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NZ Free Ski Nationals

Tue, 24 Aug 2004

NZ FREESKI NATIONALS The country's top freeskiers will battle it out in Cardrona Alpine Resort's gravity-x and slopestyle courses next week (31 August and 4 September) as part of the New Zealand Free Ski Nationals.

The fast and furious skier-x competition sees competitors race round berms, fly over rollers at high speed, jostling for the best position, four at a time. Results not only decide the national skier-x champion but also count towards the overall title of National Free Ski Champion.

The competition continues on 4 September in New Zealand's longest terrain park when the skiers will take on the massive rails and tabletops, providing a stunning display of agility and big air not to be missed.

The rapid growth of the sport is starting to produce skiers of an international standard and those making the biggest impact will be the young skiers such as Jossi Wells (14) and Lyndon Sheehan (16) as well as the women Pip Simmonds and Cat Smiley. For the first time, the Free Ski Association of New Zealand (FSANZ) is sending a free ski team to compete overseas and competition is fierce to gain a spot in the team.

"We're sending one big mountain and one freestyle team, of four skiers each to compete on the FIS Half Pipe World Cup circuit and IFSA Big Mountain World Tour," said Hamish Acland president of FSANZ, "Half pipe is becoming an Olympic sport and by giving out athletes the opportunity to compete in the northern hemisphere, we are improving new Zealand's chances of having representation at the next Olympics."

Results from the nationals will help decide who joins the team, together with past results and form during the current season.


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