One of Australia’s biggest ski exports and future Olympic Gold hopeful for Sochi 2014, Russ Henshaw reigned supreme when he landed the first ever skiing triple cork 1440 in the Southern Hemisphere.
Day one saw the original People’s Choice Big Air event kick off in stunning conditions at Thredbo Alpine Village, with world-class freeskiers performing their most impressive, crowd pleasing tricks off the biggest jump in the Southern Hemisphere built by Thredbo’s renowned park builder Charles Beckinsale.
International Salomon team athlete Dane Tudor (USA) and Jaeden Schneider Clarke (CAN) impressed the local crowd with their flawless style, while Thredbo ambassador and sole female competitor in the event Anna Segal landed 720 tail grabs.
Not to be outdone by their international counterparts, Jindabyne local, Salomon rider Jesse Houghton attempted a massive triple front flip which unfortunately resulted in his early retirement from the day’s competition, whilst 16-year-old youngster Thomas Waddell went big with double flat spins.
“I’ve never seen action like we did today in the Australian mountains. It was a great indication of what the younger riders in this sport can do. It’s the perfect environment for them to up-skill alongside the elite international competitors,” said Ramone Cooper of Ski and Snowboard Australia.
Spectators can expect a huge week of show stopping tricks and freeski progression as we head into the Gold AFP (Association of Freeski Professionals) judged Big Air event, which gives competitors the chance to add points to their overall AFP world tour ranking. The field includes a myriad of international stars including Finland’s AJ Kemppanien, as well as the battle of the brothers between Kiwi duo Jossi and Byron Wells up against local Jindabyne siblings Jordan and Jesse Houghton.
The People’s Choice online public voters also go into the draw to win the ‘Ultimate Winter Prize’ worth over $10,000 including an all-expenses-paid holiday for two to Hakuba, Japan staying at the luxurious Phoenix Hotel, a complete Salomon ski or snowboard package and an all-new GoCam waterproof HD camera.
Saturday night will see the cash prizes awarded to the week’s winners at the Rekorderlig After Party at the Schuss Bar in Thredbo Village, where internationally renowned disco-house DJ’s Flight Facilities will bring together athletes, tobogganers and snow for the official closing party!
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