Wanaka, New Zealand (August 19th, 2009) The Sport of Freeskiing was taken to a new level today, highlighted by the style and technical riding of USA’s Bobby Brown who took first place in the Men’s Slopestyle competition at the Volkl NZ Freeski Open 2009, at Cardrona Alpine Resort.
“Never before in competition have I seen so many riders successfully landing the newest and most difficult tricks you’ll see anywhere,” said Nick Draxl, Chief of Competition. “I’ve never seen a stronger field in any competition.”
Brown, 18 and a number of other riders were performing breathtaking double corks, which are some of the latest innovations performed by only the world’s most talented freeskiers, but it was Brown’s style with his double corked 1080 which separated him on the judging sheet.
“The slopestyle course was awesome. I loved it,” said Brown. “It was the best competition I’ve been in for a long time, the event had a great feel and there were a lot of people around.”
Brown shared the podium with Tom Wallish, of USA and Henrik Harlaut, of Sweden, who placed third.
In the Women’s competition which took place yesterday before the weather rolled in, Canada’s Dania Assaly was at the top of the podium after performing a solid run including a 900.
“I had a perfect day in a great park,” said Assaly. “It was one of the best comps I’ve competed in, with girls from all over the world pushing us.”
Winter X Games winner Anna Segal, of Australia place second, while Eva-Maria Patscheider of Austria placed third.
Volkl International Freeski Manager, Jean – Claude Pedrolini, of Switzerland was thrilled with the event.
“The New Zealand Freeski Association together with Cardrona Alpine Resort today held one of the best competitions I have ever seen.” said Pedrolini. “We saw a really high level final with the top slopestyle riders competing in a world class slopestyle park.”
The Volkl New Zealand Freeski Open is fast becoming the traditional opening event of the international skiing calendar, rivalling the US and European Open events as a benchmark in world-class freeski competitions.