its not illegal to copy/paste text like this is it?
American teen freeskiing sensation, Steele Spence now leads the Rip Curl Freeski Pro after taming the critical Sportwool Terrain Park at Mount Hotham – Australia’s powder capital.
In a new direction for Freeski competition, the Sportwool Terrain Park was located in the steep Race Gully track, with amazing pitch and elevation. Designed by former Olympic and World Cup aerialist Nick Cleaver, the Terrain Park resembled a skateboard fun park with critical spine, see-saw, quarter pipe, and numerous rails and ramps to grind and launch from at high speed. The course was the most innovative course ever unveiled in Australia.
The second of three disciplines in this year’s Rip Curl Freeski Pro, the Sportwool Terrain Park elimination rounds and final were staged very late yesterday (Monday August 5th) ahead of looming poor weather conditions.
Utilising a lay-over weather day today (Tuesday August 6th), only the LIFE SAVERS Half Pipe discipline remains for the strong international field to topple the exuberant 19 year-old Steel Spence.
Based in the glamorous North American snowfields of Aspen (Colorado, USA), Spence negotiated the steep course with style, nailing all tricks in the crucial one-run final. Backing-up from a close second in the Ansell Big Air, the placing moved Spence into the overall lead – ahead of Japan’s Makoto Kondo.
Asked about the Mount Hotham conditions after the Sportwool Terrain Park final, an excited Spence remarked 'I just love Australia….that’s it!'.
Last year’s Rip Curl Freeski Pro champion, Chris Ebbern was the biggest mover in the twenty four man field late yesterday behind Spence. A committed final run took the Canadian to a close second in the Sportwool Terrain Park. Now situated in overall fifth position, Ebbern is now in the running for back-to-back title victories.
The Rip Curl Freeski Pro women’s division is also heading for a huge climax, with Japan’s Tomo Kojima and Perisher (NSW) competitor Zoe Booth sharing the overall lead after the Sportwool Terrain Park.
In a dramatic turn-around, Kojima, the clear winner of the Ansell Big Air discipline slipped to fourth position in the Terrain Park. Booth, in contrast, bounced back from a fourth in the Big Air to champion the Sportwool Terrain Park. Australian Mogul Team? Member, Nicole Lewis (Mt Buller), placed consistently in both divisions to now sit in overall third – well in contention for the Rip Curl Freeski Pro title.
Overall event rankings after Discipline #2 --Sportwool Terrain Park -
1. Steele Spence (USA)
2. Makoto Kondo (Japan)
3. Andrea Berchtold (Perisher, NSW)
4. Robbie Richards (Mount Hotham, Vic)
Equal 1st. Tomo Kojima (Japan)
Equal 1st. Zoe Booth (Perisher, NSW)
3. Nicole Lewis (Mount Buller, Vic)
4. Hannah Fischer (Perisher, NSW)
Following today’s poor weather conditions, clearing skies are predicted over the next two days, for the third and final discipline of the event – the LIFE SAVERS Half Pipe.