New Zealand’s Freeride elite grows
New Zealand’s Freeride elite grows at The North Face Frontier Freeride World
New Zealand’s Freeride elite grows at The North Face Frontier Freeride World Qualifier 4*
A world-class international field dropped into the Alta Chutes today at The North Face Frontier Freeride World Qualifier 4* at The Remarkables ski field in Queenstown. Kiwi Freeride Skier Jess Hotter from Ohakune NZ, topped the women’s ski field with strong confident skiing and clean features making her run impossible to top. The 26-year-old ski patroller won this competition last year, which set her up well for the Freeride World Qualifier Tour 2018. “After the 4* here the rest of the season in Europe went really well and I made it onto the Freeride World Tour (FWT), which was really cool. That is the highest level of competition in the world of freeride and in the next Northern Hemisphere season, I will travel around the world competing on it. It’s going to be a big season!” said a stoked Hotter. “I decided to switch it up a bit this year here, so I tested my abilities and my strength of will I guess and I am definitely really stoked with the result!”
It was a Swedish second and third in the women’s ski with Eva Battolla and Sybille Blanjean showing their form on the technical face.
New Zealander’s filled the men’s ski podium with Jamesa Hampton from Canterbury winning with what the judges and commentators called a complete run; with traditional freeride style, big technical skiing and a progressive freestyle run. The 23-year-old who is currently ranked 21st on the Freeride World Qualifier said, “I am absolutely stoked, it was a little bit sketchy. I would like to be more in control, but everything came together. I came down and managed to keep it under control into the lake and bringing it to the finish line.”
FWT Skier and NZ Freeride Team Hank Bilous member came in second with a smart, big skiing on his come-back run from injury and showed his unique style. Craig Murray from Christchurch, the top ranked freerider in the competition came in third. Craig made his way through the ranks of the New Zealand Junior Freeride Tour, the Freeride World Junior Tour and the Freeride World Qualifier Tour (FWQ), qualifying to compete on the 2018 Freeride World Tour (FWT) where he claimed two podium finishes.
Spanish snowboarder Nuria Castán Barón who won this event last year showed off her skills when she came off the top of the Alta Chutes hot, attacking the cliff and pushing the size of drops which snowboarders normally attempt at this venue. “I'm pretty stoked to land the big cliff I did in the middle, it was kind of sketchy and the take-off was really sharky. I stomped it (clean landing) and in these conditions I couldn't be anymore happy.”
Kiwi snowboarder Claire McGregor came in second, with Mikaela Hollste the 31-year-old from Finland rounding out the podium.
American snowboarder Blake Moller opened with a large freestyle trick and finished with solid and fast freeride style to gain him the top rank amongst the stacked field. “It was so fun and the conditions are awesome. There is nothing like it!”
Cody Bramwell from Sweden who is currently ranked third on the FWQ and won this event last year (4*) came second and previous 4* winner Roland Morley-Brown from New Zealand came third.
Full results here