New Zealand has once again secured a stop on the prestigious FIS World Cup circuit, with Snow Sports New Zealand hosting the LG FIS Snowboard World Cup Half Pipe at Cardrona Alpine Resort in Lake Wanaka on September 6 - 7.
The event will feature some of the world’s top snowboarding talent in the first event of the 2008-09 FIS World Cup calendar.
The LG FIS Snowboard World Cup takes place in 20 venues in 15 countries with over 450 athletes competing in the series. The New Zealand event marks the start of the tour before it heads to South America and then up to the Northern Hemisphere, finishing in Italy in March.
Approximately 100 athletes are expected to compete in the event, which will take place on Cardrona Alpine Resort’s new 22-foot superpipe, built this off-season to host major national and international snowboard and freeski events. The Cardrona superpipe is the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
Ross Palmer, CEO of Snow Sports New Zealand, said hosting the first FIS World Cup Snowboard event of the season brings worldwide attention to New Zealand as a ski and snowboard destination, and as home to some of the world’s top snowboard talent.
“For many of New Zealand’s snowboarders, this is a milestone event in the lead-up to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver,” said Palmer. “And for some of our younger riders, it’s an opportunity to gain experience in an elite-level event.”
Snow Sports New Zealand is also hosting a FIS Continental Cup slopestyle event on September 3 at Cardrona. Part of the Australia-New Zealand Cup series, Continental Cup competitions are one level below World Cup.
It will be the only slopestyle event in the Southern Hemisphere to carry coveted FIS points, and is thus expected to attract a strong field of both domestic and international riders keen to improve their world rankings.