Ben Kilner went big down under in yesterday’s World Cup halfpipe competition finishing high in a field stacked with international superstars at the New Zealand Winter Games.
Battling high winds and conditions that were far from ideal, Kilner rode hard to claim 20th place at the Cardrona Alpine Resort outside Queenstown, beating superstars Risto Mattila and Luke Mitriani in the process.
Fellow Brit Dom Harrington – who recently joined Ed on his tour of New Zealand’s club fields - also rode strongly, claiming 28th place, which put him above big names like Arthur Longo and Matthieu Crepel in the rankings. In normal years the World Cup events, organised by the Federation Internationale du Ski (FIS), tend to be quieter affairs than the high-profile TTR-starred comps. However because the FIS looks after qualification for the Olympics, the great and the good of the snowboarding world are now lining up to compete on the World Cup circuit.
The New Zealand Winter Games – as the Kiwis call their leg of the circuit – therefore attracted entries from super-pros like Kazu Kokubo, Iouri Podlatchikov and Shaun White, who took the bronze, silver and gold medals respectively. It’s seriously impressive that our British boys can hold their own against big names like these, especially when you remember that just a few days before Luke Mitriani was standing in second place on the Burton New Zealand Open podium after throwing down double-corks in the pipe.
These results put both Dom Harrington and Ben Kilner in positions where they can be competing for places in next year’s Winter Olympics and we wish them both the best of luck with their ongoing bids for qualification.
Click here for a full list of results from the men’s halfpipe comp.