What and exciting contest it was at the Copper Mountain Half Pipe for the ladies on ski's.
Though Sildaru qualified for finals in second behind PyeongChang 2018 Olympic gold medallist Cassie Sharpe (CAN), anyone who saw the 16-year-old Estonian’s runs in qualifiers knew that with just a couple of small adjustments she would be challenging for top spot on the podium.
On Friday she put those adjustments into practice, putting down three stomped runs that all scored 89.00 points or higher. The highlight of the three was her near-flawless second run, that featuring back-to-back 900s to start things off and a switch left-side 900 safety on her last hit that earned her a score of 93.00 and her first halfpipe World Cup victory.
“I didn’t really expect to win today at all,” said Sildaru after awards, “These girls (Sharpe and third place Brita Sigourney) are skiing so well and have inspired me so much, and I haven’t been skiing halfpipe so much - the last time was two-and-a-half months ago in New Zealand - so I’m pretty stoked about the result today.”
Sharpe pushed hard to top Sildaru with her last run, stomping a huge left-side 1080 tail grab on the last hit, but a few small bobbles in the middle of the pipe meant she would have to settle for a score of 90.50 and second place.
“Kelly is a fierce competitor,” Sharpe acknowledged from the finish area, “She’s out here winning slopestyle and winning pipe and she’s got the skills and the tricks to keep landing on top of the podium. Me and the rest of the girls have got to keep stepping up our game and grabbing our skis and going big if we want to get back on top.”
Sigourney finished the day in third with a score of 88.00, giving her her first podium at Copper in almost five years.
- Kelly Sildaru - Left 900 Tail, Right 900 Mute, Left 540 Mute, Left Alley-Oop 540 Tail, Right Alley-Oop Tail, Right 720 Tail, Switch Left 900 Safety.
- Cassie Sharpe - Right 900 Tail, Left 900 Safety, Right 700 Safety, Switch Left 360 Mute, Straight Air Truck Driver, Left 1080 Tail.
- Brita Sigourney - Left Alley-Oop Japan, Left 900 Tail, Left Alley-Oop 540 Safety, Left 540 Safety, Right 700 Mute.