By PHILIP CHANDLER
Queenstown skier Blake Marshall has achieved his season’s goal on the first stop of this year’s Freeride World Tour — a podium finish.
The 26-year-old finished third last weekend at Ordino Arcalis ski resort, in Andorra, and even more amazingly, did so on borrowed skis.
Marshall says the airline he flew in on lost his ski bag.
‘‘Luckily enough, a local kid who skis for the same company as me let me borrow his skis for the competition.’’
He says it was a tough decision to leave New Zealand due to Covid and the resulting travel complications, ‘‘but after this comp it’s made it all worth it’’.
Conditions were tough but, he says, ‘‘I knew the snow was going to be good on my landing, so that’s the main reason I chose [my] line’’.
His prize money, he admits, ‘‘probably pays for the trip from NZ and then a little some, then you have money from sponsors on top of that’’.
Marshall’s off to Austria following another event in Andorra overnight.
‘‘My main goal now is to requalify for the 2022 tour by finishing in the top-10 athletes at the end of the tour.’’
Marshall, who finished sixth on his first season on the tour last year, is an ambassador for Queenstown’s The Remarkables skifield.