The event kicked off at 9pm AEDT in Val Thorens, France, with Kennedy-Sim the first competitor in the Ladies field, qualifying in 15th place ahead of the first of two finals races that start tonight.
Head coach Shawn Fleming said despite a few mistakes, Sami skied impressively and gave herself the best chance for the remained of the weekend.
“She skied the top and middle sections very smoothly and with lots of confidence,” Fleming said.
“Entering the bottom section, she ended up a little off line which cost her almost 1.7 seconds but she scrubbed up speed well enough to qualify.”
Kennedy-Sim said that despite a few minor mistakes, she was happy with her efforts.
“It was a tough day with the one qualifying deciding our places in two races, but it’s a new day tomorrow and I’m looking forward to the fight,” she said after the race.
In the Male field, Grimus put in a smooth performance, qualifying in 21st place to get himself in the finals as well.
“Anton was 7th at the first split and maintained his speed through the middle 8th, however had a mistake at the very bottom of the course,” said Fleming.
“It cost him speed through the last turns and to the finish jump, but good enough to keep him racing for the next two days.
It was a perfect way to start the season, with a slightly redesigned course with more technical turns and jump combinations possible.
Fleming said the perfect weather and snow conditions gave his two Aussies the perfect chance to succeed and gain some crucial points for Olympic qualification.
“It’s a new mini competition format, consisting of 6 races in 4 different venues, so it puts a lot of pressure for the first race than previous years,” he explained.
“It was really critical to get them both qualifying and start the season with some good momentum and they got the job done so now we look forward to the finals ahead.”
Sami and Anton will start their finals tonight from 11pm AEDT.
More information and scores can be found at http://www.fis-ski.com/freestyle-skiing/ski-cross/events-and-places/event=39084/race=9485/