Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Kiwis Take on the Freeride World Tour on the snow

Media Release: 23 January

Kiwis Take on the Freeride World Tour

Courmayeur Mont Blanc, Italy – 23 January 2014 – The Swatch Freeride World Tour 2014 By the North Face® (FWT) - considered the world’s premier big mountain freeskiing and snowboarding tour - got underway yesterday at Courmayeur Mont Blanc, Italy with four New Zealanders there to make their mark.

Situated in the Aosta Valley at the foot of the south face of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur presents one of the most spectacular arenas in the world for skiing and snowboarding. The event was originally scheduled to take place on Friday 17 January but adverse weather conditions left competitors with a nervous five day wait until Wednesday morning when the weather finally cleared.

For Cromwell’s Sam Smoothy the weather delay turned out to be a bonus. Following surgery to remove his appendix two weeks ago Sam had planned to sit out the Courmayeur stop; however with a few extra days’ recovery time in hand he felt ready to compete yesterday and was able to achieve a solid 11th place finish.

Sam is the veteran of the Kiwi contingent, with 2014 his fourth season on the FWT. He is looking to improve on his best season in 2012 where he achieved three FWT podiums. Yesterday’s result, while not a career best, was a positive indication that recovery is on track and Sam will be a name to watch on the 2014 FWT.

Speaking after the competition, Sam explained: “With only a handful of runs that morning under my belt due to having my appendix out, I was just looking to ski clean and see how the body reacted to its first hard run. Keeping my fluidity up and taking some airs I ended my run with one of the ugliest 360 of my life but got it around clean and just missed top ten placing 11th.”

In a Big Mountain event, competitors are awarded points judged on line, control, air and style, fluidity and technique. Earning a top score means skiing or snowboarding smooth and fast, preferably taking a technical and challenging line.

Ruari Macfarlane, the only snowboarder on the New Zealand team and a FWT rookie, had the tough task of being the very first competitor of the day.  He came out firing with a very aggressive top section into a styling method. In the fresh powder he seemed to catch an edge, sending him tumbling out of contention for a top placing before another risky air into a chute at the bottom bumped him down the rankings with a final placing of 10th. 

Skier Neil Williman, also competing on the FWT for the first time in 2014, took a fast and fall line approach to his run with a double drop which he stomped cleanly. Coming off an illness and injury, Neil was happy with his run and ski form. He finished in 21st place and is looking forward to stepping things up in the next competition in Chamonix in a few days’ time.

Charlie Lyons kicked off his tour with his super solid, calculated skiing but, in his own words “didn't have enough air” in his run to have him higher on the rankings against such an aggressively competitive field. He finished in 23rd place.

“Today was tough,” he commented. “I made a couple of errors in my run and my line choice wasn't the best.”

Charlie made his debut at the 2013 FWT and had consistently strong results including third place at the Kirkwood stop. He finished the 2013 season ranked ninth on the tour.

The 2014 tour features six venues throughout Europe and America and has a total prize purse of 400,000 USD. Of the six events of the 2014 FWT, Courmayeur Mont Blanc is the one event only featuring male skiers and snowboarders. Male and female athletes will both be in action on Saturday 25 January at the FWT stage at Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France.

Full results here:  http://www.freerideworldtour.com/courmayeur.html

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Salvation Army On Homelessness: Hard Times In West Auckland

The report details an uncomfortable story of people whose only option is to live an unhealthy, dangerous and damaging street life... The social housing needed by these people is not currently available in sufficient quantity. More social housing is required in the West. More>>

ALSO:

Message For PM: NZ Supports Te Reo Māori – You Should Too

As Māori Language Week celebrations and commemoration of 40 years draws to an end, the Māori Language Commission, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori, is once again hugely encouraged by the widespread support for Māori language from throughout the country ... More>>

ALSO:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news