After advancing to the 48 men’s knock out finals with the fifth fastest time in the qualification session, the 18-year-old finished second in the first heat, which put him through to the quarter finals.
With each heat’s top three progressing to the next round, Hughes’ third place in the quarter finals rewarded him with a spot in the semi-finals.
However, a fifth place in this round meant that he was not eligible to race in the day’s medal round and instead went through to the support final, which determined seventh to twelfth places.
Hughes’ 11th overall place still earned him 240 World Cup points, enough to create a 134 point gap between himself and Italian Omar Visintin, who was third overall today behind the winning American Trevor Jacob and Stian Sivertzen from Norway in the silver medal position.
Two other Australians, NSWIS rider Cameron Bolton was 18th after finishing fifth in the quarter finals, and NSWIS athlete Daniel Morrissy was 40th from a fifth in the first knock out final.
Snowboard halfpipe gold medallist Torah Bright continued her quest to compete in three events at next month’s Sochi Olympic Winter Games in Russia with a 13th place today.
Bright went in to the first knock out race, a quarter final, as the ninth fastest in qualifying but her fourth place prevented her from advancing to the semis.
The final was won by Canadian Dominique Maltais, with Bulgarian Alexandra Jekova in second and American Lindsey Jacobellis third.
Australia’s Belle Brockhoff, another NSWIS athlete, placed 24th and did not start the finals despite qualifying.
The second stage of the double header will be contested tonight, Australian time.