2nd Place, Frontier FWQ 4*

from left - me - hank Bilous - Matt sweet

from left - me - hank Bilous - Matt sweet

Mid September already.. faaaar out, when did that happen?

A little over a week ago the Frontier FWQ 4* (NZ Open #neverforget) went down at the Remarkables.  

The event rolled through in true NZ freeride fashion, with an unbelievably well timed storm that saw the venue go from ice skating rink to wind loaded powdery love story.

After using the full weather window we competed on the last possible day, with the next snow storm setting in right as the last rider finished his run.

The organisers did an excellent job running the event smoothly in such a tight window and it was well worth the effort.

photo - Neil Kerr

photo - Neil Kerr

I am stoked on the line I skied, I always try to find something different to what I have skied in the past, because it keeps things interesting!

I put together a few features which I have never looked at before, as well as a couple of classics and although I was fairly untidy in the air and a on few landings, it was a good enough show to slot me into 2nd place, just in front of young gun Matt Sweet (fresh off the JR tour) and behind Hank Bilous, who nailed a pretty huge run containing a bunch of spins and burly airs.

The rest of the crew let loose and went full hoon, skiing some never befores, including a standout long jump (Loooooooong jump) by the Frenchman Sebastien Varlet, which I initially didn’t think was a goer, and have since realised is pure insane genius, despite the huge backslap. The man is a mad scientist, and one to watch.

I’m totally rapt on the result! This sets me up really well for the FWQ season, which I will use a backup alongside the the FWT to give myself the best chance of re qualifying for FWT 2019.

photo - Peter Meecham

photo - Peter Meecham

Finish zone - photo - neil Kerr

Finish zone - photo - neil Kerr

Medals - Kiwi style

Medals - Kiwi style

And the best bit of the day was landing 7 kiwis on the podium across all categories, and all in the events first season as part of the NZ Winter Games!
NZ freeride, how the bloody hell are ya!

Official competition wrap up:


Men’s Ski

1st – Hank Bilous (NZL)

2nd – Sam Lee (NZL)

3rd – Matthew Sweet (NZL)

Women’s Ski

1st – Laia Castellarnau Plaza (ESP)

2nd – Jessica Hotter (NZL)

3rd – Anna Smoothy (NZL)

Women’s Snowboard

1st – Maria Kuzma (NZL)

2nd – Manuela Mandl (AUT)

3rd – Nuria CastΓ‘n BarΓ³n (ESP)

Men’s Snowboard

1st – Roland Morley-Brown (NZL)

2nd – Christopher Galvin (USA)

3rd – Stephen Denmark (USA)