That excitement is also stretching to the athletes, with the event doubling as a Freeride World Tour (FWT) Qualifying event.
“Having a 4 star FWQ event in NZ is a huge opportunity for freeride skiers looking to qualify for the World Tour, they can get a jump on the rest of the field with a strong result here and start their campaign on home soil, that’s a huge advantage,” said Sam Smoothy, one of New Zealand’s top Freeskiers.
“Two of our major goals as an event are to showcase homegrown winter sports talent and the Southern Lakes region on the world stage, so including this event allows us to really show the strength and breadth of our snowsports industry here in NZ,” Games Sports Manager Iona Bentley added.
Bentley also believes, that just like many of the other events being held during the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ, the world’s elite will be quick to add their names to the entry list. “Kiwis have long been renowned on the international big mountain Freeride circuit for their ability to nail the toughest lines whatever the conditions, so we expect the 4* event to draw the best athletes from around the world to compete against them on home terrain.”
The event categories include both ski and snowboard, and will also cater for the up and coming talent though the 2* event, like locals Alistair Garland, Hugo Cameron and Finn Duffy who have all secured a podium finish at International Freeride Junior Tour events.
“Having the Frontier involved in the Winter Games NZ will hopefully shine a light on an aspect of winter sport that NZ has excelled at for some time now,” Smoothy added.
The North Face Frontier will run during the second week of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ from Sunday 3rd to Friday 8th of September.