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Skiers & snowboarders show off jibbing skills

Skiers and snowboarders show off their jibbing skills – red Bull Slide

There was plenty of action for the spectators who flocked to Chancery Lane, Auckland to watch one serious rail sliding event courtesy of Red Bull Slide.

Over 80 tonnes of crushed ice had been trucked into central Auckland in the early hours of Saturday morning transforming the urban jungle into a man-made snow rail course.

The course ran for 70 metres with competitors riding two different rails, a rectangular 7m long tube steel bar and a 10m plywood curved ledge with a steel top, to show of their jibbing skills. Adding flavour to the course, organisers had placed a car as the ramp on to the second rail.

An awesome line up of snowboarders and skiers showed up on the day including 19 year old Travis Kennedy from the States and local A listers Tim Jackways, Roland Morley Brown, Steve Ferguson and Josh Clarke.

The day kicked off with a two hour practice jam allowing competitors to trial the course. Many were challenged by the second rail having never jibbed a car before. Competitors were then split into four divisions with the top four from each division going through to the semi-finals. With a price purse of $10,000 up for grabs the competition was stiff.

Each competitor was judged on technical difficulty and style, both form and control. “The quality of the riders was exceptional and they really stepped it up given the challenging weather conditions during the day,” said head judge Sam Hazeldine.

An array of tricks were pulled off – switch, front side board slide and 270 slides – some stuck while others hit the deck. Blair Findlay dazzled the crow with a board slide off the whole car and rail, whilst Mark Anderson displayed skill and talent with a switch butter front board slide to fakey.

Both made it through to the semi finals along with one of the three women entrants Canadian Leanne Pulosi and junior entrant 16 year old Jessie Wilkinson. “I thought the course was sketchy at first because I’d never jibbed a car,” said Pulosi. “But once I got started it was lots of fun. This is only my second rail competition in a city setting and it rocks.”

The finals were held under flood lights with the live sounds of DJ Logikal in the background. The pace picked up as competitors dug deep for tricks and technical skill.

Jeremy Thornes from Nelson took first place honour with a front side 270 on the first rail and a switch front side board side to switch on the second. He walked away with a cash prize of $5000. “It’s unbelievable. This is my first win and I didn’t expect it at all,” said an overwhelmed Thornes.

Close second was skier Brad Prosser from Wellington who made a big impression on the judges with his switch sex change followed by a rail slide to 270 on the car.

Results: 1st prize - $5,000 Jeremy Thornes - Nelson 2nd prize - $3,000 Brad Prosser – Wellington 3rd price - $2,000 Travis Kennedy – California (USA)

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