Jamie Anderson takes slopestyle opener
CARDRONA, New Zealand — Jumps were shut down and the entire men’s competition canceled because of the heavy fog, but Jamie Anderson persevered.
The X Games champion and South Lake Tahoe resident pushed through fog and a nine-hour competition day to snag a season opening slopestyle victory at the FIS Snowboard World Cup in Cardrona, part of the New Zealand Audi Quattro Games.
“Today has been just wonderful,” Anderson said. “I’m so thankful it worked out and that everyone was patient with the earth — it’s just a part of the journey.”
Anderson, who also won the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix World Cup at Copper Mountain last January, scored a huge 94.75 on her first of two runs and was able to take a victory lap for the win.
Her win was vital in the U.S.A.’s quest to maximize quota spots for the Olympic debut of slopestyle snowboarding in Sochi. Anderson was the only American in the women’s finals on Sunday.
Continual postponements of women’s qualifying heats and finals pushed the event until late afternoon Monday.
When the finals eventually did go down, the third kicker on the course was shut down due to weather conditions. A wall ride, rail set, pole jam and two-kicker line remained open.
Anderson’s winning run consisted of backside tail tap on the wall ride, backside tailslide down the rail, 50/50 to backside out on the pole jam and switch backside 540 indy and backside 540 mute on the kicker line.
“I just wanted to land a run and do well but I wasn’t totally obsessed with winning,” Anderson said. All of us had to deal with the weather, which was quite challenging, but we all rode really well.”
The men weren’t so lucky.
The men’s competition was canceled after wind and fog plagued the event all weekend. U.S. Snowboarding’s Eric Willett of Breckenridge, Colo., won his qualifying heat on Sunday.
Action resumes next weekend with the opening halfpipe event of the FIS Snowboard World Cup.
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