast! We only had one training day in tough conditions and then we were straight into competition. I really liked the course here in Stubai. The rails were tough but had options for creativity which was really cool. I did a big back 450 gap on the first rail and I was happy with my jumps too, they felt really smooth.”
Due to inclement weather in the forecast for Friday and Saturday up on the Stubai glacier, officials and organisers made the decision on Wednesday to move qualifications from their scheduled Friday time slot up to Thursday, meaning the athletes only got one official training day on the course.
Organisers attempted to run the finals on Friday morning local time, but with strong winds present and a deteriorating forecast on the cards for the next 48 hours, the decision was made to cancel the finals and take a result from qualification.
With just about everybody who’s anybody on the freeski competition circuit dropping into the Stubai World Cup, the women’s podium was hotly contested. Reigning Freeski Slopestyle World Champion Mathilde Gremaud of Switzerland took the win, with Tess Ledeux of France, current Freeski Big Air World Champion, finishing in second place.
Andrews said, “This result sets me up really well from a FIS points perspective, but also from a confidence perspective too. It’s just amazing to start the season off with a podium and I hope to keep the ball rolling and get a few more!”
There were three other Kiwi athletes competing at FIS Freeski Slopestyle World Cup in Stubai. Ben Barclay (Auckland, 21) and Luca Harrington (Wānaka, 19) finished in 10th and 11th place respectively in the men’s field. Madeleine Disbrowe (Queenstown, 15) finished in 15th place in the women’s field at her debut World Cup competition.
The Stubai FIS Freeski Slopestyle World Cup marked the beginning of the 2024 FIS Slopestyle World Cup season, expect to see plenty more action from these athletes throughout the upcoming Northern Hemisphere winter.
P: Buchholz / FIS Freestyle
3 months ago