At least 25 snow sports athletes, most of them from Wanaka, are wintering over in the northern hemisphere this summer as they attempt to improve their international rankings and earn Olympic points.
The United States is the first stop of the tour and the best result so far has been clocked by Auckland freeskier Ben Barclay (19).
He exceeded his expectations with a career-best result, seventh, at the FIS Freestyle Big Air World Cup at Steamboat, Colorado on Sunday.
“Honestly, it hasn’t really hit me. I came into this event thinking it wasn’t my stronger discipline and being a really high-level event, I was aiming for a top thirty to score some points. I didn’t even fathom that this could happen. I am absolutely stoked,” he said.
The Steamboat Big Air World Cup is a qualifying event for Beijing 2022.
Barclay’s southern team-mates did not feature so highly.
Queenstown snowboarders Cool Wakushima and Tiarn Collins finished 18th and 16th, respectively.
Wanaka freeskier Luca Harrington was 39th.
This Saturday, freeskier brothers Nico and Miguel Porteous, and their Wanaka team-mates Gustav Legnavsky, Ben Harrington, Chlose McMillan and Anja Barugh will compete at the Copper Halfpipe World Cup in the United States.
The Dew Tour begins next week, with the Porteous brothers and Wanaka’s Zoi
Queenstown alpine skier Alice Robinson was in action at the Lake Louise Super G World Cup in Canada this week and will be France next week for the Val d’Isere Super G World Cup.
Wanaka alpine ski Piera Hudson begins her campaign in France on December 21, at the Courchevel Giant Slalom World Cup.
Both women will then move on to Austria for more world cup competition on December 28 and 29.
Various other competitions have been scheduled until January 30, including para alpine ski races in Norway and Sweden for Wanaka trio Adam Hall, Corey Peters and Aaron Ewen.