Competitors brought their A-game to the finals of the FIS Australia New Zealand Cup Freeski halfpipe presented by Cardrona Alpine Resort at the QRC Winter Games NZ, fuelled by Forsyth Barr today.
The judges had their work cut out for them all day long with competitors pushing their limits to earn their spot on the podium. Halfpipe judging criteria is based on trick variety, difficulty and execution as well as the amplitude a competitor can gain above the wall of the 22ft high pipe.

In the women’s Freeski field, top qualifier Eileen Gu (CHN) had victory in her sights right from her very first run with a score of 88.00. Valeriya Demidova (RUS), second-place qualifier, was once again hot on Eileen’s heels, lifting her first-run score of 85.00 to 86.66 on run two but couldn’t match the Chinese athlete on technical difficulty or amplitude and would finish her day in second place.

Eileen Gu
Eileen Gu

 “This is the first time I’ve skied pipe since December so every time in the pipe is about going as hard as I can and having fun. I’m just very happy,” said 15-year-old Eileen after the competition.
Zoe Atkin (GBR) put down a solid second run, incorporating a tidy switch combo in the middle, to land herself in third place.

Top Runs

1. Eileen Gu (CHN) – Right 540 lead tail, Left 540 Japan, Right 720 safety, Switch left 720 Japan, Left alley-oop 180 safety.

2. Valeriya Demidova (RUS) – Left alley-oop 180 seatbelt, Left flair safety, Right 540 mute, Left 540 mute, Right 720 safety, Switch right alley-oop 540.

3. Zoe Atkin (GBR) –Right 540 safety, Left 720 mute, Switch right 540, Switch left 540, Switch right 360 tail.