With many teams heading mainly to Argentina, Chile and New Zealand as well as Australia searching for the best possible snow conditions, the Southern Hemisphere Continental Cup races offer a great opportunity for them to test the work done during summer training. They also offer the opportunity for racers to score early season FIS points, which eventually lead to a better starting position in the World Cup and European Cup races.
Four slalom races in Thredbo, Australia opened the Australian New Zealand Cup (ANC). In the first one, it was an all American podium with Will Brandenburg, David Chodounsky and Tim Kelley finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively. The U.S. boys kept finishing on the podium in the remaining three races with the exception of Anton Landherpere (SWE) who won the last slalom.
On the ladies’ side Australia celebrated two victories with promising local talents Greta Small and teammate Lavinia Chrystal winning the first two races. Victory in the last two went to Norwegian Rikke Gasmann-Brott.
The ANC moved onto Coronet Peak, New Zealand, a favorite training spot for World Cup teams. Slovakian Adam Zampa, who scored his first World Cup top 10 last season in Soelden, won the giant slalom race, while Chodounsky scored a remarkable six FIS Points (the minimum possible outside World Cup races) after winning the giant slalom. On the ladies’ side, Wendy Holdener (SUI) won the giant slalom race, while 19 year-old Paula Moltzan (USA) scored a career best 7.80 for winning the slalom. In September, the New Zealand resorts of Cardrona and Mt. Hutt will host the remaining races of the ANC.
On the other side of the Southern Hemisphere, six resorts hosted races as part of the South American Cup (SAC). The Argentinian resort Cerro Catedral staged the first races and the home team had plenty of reason to celebrate. Local favorite Cristian Javier Simari Birkner took home wins in both men’s slaloms while on the ladies’ side Argentinians Salome Bancora and Nicol Gastaldi won the two slaloms and Julietta Quiroga won the giant slalom.
The next scheduled SAC stop was Antillanca, Chile where once again, the locals dominated as Chilean racers Noelle Barahona and Eugenio Claro won the respective giant slaloms, with Argentinian’s Julietta Quiroga and French Geoffrey Mattei claiming the slalom wins.
In Valle Nevado at the Chilean National Championships, Bancora won the slalom and the giant slalom races and teammate Luca Ricou won the men’s giant slalom. The slalom title went to Belgian skier Benjamin Gardet. In super-G Russian Valentina Golenkova and German Josef Ferstl clocked the fastest times.
Next up were two giant slalom races in El Colorado, Chile where Russian Elena Yakovishina and Frenchman Guillaume Grand set the pace for the rest of the field. The first race held in La Parva, Chile saw Norwegian Sebastian-Foss Solevaag take home the slalom victory, while on the ladies’ side Bancora continued her success winning once again.
The first SAC speed race was also in La Parva. Josef Ferstl (GER) took home the victory and the valuable minimum six FIS points. The ladies’ downhill, ladies’ and men’s super-G and ladies’ and men’s super combined events are scheduled for later in the month.
— FIS Alpine