This week, Aussie Ski and Snowboard athletes went up against world class athletes in the FIS Ski X and SBX races at Hotham under sunny blue spring skies.
An international field with of some of the world's best athletes, including the majority of the Canadian Ski X team plus other athletes from Norway and Korea, have been training on Hotham’s international standard Rider X course for the past couple of weeks and competed in the FIS races against Australia’s best riders as well as up and coming talent.
Across both Ski and Snowboard X disciplines, the field included:
- 14 Winter Olympic Game starts
- 2 Winter Olympic Game medals (gold and silver from Sochi)
- 6 World Championship podiums (2 of which belong to our own Alex Pullin)
- 82 World Cup podiums.
Two time World Champion Snowboard X athlete and Hotham ambassador, Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, claimed first place in both Snowboard X races over the Norwegian champion Stian Sivertzen.
Australian Ski X champion Anton Grimus claimed first place in the FIS Ski X Australia New Zealand Cup (ANC) race over Chris Del Bosco and Brady Leman from the Canadian team, while Leman hit back taking first place in the second FIS race. The Canadian team are arguably the strongest Ski X team in the world right now, with Leman and Del Bosco sharing nine World Cup wins, 29 World Cup podiums and Olympic finals between them.
In the women’s race one, Australian champion Sami Kennedy-Sim took first place over Canadian world ranked skiers Kelsy Serwa, who boasts eight World Cup wins and a Silver medal from the Sochi Olympics, and Australian up and coming Zali Offord. In the women's second race, Serwa came back to beat Kennedy-Sim evening up the score.
“Because of the high level of competition in these races, younger up and coming athletes have a bigger opportunity to score more points toward their overall world ranking” said Scott Sanderson, Mt Hotham Event Manager.
“FIS points are the basis of most national federation qualifying systems for selecting athletes for World Cup and Olympic events”.
Hotham provides world class Rider X training facilities aswell as development opportunities for up and coming riders, with these FIS races as the perfect example.
Image of Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin by Mark Tsukasov