North Americans rock the ski halfpipe at Junior Worlds
LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (August 29, 2010) - Canadian Noah Bowman and American Britta Sigourney (Carmel, CA) were crowned as the first FIS Junior World Champions in the freestyle ski halfpipe today as North Americans swept both podiums.
A heavy overnight snowfall delayed the start while the pipe was cleared, but by 1:00pm competition was underway for a two-run final.
Bowman threw down the run of the day in his first run, which in hindsight was good planning on his part. A huge left 5 mute into a right 7 tail, into a switch left 7 mute, right 5 reverse mute, left 9 tail, all perfectly executed earned him 40.5. American Walter Wood (Snowmass Village, CO) and Canadian Kristopher Atkinson took second and third respectively.
Stop-start conditions and eventual dense fog saw the men's finals being decided on just one run causing disappointment among competitors who didn't land their first run.
"I wasn't too worried about the weather," said Bowman. "I did a safer run for my first run and was planning to do a harder one second time round but luckily I scored well on that first run."
The women's event was one rider short of completion and American Devin Logan (W. Dover, VT) waited over two hours for a gap in the fog to complete her second run. However, Mother Nature wasn't on her side and the women's event also reverted to a one-run final. While Sigourney had put down her highest scoring run in her second run, her first attempt was also enough to earn her first place with 41.1 with a left 5, alleyoop, straight tail mute, alleyoop 5 finishing with a straight 7.
"It was a little challenging out there at first with the pipe being stuck in a big cloud but I was really glad we got to do the competition," said Sigourney. "I'm stoked with my results and it was too bad Devin didn't get to do her second run after waiting so long."
American Hannah Haupt took second while teammate Devin Logan rounded out the podium in third. Fellow American Blake Peterson (Park City, UT) landed just off the podium in fourth.
At the end of competition the USA was announced as recipients of the Marc Hodler Cup as the most successful nation in the freestyle ski disciplines "We're excited and really proud to have represented the USA the way we did," Cheryl Pearson, USA freestyle programme manager. "The kids stayed focussed and stuck to their game plans throughout the competition and were in the top six in every event. We'd also like to thank the organising committee for running such an excellent event."
The final event of the 2010 FIS Snowboard&Freestyle Junior World Championships is the snowboard big air on Tuesday 31 August with live music and the official closing ceremony. For further information and full results visit www.juniorworldsnz.co.nz.
Image: Noah Bowman flies to a Junior Worlds title. (Bel Jones)