Words by Jeff Schmuck | Photos courtesy of Winter Games NZ
With the 2015/2016 AFP World Tour officially in full swing, it’s time for the second rankings update of the season.
On the docket this past week was a big one, the first Platinum-level event of this year’s World Tour, the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ at Cardrona Alpine Resort, New Zealand, who were more than deserving of their newfound Platinum status, thanks to jaw-dropping Slopestyle, Halfpipe and Big Air venues, alongside their impeccable organization of the events. As a result, the AFP would like to offer a big time tip of the hat to the Winter Games NZ event organizers. Here’s a look at how this killer event shook up the AFP World Tour Rankings…
Winter Games NZ Men's Slopestyle Podium: Oystein Braten (2nd), James Woods (1st), Joss Christensen (3rd)
In Men’s Slopestyle, James ‘Woodsy’ Woods, hot on the heels of his win at The North Freeski Open NZ, continued to kick off his season in a big way by picking up his second victory on the 2015/2016 AFP World Tour, which has bumped him from 5th to 3rd. Just behind him in second was Norwegian stalwart Oystein Braten, who is up one spot into 6th, while Olympic gold medalist and all-around nice guy Joss Christensen has ascended three spots up to overtake the lead from last year’s AFP Men’s Slopestyle World Champion McRae Williams after taking third. Also making some significant moves was Jossi Wells, who’s fourth place performance allowed him to leap frog from 36th to 16th, while Swedish wonder kid Oscar Wester has cracked the top 10 via a massive ascent of 31 spots, from 41st to 10th.
Winter Games NZ Women's Slopestyle Podium: Silvia Bertagna (2nd), Tiril Christiansen (1st), Lisa Zimmermann (3rd)
In Women’s Slopestyle, Tiril Christiansen’s comeback continues to be a force to be reckoned with, as her first competition and subsequent victory of this season has moved her 12 spots up, from 15th to 3rd. In second was Silvia Bertagna, who has jumped from 12th to 9th, while Lisa Zimmermann rounded out the podium in third and made a big move of her own, from 75th to 42nd. Also of note was Keri ‘The Herminator’ Herman climbing 13 steps up the ladder, from 18th to 5th, after scoring sixth, and Nikki Blackall jumping from 20th to 13th thanks to taking 10th.
Winter Games NZ Men's Halfpipe Podium: Thomas Krief (2nd), Kevin Rolland (1st), Ben Valentin (3rd)
In Men’s Halfpipe, it was a squeaky clean French sweep of the podium, with Kevin Rolland, Thomas Kreif and Ben Valentin taking first, second and third, which moved Rolland from 3rd to the top spot on the rankings, Valentin from 7th to 5th, and Krief from 15th to 12th, while Lyman Currier has ascended from 14th to 10th and Broby Leeds has nudged himself from 17th to 15th after placing ninth and fourth, respectively.
Winter Games NZ Women's Halfpipe Podium: Janina Kuzma (2nd), Devin Logan (1st), Ayana Onozuka (3rd)
In Women’s Halfpipe, Devin Logan emerged victorious to notch herself one spot up on the rankings into 4th, while Janina Kuzma and Ayana Onozuka remain in 3rd and 2nd after scoring second and third. Also making a significant move was Roz Groenewoud, who is 16 spots up, from 25th to 9th, after placing fifth in her first contest since X Games.
Winter Games NZ Men's Big Air Podium: Johan Berg (2nd), Andri Ragettli (1st), Antoine Adelisse (3rd)
Men’s Big Air
In Men’s Big Air, Andri Ragettli remains in 35th after picking up the win, Johan Berg has jumped from 80th to 26th after scoring second, and Antoine Adelisse is up 15 spots, from 38th to 23rd, after finding the third and final step on the podium. Other noteworthy movements include Kai Mahler moving from 11th to 4th thanks to finishing 14th, and Oscar Wester taking it from 12th to 7th after placing 12th.
Winter Games NZ Women's Big Air Podium: Silvia Bertagna (2nd), Lisa Zimmermann (1st), Dominique Ohaco (3rd)
Women’s Big Air
On the Women’s Big Air side of things, Winter Games NZ hosted the first Women’s Big Air event of the 2015/2016 AFP World Tour, and as a result of this and the handful of Women's Big Air events that took place last season, the AFP is excited to announce our implementation of Women’s Big Air Rankings (congrats ladies, because you’ve earned it!), which include results from last year’s events. So to kick things off, Yuki Tsubota is sitting atop the leader board thanks to her results from last year, while Winter Games NZ Women’s Big Air winner Lisa Zimmerman is just behind her in 2nd, with Silvia Bertagna and Dominique Ohaco remaining in 4th and 6th after scoring second and third respectively.
On the Men’s Overall Rankings, respectable movements to report include Beau-James Wells stepping it up from 9th to 7th, James ‘Woodsy’ Woods finding his way from 15th to 12th, Oystein Braten taking it from 21st to 17th, and Andri Ragettli making the biggest leap of them all, from 64th to 18th.
And last but certainly not least, amongst the Women’s Overall Rankings, Keri Herman is up two spots, from 6th to 4th, Janina Kuzma is up one into 12th, Tiril Christiansen has ascended 11 positions into 16th, while Roz Groenewoud and Silvia Bertagna are up 12 and 17 spots, into 24th and 25th, respectively.
That’s all for now from the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, but stay tuned for another AFP World Tour Rankings update in a week and a half’s time following the Toyota One Hit Wonder Big Air before the World Tour takes a few month hiatus until the North American winter begins.