Spectacular tricks at Queenstown rail jam

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Slopestyle World Cup champion free-skier James Woods (main photo) took out Queenstown’s annual rail jam yesterday (Saturday).

Briton Woods, 21, snatched the Parklife Invitational best male skier title from two-time winner Gus Kenworthy of the US.

More than 4,000 people turned out for the rail jam and motocross demonstration at Queenstown Recreation Ground.

The crowd watched as some of the world’s top freeskiers and snowboarders went head-to-head on a specially-built 36-metre long snow ramp and park feature.

Dutch skier Isabelle Hanssen took out top female skier for the second year in a row, while top female boarder was claimed by Christy Prior – sitting fourth in the world in slopestyle with her eyes firmly fixed on competing in the Sochi Winter Games.

Pro snowboarder Nick Brown won the men’s event.

Organised by Queenstown ski firm NZSki, the event was also part of the Audi Quattro Winter Games this year.

Remarkables ski area manager Ross Lawrence says: “It was an absolutely awesome show and the standard of competition was intense.

“It’s great to be able to bring a taste of the Remarks to town and awesome to see such a great turnout.

“We’ve got some amazing home-grown freestyle talent here in our backyard and it’s fantastic to see them going head-to-head with some of the best in the world.

“The crowd loved every minute of it and the atmosphere was electric.”

Rupert Patterson took out honours for best ski trick and Mitch Kirby for best snowboard trick. Snowboard Sam Christie was another showcasing his skills, throwing a board black slide into a 270 (bottom right).

Entertaining the crowd in between heats were freestyle motocross champions Brenton Drager (bottom lef), Ryan Brown and Kiwi Mitch McHardy – some of the hottest FMX bikers in Australasia.