The eighth day of 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games saw the Freeski athletes flying high in the Big Air at Cardrona Alpine Resort with Americans Joss Christensen and Devin Logan taking the top spots.
Competition amongst the World’s Top Freeskiers was heated with double cork 10’s and 12’s being the call of the day. The first heat saw Gus Kenworthy throwing a double 14 to once again take the lead in his quest to win his third event of the week. The standout in heat two was Joss Christensen’s switch double cork 1080 tail to shift, which scored him 95 points.
The Men’s finals read like a who’s who from Freeskiing with a field heavily dominated by Americans including Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy, David Wise, Nicholas Goepper, and Christopher Laker. New Zealand’s Jossi Wells landed his spot in the finals and the final two were Norway’s Pc Fosse and Switzerland’s Kai Mahler, the youngest in the field at only 15.
The Men went head to head in a knockout format with three runs per round and a final score based on the best two different jumps.
Joss Christensen was the man of the day pulling off the first ever double misty 12 in competition and consistently landing his tricks. At the finish line Christensen said he was surprised to have even made it through to the finals, "My adrenaline’s pumping. I’m stoked. I was feeling a bit beat up after the slopestyle so today’s win is a total surprise. I’m happy to have landed all my tricks. If I hadn’t Kai would have definitely been on top of the podium today".
Ending the day in second was 15-year-old Kai Mahler who was the leader going into the final round with the best trick of the day, a switch double misty 14. He failed to land his jumps in the final round of competition costing him the gold.
Hometown boy, Jossi Wells, will once again grace the podium after taking silver in both slopestyle and halfpipe, his fluidity and control earned him the third place finish.
In the Women’s field AFP Overall World Champion Devin Logan scored a trifecta becoming the winner of all three freeski events, halfpipe, slopestyle and big air. "Logan took the women’s field by 20 points", said head judge Rafael Regazzoni. "She’s been super consistent throughout the week, landing all her tricks and mixing it up with different tricks. Her best tricks today were her rodeo 5 and 7 tailgrab".
America’s Jen Hudak who crashed pretty hard on her second and third run came back in her fourth run to take second.
Up and coming New Zealander Rose Battersby (Taupo) saw her first podium at an international event placing third today. "It’s great to see a kiwi girl coming through and showing huge potential for a spot in Sochi", said judge Victoria Beattie.