Press release September 8 2017
The Remarkable’s Ski Area Queenstown
Kiwi’s shine on their home mountain at the North Face Frontier 4* competition, led by an all New Zealand podium in the Mens Ski Category, and a final tally of 7 medals including 3 golds.
The New Zealand mens skiers made a statement to the world on their home mountain, with Hank Bilous taking top spot followed by compatriots Sam Lee who was the 2016 champion in 2nd place and Matthew Sweet in 3rd. I think with a full New Zealand podium it just shows the home town advantage, it’s such a great field of guys so for us to come out with a Kiwi top 3 I think shows the benefit of skiing this area so much said Bilous.
Matthew Sweet who was riding in his first senior competition after progressing through the junior ranks also highlighted just how much a kiwi podium meant to him riding in his first 4* event it’s so good knowing that the Kiwi boys can hang with the rest of the world.
The great performances didn’t stop there for the Kiwi’s, with Jessica Hotter backing up her impressive run in the 2*, to take 2nd place behind Laia Castellarnau Plaza of Spain who continued her impressive form in the category making it 1st in both the 2* and 4*. Rounding out the podium was yet another New Zealander, Wanaka’s Anna Smoothy.
The Kiwis also featured on the podium in the Snowboard Categories with Roland Morley-Brown (NZL) and Maria Kuzma (NZL) taking gold in the mens and womens categories respectively. The win somewhat of a home coming for Kuzma, “It means a lot to be here, because I haven’t been in New Zealand for two years, and being part of the Audi Quattro Winter Games, it just makes the competition that much more prestigious and taking 1st places means that much more”.
The win catching Roland Morley-Brown a little off guard “I didn’t come into the event with that as a goal or expectation, I just had fun and took it as it came and it all worked out!”
Head Judge Dion Newport was delighted with the event, following some challenging weather patens earlier in the week “The NFF continues to prove that it is a top 3 qualifier in the world, which is shown by the strong international turnout. It also cements the head-start athletes can get on the FWQ tour. The kiwis showed they know how to ski our conditions, by dominating the strongest field we have seen. It was one of the most outstanding snowboard displays we have seen, and the skiers charged as they always do.”
1st Hank Bilous (NZL)
2nd Sam Lee (NZL)
3rd Matthew Sweet (NZL)
1st Laia Castellarnau Plaza (ESP)
2nd Jessica Hotter (NZL)
3rd Anna Smoothy (NZL)
1st Maria Kuzma (NZL)
2ndManuela Mandl (AUT)
3rd Nuria CastÃ¡n BarÃ³n (ESP)
1st Roland Morley-Brown (NZL)
2nd Christopher Galvin (USA)
3rd Stephen Denmark (USA)