Freeskier Luke Harrold (Lake Hāwea, 15) and Snowboarder Lyon Farrell (Arrowtown, 25) have achieved seventh and eighth place finishes respectively this morning at the Freeski and Snowboard World Cup events in Colorado.
Harrold competed in what was only the second freeski World Cup of his career in a hugely talented men’s freeski halfpipe final. Up against athletes twice his age, including American freeskiers three-time Olympic medalist David Wise and two-time Olympic medalist Alex Ferreira, this marked the biggest competition of his young career.
Harrold, who came into this event off the back of a podium finish at his debut World Cup in China last weekend, started strongly with a great run that had him sitting comfortably in fourth position after the first run.
Harrold then dropped in with the plan to take his run up another level and push hard for the podium. Unfortunately, a couple of bobbles on his switch landings resulted in him needing to dial back his run slightly, albeit still delivering a solid performance finishing in seventh.
Team USA dominated on home snow, with a podium sweep from the American men. Alex Ferreira took the win, making it two from two this season. He was joined on the podium by Hunter Hess in second place and Birk Irving in third.
Earlier this morning the Snowboard Big Air World Cup finals went down, with Lyon Farrell finishing in eighth place in the strong finals field.
Right off the bat Farrell attempted his technical 1800 double nose grab, but a slightly backseat landing hurt his score. Farrell gave the same trick another attempt on his second run and absolutely stomped it, impressing the judges and getting rewarded with a 93.00.
The Big Air format requires an overall score to be generated by combining the scores from two jumps in two different directions of rotation. Farrell dropped into his third and final run and attempted a frontside 1800 weddle grab to tail grab. Unfortunately he slipped out on the landing, so even with his huge 93.00 from his second run, his combined score totalled 111.00, an eighth place finish.
Hiroaki Kunitake of Japan took the win today, marking his first World Cup win of his career. Sam Vermaat of The Netherlands claimed the first World Cup podium of his career, finishing in second place and 2018 snowboard slopestyle Olympic champion Redmond Gerard of the USA rounded out the podium in third.
The snow sports action continues tonight with Alice Robinson (Queenstown, 22) racing in the Val D’Isere Downhill World Cup in France and tomorrow morning with Ruby Star Andrews (Queenstown, 18) and Luca Harrington (Wānaka, 19) dropping into the Freeski Big Air World Cup finals in Colorado.
Men’s Freeski Halfpipe – https://www.fis-ski.com/DB/general/results.html?sectorcode=FS&raceid=16220
Men’s Snowboard Big Air – https://www.fis-ski.com/DB/general/results.html?sectorcode=SB&raceid=21348