The NZ Winter Games are gearing up for the snowboard contest of the year…
In less than 24 hours the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup Halfpipe competition begins at Cardrona Alpine Resort as part of the inaugural 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games. With a field that reads like the who’s who of snowboarding, it promises to be the most significant winter sports event in the Southern Hemisphere.
3 Olympic gold medallists will be on the start line – Shaun White (USA), Hannah Teter (USA) and Kelly Clark (USA). Gretchen Bleiler (USA) – Olympic silver medallist, current world number one’s Ryoh Aono (JPN) and Jiayu Liu (CHI) and top ranked TTR riders Mason Aguirre (USA) and Jamie Anderson (USA) will also be there as will former World Cup champions, Mathieu Crepel (FRA) and Iouri Podladchiok (SUI).
Cardrona has the only 22ft Olympic standard half pipe in the southern hemisphere. The halfpipe competition takes place in a half-cylinder-shaped course dug deep into the hill. Using speed gained on the slope, snowboarders come up over the rim of the pipe and perform acrobatic aerial tricks. The object of the halfpipe is to perform difficult tricks with perfect form.
This field will rival the Olympics in standard.
“The best riders in the world are here, the pipe is in fantastic shape – it doesn’t get any better than this,” said FIS Snowboard Race Director, Marcel Looze. “All of the top 10 ranked women in the World Cup have travelled to this important event and six of the top 10 men. Olympic qualification is their goal and with the right result, they could be well on their way to representing their country after tomorrow.”
New Zealand’s snow sport regions have the geography and technology to deliver first-class skiing and boarding experiences. Extreme alpine peaks, wide open basins and purpose-built terrain parks give snow hounds an amazing choice of challenges – it is the perfect setting for an Olympic style competition.
It also represents fantastic value for money for the spectators. All the snow sports are free to attend. All you have to do is get yourself there and it won’t cost a cent to watch some of the best snow action ever in this part of the world! Only the stadium events (Naseby and Dunedin) have an entry fee.