Words & photos by Dan Carr
The weather gods were so stoked with how the slopestyle competition went down yesterday, they decided to stay and watch the pipe comp today too.
After the freeskiing insanity that was the New Zealand Open slopestyle competition, the pipe competition today had a lot to live up to. Another gloriously blue day greeted the athletes, along with a beautifully shaped pipe, albeit with one hard wall and one soft wall.
The girls kicked things off in style with some of the riders demonstrating just how versatile they can be. Fresh off her slopestyle victory, Canada’s Dania Assaly boosted her whole run and picked up third spot. In second place was Anais Caradeux from France who sacrificed a little amplitude and replaced it with a lot of style and technicality. Her solid run even enticed a little shriek of delight from the otherwise normally quiet French girl. First place though went to none other than Wanaka local, Janina Kuzma, last week's winner of the New Zealand Open Big Mountain competition. It seems she is just as at home with her park skis on as her powder skis.
Dania Assaly – 2 podiums in 2 days
Dania Assaly (3rd), Janina Kuzma (1st), Anais Caradeux (2nd)
1) Janina Kuzma - 81.4
2) Anais Caradeux - 80.8
3) Dania Assaly - 78.6
4) Shuri Terada - 68.0
5) Bridie-Anne Read - 61.8
6) Amy Sheehan - 34.8
The men’s pipe comp didn’t have the same epic number of entries as the previous day’s competition and none of the riders were pre-qualified for the finals. A two-run qualification picked the eight riders for the showdown.
Matt Margetts – GTSing
Much the same as yesterday, there was a great vibe about the competition as the DJ pumped out the Reggae music. “The comp was run for the riders, which is like it should be” said Taylor Seaton. Certainly one reason why it felt more like a jam session than a contest with thousands of dollars up for grabs.
Byron Wells was boosting as usual but he failed to put his run down in the qualifiers.
Taylor Seaton making it easy for me. Switch first hit oozing style.
What would a pipe comp write-up be without a photo of Lyndon Sheehan going huge?
Actually, lets make it 2 photos.
AJ Kemppainen didn’t go as big as everyone else but the technicality of the Finnish skier’s tricks earned him a solid 3rd place.
Walter Wood knows how to do a 1260
I wonder if this guy managed to get a shot without a photographer in it?
We haven’t seen Jossi ski a lot of pipe recently but I assure you he has forgotten nothing. 1st place in front of the home crowd.
AJ Kemppainen (3rd), Jossi Wells (1st), Taylor Seaton (2nd)
1) Jossi Wells - 84.6
2) Taylor Seaton USA - 81.6
3) AJ Kemppainen - 80.0
4) David Wise - 76.4
5) Lyndon Sheehan - 71.2
6) Tucker Perkins - 66.4
7) Thomas Krief - 62.0
8) Walter Wood - 24.8
9) Matt Margetts CAN - 18.4
10) Gus Kenworthy - 18.2