LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (24 August, 2011) – Day 12 of the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games saw many of the world’s best snowboarders hit the Big Air at Cardrona Alpine Resort with Canada’s Maxence Parrot and Germany’s Silvia Mittermueller taking the gold.
Winds picked up in the morning, delaying the competition but in the end mother nature cooperated and it was all go with a small but strong field competing for this year’s Winter Games NZ titles. With the delay the format was changed and competitors went straight to a three run final with the best two different jumps counted.
Everyone including the judges was happy to see the conditions improved. “We saw some good tricks,” said Iztok Sumatic, head judge “The wind didn’t the affect the level of the tricks from the top competitors but it probably did affect the size of the field with some of the less experienced riders opting out today.”
After a challenging season with a dislocated elbow followed by a rolled ankle, Germany’s Silvia Mittermueller was happy to turn a page today taking the top spot amongst the women.
Mittermueller attributed her success today in part to a desire to avoid hitting the knuckle and further injuring her ankle. “I knew I had to go big today to avoid injury,” she said. “After a series of injuries and some bad luck I am really happy with today’s results and hope I’ve shown the German national team selectors that I’m capable.” Silvia also has her sites set on competing in the new Olympic discipline of slopestyle in 2014.
“Silvia was a surprise,” said Sumatic. “During the practice she was only doing straight airs but when it came to the competition she boosted out with a lovely switch backside 180 mute grab followed by a frontside 360 tailgrab which was also performed very well, with big amplitude.”
New Zealand’s Abby Lockhart and Shelly Gotlieb placed second and third respectively.
Lockhart said that after taking time away from serious competition the inclusion of slopestyle as an Olympic discipline and the additional funding that will be available to New Zealand athletes has prompted her to refocus on competition. “This is a trial year,” she said. “If it all goes well then I hope to be named to the slopestyle team so that I can afford to compete at the level I need to get to the Olympics.”
“Abby rode really well putting down two good jumps, a backside 360 melon grab and a backside 180 melon,” said Webster. “It’s good to see her stepping up her game.”
“Shelly landed her first backside 360 tailgrab but fell on her two subsequent attempts at a backside 540 leaving her in third place,” said Sumatic.
Tomorrow brings the Adaptive Slalom racing at Coronet Peat and Day Seven of Curling at the Maniototo Curling Rink in Naseby.