Skip to main content

Recap The North Face Frontier 4*

Kiwi’s shine on their home mountain at the North Face Frontier 4* competition, led by an all New Zealand podium in the Men’s Ski Category, and a final tally of 7 medals including 3 golds.

The New Zealand men’s skiers made a statement to the world on their home mountain, with Hank Bilous taking top spot followed by compatriots Sam Lee who was the 2016 champion in 2nd place and Matthew Sweet in 3rd. “I think with a full New Zealand podium it just shows the home town advantage, it’s such a great field of guys so for us to come out with a Kiwi top 3 I think shows the benefit of skiing this area so much” said Bilous.

Photo: Pete Meecham

Matthew Sweet who was riding in his first senior competition after progressing through the junior ranks  also highlighted just how much a kiwi podium meant to him riding in his first 4* event “it’s so good knowing that the Kiwi boys can hang with the rest of the world.”

The great performances didn’t stop there for the Kiwi’s, with Jessica Hotter backing up her impressive run in the 2*, to take 2nd place behind Laia Castellarnau Plaza of Spain who continued her impressive form in the category making it 1st in both the 2* and 4*. Rounding out the podium was yet another New Zealander, Wanakas Anna Smoothy.

Photo: Pete Meecham

The Kiwis also featured on the podium in the Snowboard Categories with Roland Morley-Brown (NZL) and Maria Kuzma (NZL) taking gold in the men’s and women’s categories respectively. The win somewhat of a home coming for Kuzma, “It means a lot to be here, because I haven’t been in New Zealand for two years, and being part of the Audi Quattro Winter Games, it just makes the competition that much more prestigious and taking 1st places means that much more”.

The win catching Roland Morley-Brown a little off guard “I didn’t come into the event with that as a goal or expectation, I just had fun and took it as it came and it all worked out!”

 

Photo: Pete Meecham

Head Judge Dion Newport was delighted with the event, following some challenging weather patens earlier in the week “The NFF continues to prove that it is a top 3 qualifier in the world, which is shown by the strong international turnout. It also cements the head-start athletes can get on the FWQ tour. The kiwis showed they know how to ski our conditions, by dominating the strongest field we have seen. It was one of the most outstanding snowboard displays we have seen, and the skiers charged as they always do.

Men’s Ski

1st – Hank Bilous (NZL)

2nd – Sam Lee (NZL)

3rd – Matthew Sweet (NZL)

Women’s Ski

1st – Laia Castellarnau Plaza (ESP)

2nd – Jessica Hotter (NZL)

3rd – Anna Smoothy (NZL)

 

Women’s Snowboard

1st – Maria Kuzma (NZL)

2nd – Manuela Mandl (AUT)

3rd – Nuria Castán Barón (ESP)

Men’s Snowboard

1st – Roland Morley-Brown (NZL)

2nd – Christopher Galvin (USA)

3rd – Stephen Denmark (USA)