Some of the world’s top freestyle skiers and riders pulled out their best ‘tricks’ in front of thousands of spectators at the Parklife Invitational rail jam in downtown Queenstown last night (Saturday August 17).
Competitors dropped down a specially-built 36m-long snow ramp, going head to head on a purpose-built stair feature set up by The Remarkables terrain park crew, and covered by snow trucked down from the ski area.
Entertaining the 4,000-strong crowd in between heats were freestyle motocross champions Brenton Drager, Ryan Brown and Kiwi Mitch McHardy – some of the hottest FMX bikers in Australasia – who drew gasps from the crowd with thrills-packed FMX demos.
Held as part of the Audi quattro Winter Games, the rail jam comp saw 21-year-old British freeskier James Woods, current slopestyle World Cup champion, snatch the Parklife Invitational best male skier title from two-time winner Gus Kenworthy of the USA.
Spectacular tricks and spills came from international pro snowboarder and title winner Nick Brown, while Dutch skier Isabelle Hanssen took out top female skier for the second year in a row, and top female boarder was claimed by Christy Prior, currently fourth in the world in slopestyle with her eyes firmly fixed on competing in the Sochi Winter Games.
Rupert Patterson took out honours for Best Trick (Ski) and Mitch Kirby for Best Trick (Snowboard).
The Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence said they were delighted to have delivered a fantastic event that had everyone in town buzzing.
“It was an absolutely awesome show and the standard of competition was intense,” he said. “It’s great to be able to bring a ‘taste’ of the Remarks to town and awesome to see such a great turnout.
“We’ve got some amazing home-grown freestyle talent here in our backyard and it’s fantastic to see them going head-to-head with some of the best in the world.
“The crowd loved every minute of it and the atmosphere was electric.”
Sponsor support for the night included Red Bull, Skinny Mobile, Corona, Jim Beam, The Find, St Goliath and Rip Curl Clothing.