Russ Henshaw and Emilia Wint top slopestyle podium at The North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand
L-R: Jesper Tjäder, Russ Henshaw, Jules Bonnaire. p: Nick Johnson
No one could catch Australian Russ Henshaw as he took the top spot, despite an international field of top freeskiers at The North Face Freeski Open slopestyle at Snow Park. The Aussie nudged out Swedish youngster Jesper Tjäder and Frenchman Jules Bonnaire, who ended up in second and third, respectively. Finland’s Antti Ollila narrowly missed the podium by a mere three points.
“I am super stoked to be able to compete at The North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand this year, after missing out through injury last year,” said Henshaw. “Getting
first here in New Zealand is just the best feeling I have had in a long time.”
On the women’s side of things, US Freeskiing athlete Emilia Wint took home the big win, with Canadian Dara Howell and Kiwi Rose Battersby rounding out the podium. “I am so happy to get third again,” exclaimed Battersby. “This third place is way more rewarding than last year, as the field was far more competitive this year.”
Emilia Wint amidst a winning run. p: Nick Johnson
Other notables from the field include the AFP Overall World Champ Gus Kenworthy, who finished fifth, while competing with a broken wrist. Beau James Wells was the only male New Zealander to make the finals, ending up in eighth. This slopestyle was an AFP gold level event, so be sure to check out the AFP’s website to see how the early season race is shaping up.
Next on the docket at The North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand is the superpipe competition at Snow Park, followed by the big mountain event at The Remarkables resort. Visit nzfreeskiopen.com for more information on the event.
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About the author:
Shay Williams is the Managing Editor of Freeskier Magazine. He loves cheeseburgers, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Sweden. He's likely on a plane right now—first class only.