The US Grand Prix also doubles as a FIS World Cup event counting towards Olympic qualification. Unfortunately, wild weather featuring high winds and snow forced the cancellation of the men’s Slopestyle Skiing event which was to feature Russ Henshaw and Ryley Lucas. The extremely heavy conditions led to the men’s Snowboard Halfpipe and Slopestyle qualification rounds to be abandoned.
In total, four top ten performances where achieved by the Australian athletes across three different disciplines.
The highlight of the event was 16-year-old NSWIS Snowboarder Tess Coady placing sixth in the slopestyle final in her first ever World Cup. Jess Rich was unable to advance to the eight woman final, finishing in 21st place.
VIS 2017 X-Games Gold Medallist Scotty James was the leading Australian male in the men’s Snowboard Halfpipe, finishing in sixth place. NSWIS riders Kent Callister and Nathan Johnstone also had good runs in the difficult conditions placing eighth and eleventh respectively.
In the women’s Snowboard Halfpipe, Holly Crawford made a positive start to her first event of the season finishing in eighth place, just missing advancing to the final by two places. Emily Arthur was also in action with a 14th place qualification performance.
The Snowboard Halfpipe athletes now head to PyeongChang, Korea, for the Olympic Test Event World Cup, with the Slopestyle Snowboarders and Skiers off to World Cup events in Quebec City, Canada.
IMAGE: Tess Coady in nicer weather conditions at Mammoth at the start of the week! © Tess Coady Instagram