NZ Snowboarder - Tiarn Collins Claims World Cup Victory
New Zealand snowboarders have been making their presence felt on the world stage with wins in World Cup Slopestyle and Freeride World Qualifier events. Tiarn Collins (Queenstown) topped the podium at the Calgary Snow Rodeo on Sunday (Monday NZT), while Claire McGregor earned her third win at the Freeride World Qualifier Tour in Montafon, Austria with Maria Kuzma just behind in third place.
After almost two years out of competition due to injury Tiarn Collins says, “It feels good to be back competing and a win is insane. I can’t believe it.”
Tiarn sustained a shoulder injury just days before he was due to compete at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games and has been battling to make it back to top form ever since. He signalled that he was on his way back to peak performance level with a fourth-place finish in Friday’s qualifying rounds at the Snowboard World Cup in Calgary, Canada. The heavy field of 50 riders featured some of the world’s best riders including X Games Aspen gold and silver medallists Darcy Sharpe (CAN) and Mons Roisland (NOR).
The creative course design provided myriad options with three rail section at the top followed by a two-sided quarterpipe/tabletop hybrid, then a big hybrid jump with twin kickers and a rollover/butter section down the middle, and finally a straight-up monster booter to finish things off.
Tiarn opted for a brand-new competition run for finals, “I picked a few solid tricks and a few that were really up there, he explains.
Opening with a new trick, a switch back 270 on to forward, Tiarn put down a tidy rail line but it was on the jumps that he earned top marks despite a near miss on the cab 1440 nosegrab on the very last jump.
“I almost over rotated, I had to fight to hold on to it and was literally holding my breath right to the end,” Tiarn explains.
Hold on to it he did, and the judges rewarded him with a score of 80.50. Japan’s Ruki Tobita finished in second place on 79.53 points with Canada’s Liam Brearley third on 76.58.
With her win in Montafon - her third this season at a four-star event, the highest level on the Freeride World Qualifier Tour - Claire McGregor has now earned her spot on the 2021 Freeride World Tour.
Incorporating two big rock drops into her run and a high speed run out, Claire topped the podium ahead of Linda Schmitter of Switzerland and NZ’s Maria Kuzma.