The North Face Comes on Board as Title Sponsor for the 2011 Freeski Open of New Zealand

Event Registration Now Open

(Wanaka, New Zealand – 30 June 2011) – Organisers of the Freeski Open of New Zealand announced today that The North Face, the world’s premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, have stepped up and signed on as title sponsor of the event, scheduled this year from 1 to 18 September. Founding and former title sponsor, Volkl International, remain on board as presenting sponsor of the event.

“We’re stoked to be taking the lead sponsorship position. The event is a perfect fit for the brand,” said Stephen Winnacott, Marketing Manager for The North Face. “The event has incredible potential for growth. With the great work of the event organisers, our support and that of the athletes, we plan to take this event to another level, placing it alongside world class freeskiing events in the northern hemisphere.”

Establishing itself as the biggest event of its kind in the southern hemisphere and attracting athletes from across the globe, the The North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand, presented by Volkl, is recognised on the international freeski World Tour alongside the world’s biggest freeski events.

“A goal of Freeskiing NZ has always been to provide a proving ground for our athletes against the best in world in our own backyard,” said Freeskiing NZ’s Hamish Acland. “We also recognise that in providing an event such as The North Face Freeski Open, we have the ability to promote NZ to the world as a premier training and competition destination.”

The seventh annual North Face Freeski Open, covers three major freeski disciplines: slopestyle, halfpipe and big mountain. This year the slopestyle and halfpipe events will be held at Snow Park.

“We are excited to be returning to Snow Park,” said Acland. “They have recently upgraded to a 22 foot halfpipe and have entered into an exclusive partnership with John Melville of Development Snow Parks.” Melville has signed on to manage, build and maintain the Snow Park NZ terrain park, the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere.

The freeski competition is an AFP silver event. Any AFP top 20 rider can apply for invitation for direct entry to halfpipe and/or slopestyle finals.

The big mountain competition is a Freeride World Qualifying event and will be held in Shadow Basin/Alta Chutes at the Remarkables and/or the Motatapu Chutes at Treble Cone, depending on snow conditions at the time.

Previous Big Mountain competition experience is required to compete in the Qualifier, otherwise conditional entry can be granted through contacting competition management.

Invitations for the finals will be extended to any athlete who podiums at the Chill Series, Export Xtreme or was ranked in the top 20 on the 2011 Freeride World Qualifying tour.

A handful of International pre-qualified riders will set the benchmark giving the 140 amateur and professional athletes the chance to prove their worth on the world stage. Entrants will battle through qualifiers for a spot in the finals and their share of the $18,000 purse.

Those wishing to compete should be aware that registration fills very quickly and is on a first come, first served basis. Deadline for slopestyle and halfpipe registration is 1 August and for big mountain is 14 August, but may fill before then. Registration is $100 for one discipline, $180 for two or $250 for all three. To register, log on to

The North Face Freeski Open schedule:

1 September – Slopestyle

2 September – Slopestyle

3 September – Halfpipe

14-16 September – Freeride Qualifiers

17-18 September – Freeride Finals

Looking to get more bang for your buck? Come early and take part in the 100% Pure NZ Winter Games freeski competition, an AFP Silver and FIS sanctioned Super Continental Cup event that will take place 15-20 August. Enter online at

Those seeking more information about the event can log on to The North Face Freeski Open official website ( or can find the event on Facebook (

About the Association of Freeski Professionals World Tour (Slopestyle and Halfpipe)

Event rankings are based upon course construction, prize money, media exposure and quality of competitor field and determined by the Executive Committee of the AFP. Final points for each event are determined after the start list is confirmed and the strength field based on AFP standings is weighted into consideration. The Best four results are used for halfpipe and the best three results for Slopestyle and Big Air to determine the World Champions.

About the Freeride World Tour (Big Mountain)

After three action-packed years the Freeride World Tour 2011 continues to evolve. Two new stages, Engadin St. Moritz, Switzerland and Fieberbrunn, Austria, have been added to the regular FWT events in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France, Kirkwood, USA, Sochi, Russia and Verbier, Switzerland. Without a doubt, the FWT 2011 events at some of the world's premier ski resorts make the upcoming season the strongest tour to date. So follow the world's best freeskiers and snowboarders as they put everything on the line in their quest for the title of World Freeride Champion 2011. The New Zealand Freeride Series is comprised of three qualifying events for the FWT, The North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand is a three-star event, the K2 Big Mountain Chill Series at Craigieburn and Mt Olympus are both two-star events, and the Export Gold Xtreme at Whakapapa, Mt Ruapehu is a four-star event.