More European gold medals for Wānaka teens

by Peter Newport - Mar 19, 2023

Laax, Switzerland – Kiwi development athletes Luke Harrold (Freeskier from Lake Hāwea, 14 - main image above right) and Cam Melville Ives (Snowboarder from Wānaka, 16 - main image above left) have both claimed the gold medal in their respective disciplines at the European Cup Premium Halfpipe competition held in Laax today. 

It was a day of action, with the Snowboard and Freeski halfpipe qualifiers being held in the morning and the finals held in the afternoon.  

Freeskier Harrold put down an impressive qualifying run, which included a huge air measuring 17.4 feet above the coping of the 22-foot halfpipe, to qualify through to the finals in second place. He took the lead in the finals with a commanding first run, scoring an 86.67 which remained the top score of the competition.  

Harrold said, “I’m super happy I was able to put down a run today, it wasn’t the run I was hoping to do, but it’s what I managed to get done in the soft conditions. I was stoked to land my switch right double cork alley oop 900 and take the win today.”  

Just minutes after Harrold secured his win, Melville Ives claimed the gold medal in the men’s snowboard category. Melville Ives put down a standout run in his final attempt, taking the top spot with a score of 90.00. 

Melville Ives said, “It feels really good, it’s always a relief to put it all together in the last run. I landed my cab double cork 1080 for the first time in a successful competition run and the switch back 900 I landed was a brand new trick that I have been working on, I am stoked to land it today.”  

Cam and Luke with their Snow Sports NZ coaches [L-R] Nick Brown, Luke Harrold, Brad Prosser, Cam Melville Ives, Mitch Brown. Credit Snow Sports NZ

Cooper Breen (Queenstown, 13) also made the Freeski Halfpipe finals today in his first European Cup halfpipe event, finishing in a respectable 7th place.  

Meanwhile in Tignes, France the FIS World Cup Slopestyle Finals were going down, with Luca Harrington (Wānaka, 19) achieving a career best World Cup result, finishing in 10th place in the heavily stacked field. 

Ruby Star Andrews (Queenstown, 18) was competing in the women’s slopestyle finals in France. Andrews was planning on a technical run that included three different 900-degree rotations on the jumps but was unable to put it down and finished in 9th place. Regardless, Andrews said “I had one of the best trainings of my life and I am hyped.” 

The snow sports action continues tomorrow with alpine ski racer Alice Robinson (Queenstown, 21) competing in the Giant Slalom at the World Cup Finals in Andorra.  


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