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Sweet grabs in half pipe

Sweet grabs in half pipe

Fresh snow contributed to a “creative” half pipe competition at the 2010 Uni Snow Games at Snow Park, near Wanaka, today (Thursday).

Event manager Cam Craighead said persistent snowfall all morning slowed down the transitions.

“It definitely forced competitors to get creative with their riding when there wasn’t enough speed to huck spins. Luckily the pipe got faster as the day wore on and people started pulling more spins and some sweet grabs,” he said.

Head judge Tori Beattie said height proved the deciding factor in most categories.

“The key to winning half pipe is how big you go – the thing to really wow the judges is height and that takes skill,” she said.

Otago’s Tom Grooten notched up his second gold medal in as many days, taking out the men’s snowboard title ahead of a competitive field which included CPIT’s Ben Comber.

The leading Kiwi performer at the Junior Worlds staged earlier in the week, earning 5th in slopestyle and 7th in Big Air, Comber added a Uni Snow Games bronze to his achievements – just .5 points behind Grootin and .2 points shy of Otago’s Marc Riedi, who snatched silver.

“Uni Games is something I’ve always wanted to do – it’s a good opportunity to have a wind down and meet some people,” he said.

Comber is a firm favourite to take out the slopestyle title, which has been postponed until tomorrow (Friday).

“There are a couple of old rivals here so that will be fun competing against them,” he said.

In the women’s snowboard event, Auckland’s Nicola Peters secured top honours, followed by Georgina Allen and Chelsea Martinez, both of Canterbury.

Undaunted despite competing in half pipe for the first time, Massey Albany’s Emilie Tait-Jamieson claimed gold in the women’s ski, with Georgia McNamara, of Canterbury, and Emma Thompson, of Otago, second and third respectively.

“An aggressive approach to the pipe with speed and some grabs won it for her,” Beattie said.

Otago’s Hamish McDougall won the men’s division, followed by team-mate Matt Johnson and Canterbury’s Ovila Juneau.

“We definitely saw some height out of the pipe and a 540 at the bottom,” Beattie said.

ENDS

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