TWO Queenstown skiers made the most of home advantage by winning titles at the New Zealand National Alpine Championships.
Taylor Rapley, 21, had a double success at the championships – held at Queenstown Coronet Peak ski field on Thursday and Friday.
Ski queen: Taylor Rapley
The skier won both the New Zealand women’s national giant slalom and slalom titles, while 20-year-old Queenstowner Adam Barwood won the New Zealand men’s slalom title.
The ski competition event attracted world class skiers from around the globe. They race for world ranking points and medals but only New Zealanders are eligible to win the national titles and trophies.
Rapley, who was the 2011 overall New Zealand women’s champion, says: “It’s the first time I have event won the national giant slalom title.
“The new course in Rocky Gully this year was great and has a lot of variety with some steep and some flat terrain, so it suits everyone.”
Rapley finished 17th overall the 38-strong giant slalom field with a time of in 1mins 50.88secs. Austrian Jessica Depauli won the race itself in 1.44.65.
In the slalom, Rapley finished 18th in 1.43.75. Queenstowner Melissa Jones, 18, took third in the nationals with 1.51.06 – skiing below her current slalom points. Swede Wendy Holdener won the race itself in 1.37.70.
Barwood finished 23rd overall in the slalom, the first-placed Kiwi, in a time of 1.34.69.
“It was a tough race with a world class field and I was very happy to be in first place on the podium," Barwood says. "It’s always good to get a podium result but particularly skiing at home in the nationals.”
Austrian Manuel Feller was first in 1.30.07. Ben Griffin, 25, from Ohakune, won the New Zealand giant slalom title with his 17th place overall finish. German Fritz Dopfer took the overall honours in 1.42.28.
New Zealand alpine coach Nils Coberger says there was a high finish rate and several young Kiwi skiers achieved stand-out results in the 20 points range.
“It’s great to see these young guys making results like this at the national champs. Some of the young up-and-coming women skiers also put in some good results.”
The National Super G will be held at Mt Hutt next week to decide the overall national men’s and women’s titles.
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