Words: Jeff Schmuck
The 2015 AFP World Tour officially began this past weekend with the first event of the season, The North Face Freeski Open of Zealand.
The event, which was Bronze-ranked and took place in Cardrona, New Zealand, featured Men's and Women's Slopestyle and Halfpipe competitions, so here's a look at the first movements on this year's AFP World Rankings based on the 52-week rolling system.
Jossi Wells (3rd), James Woods (1st), Oystein Braten (2nd). Photo by Neil Kerr
In Men's Slopestyle, James Woods took the top spot, which moves him into 17th position on the rankings due to the decreased level and subsequent points value of this year's NZ Open (which was Silver-ranked last year and one of his top 6 finishes) and his second place finish at Winter Games NZ (which didn't take place this year, but like NZ Open, was one of his top 6 results last year) dropping off the 52-week rolling system. Meanwhile, second place finisher Oystein Braten (who will surely be one to watch this year) has jumped from 17th to 15th, and local boy Jossi Wells, who placed 3rd, has moved into 28th for similar reasons as Woodsy. Other than that, there are no major changes to report to the rankings other than some general and mild fluctuations that occurred as a result of the 52-week rolling system, decreased ranking of the NZ Open and absence of Winter Games NZ.
Anna Wilcox (3rd), Kelly Sildaru (1st), Emma Dahlstrom (2nd). Photo by Neil Kerr
In Women's Slopestyle, Kelly Sildaru kicked off the season by continuing her impressive run and rise up the rankings with a win, which moves her from 20th to 17th, Emma Dahlstrom, who placed second, jumps from 26th to 22nd, and after placing third, Anna Wilcox is now in 30th due to the reasons aforementioned in Men's Slopestyle.
Jossi Wells (3rd), Taylor Seaton (1st), Beau-James Wells (2nd). Photo by Neil Kerr
In Men's Halfpipe, after placing first and second, both Taylor Seaton and Beau-James Wells are down a few spots (due to the event's decreased ranking), to 14th and 18th respectively, while brother Jossi remains in 124th after scoring the third and final step on the podium.
Britt Hawes (3rd), Janina Kuzma (1st), Kelly Sildaru (2nd). Photo by Neil Kerr
And in Women's Halfpipe, Janina Kuzma is up two spots, from 18th to 16th, after claiming victory, Kelly Sildaru jumps from 45th to 30th after taking second, and Britt Hawes is on the board in 66th after placing third.
And last but not least, amidst the overall rankings, there are no overly significant changes to report, although it's worth noting that Jossi Wells has jumped three spots, from 32nd to 29th, and Kelly Sildaru remains in 5th thanks to their respective double podiums.
That's all for now for the 2015 AFP World Tour Rankings, but stay tuned for another short and sweet update next week in two weeks time on the Toyota One Hit Wonder Down Under Big Air event before a long break until the North American winter begins in December.