Cardrona resort on New Zealand's South Island will host the first stop on the 2008/2009 LG FIS Snowboard World Cup tour on September 6. The resort is expecting over one hundred athletes from eighteen countries with athletes taking to the twenty two foot halfpipe, the only one of it's kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
The world's number one halfpipe snowboarder, Ryo Aono from Japan will join world number two Swiss Iouri Podladtchivoc with New Zealand riders Kendall Brown, James Hamilton and Ben Stewart in the mens event. Females are well represented with the world tied number ones Swistzerland's Manuela Pesko and China's Liu Jiayu and number three, Australian Holly Crawford with Juilanne Bray representing the host country of New Zealand.
The FIS World Cup event comes hot off the heels of the FIS Contintental Cup Slopestyle held at Cardona Alpine Resort on September 3. The first event of its kind in Australasia saw Roger Kleivdal from Norway take honours with Queenstown rider, Nick Hyne, coming in second in the qualifiers. Sarka Pancochova from Czech Republic won the women's event qualifiers. Bad weather has postponed the finals but watch this space for event updates.
It's certainly a week of the world's best in New Zealand with FIS athletes beginning their quest for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler as they compete to qualify on the world circuit.