Play the Game(s)!
An action-packed, all-in, full-throttle Audi quattro Winter Games New Zealand has finally come to a close after 16 days of winter sports competitions including the first FIS World Cups of the season. Always a rad amalgamation of events across a collection of our favourite ski fields at the bottom of the world, this year’s Winter Games New Zealand was without doubt one for the books!
Bigger and better than ever, the Games saw competitors from all over the globe flock to our hometown Wanaka to take a shot at the glory and gain points in the run up to 2018’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea, and the Freeride World Tour later this year.
Showcasing incredible levels of skill, creativity and downright daring skiing and snowboarding, the best athletes in the world made this year’s WGNZ an impressive spectacle to watch!
Slopestyle competitors were met with a creative course over at Cardrona Alpine Resort, NZ, including the Mons Royale bridge feature straight into a quarter pipe which required fast, inventive skiing and snowboarding, and made for some super innovative riding and lines.
In the Freeski Slopestyle Finals big names such as Henrik Harlaut, Nick Goepper, Maggie Voisin and Giulia Tanno were faced with variable conditions and some seriously tough competition.
James ‘Woodsy’ Woods showcased his smooth, technical ability in the rail garden and finished with a clean-as-you-like switch dub 1080 octo grab to take the top spot. 15 year old Czech Kelly Sildaru threw down in her first World Cup event to take 1st with a switch 1080 and more spins and grabs than you could shake a stick at!
With blue bird skies came a fly collection of the world’s finest in the Snowboard Slopestyle Finals and Red Bull athletes Billy Morgan, Judd Henkes and Miyabi Onitsuka were amongst those with their eyes on the prize.
Arguably the cream of the crop, world class athletes Marcus Kleveland and Jamie Anderson snagged 1st place in their disciplines, but it was Kiwi Mons Royale team riders Carlos Garcia Knight and Zoi Sydowski-Synnott who stole the limelight, both taking 3rd in their first World Cup podiums at their home mountain Cardrona Parks NZ.
BLACK SNOW PARTY
Mons Royale hosted another of their famous parties during the Winter Games New Zealand at Wanaka’s Post Office Lane to celebrate their partnership with the Games, as well as their support for Snow Sports NZ in the run up to 2018’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea.
Jamie Anderson was amongst those doing it in style at our Black Snow Party during the Winter Games NZ, with a little bit of help from Audi NZ.
International and Kiwi Slopstyle and Halfpipe stars came down to enjoy complimentary G.H. Mumm Champagne and Corona, as well as an authentic Korean BBQ, whilst local legend PDigsss spun the tunes! Good times and boogies all round!
They nickname the pipe the trenches, and for good reason. The first FIS World Cup event of the season, tensions were running high at the Winter Games NZ at Cardrona as some of the top competitors on the scene battled it out with an outrageous combination of amplitude, style and technical ability.
Huge tricks were thrown by local and international skiers alike in the Freeski Halfpipe Finals at Cardrona Alpine Resort, and New Zealand’s own Beau-James Wells, Miguel and Nico Porteous and Janina Kuzma were amongst the final line up.
A stiff competition all round, Cassie Sharpe threw a silky smooth line through the pipe and Alex Ferreira stomped a masssive run with some huge tricks to take home the top spots on the podium!
There were no half measures at the Snowboard Halfpipe Finals, that’s for sure! Styling their way through the competition, it was a full house for the USA during the women’s with
Kelly Clark and Maddie Mastro joining Chloe Kim (1st) on the podium. In the men’s, Japanese Yuto Totsuka took the top spot frontside 1260 tail and Ayumu Hirano 平野歩夢 stuck their runs whilst the 1st man on earth to land the Switch Backside Triple Cork 1440, Pat Burgener put it down in the men’s!
FWQ: THE NORTH FACE FRONTIER
Starting with a 2* event, followed by a 4* qualifier, The North Face Frontier was nothing short of Remarkable (sorry – not sorry) and The Mons Royale Team took the podiums by storm!
The Freeride World Qualifier events at The Remarkables used the epic natural terrain of the chutes and athletes were out their sending it to get points for the upcoming Freeride World Tour.
Commentated by Sam Smoothy and Tom Brownlee in obscene get up and fancy furs; tight couloirs and charging faces for big airs were the order of the day! The Mons Royale crew were representing and they didn’t let us down!
Hank ‘Big Balls’ Bilious put his nickname to the test and took 1st place in the men’s ski with a tidy display of three massive 360 cliff drops in a row and some tight turns.
Fraser McDougall cited Seb Varlet as a “mad man” after he sent it to the moon with an outrageously huge final air, whilst Anna Smoothy cranked her way into 3rd place in the women’s ski despite almost being attacked by a classic Remarks shark!
The Rad Heidis were in the line up for their first NZ competition and Austrian legend Manuela Mandl cruised into 3rd in the women’s snowboard with some textbook airs and rad turns.