Two for Two for Brendan Mackay in Blustery Calgary
After securing his first World Cup victory two days ago, Brendan Mackay of Calgary, AB, repeated the feat on Saturday with a second win in his hometown at the Freestyle World Cup Ski Halfpipe. After earning 93.40 points on his first run, he never looked back.
“It’s fantastic! It’s hard to believe I won two consecutive events right here, at home. I felt confident and in control all evening,” he said.
Although other competitors were bothered by the gusty winds during the event, Mackay remained unfazed. He acknowledged that competing at home on familiar terrain probably gave him an advantage.
“The wind made things pretty difficult, but I’m used to riding the halfpipe here in Calgary. I gave it my all on each run,” he explained, adding with a chuckle that he has always dreamed of being a hometown hero in Calgary.
Noah Bowman (Calgary, AB) also made the most of the home-court advantage to snag the third spot on the podium with 88.00 points. Bowman, who finished fourth on Thursday, was determined to do whatever it took today (Saturday) to secure a medal.
“I’m really happy with my day. The conditions were pretty extreme but I was able to pull it off. It was great to be able to get up onto the podium with Brendan, who was excellent,” said Bowman.
Alex Ferreira of the USA won the silver medal with 90.40 points.
In today’s qualifying heats, Peter Verheyde, Ethan Fernandes and Dylan Marineaufinished 13th, 14th and 15th respectively. Steven Kahnert placed 23rd.
Rachael Karker Back on the Podium
Rachael Karker of Guelph, ON, also made her second appearance on the podium this week. After clinching a bronze medal on Thursday, she started the day off strong with a run that earned her 89.40 points and the top spot in the provisional standings.
However, China’s Ailing Eileen Gu obtained a higher score on her second run to earn the gold medal.
“I feel really great and I’m so happy with my performance! It’s so nice to be back on the podium, especially here in Canada,” explained Karker.
The Ontarian posted a strong result early in the competition before the wind started to pick up, which she believes helped her win her medal.
“I was lucky enough to get some really high hits in when there wasn’t much wind. The conditions deteriorated afterwards, so I couldn’t execute my biggest tricks. Still, I’m happy to have improved on my ranking from Thursday.”
Hanna Faulhaber of the USA won the bronze medal with 88.60 points, just ahead of Cassie Sharpe (Calgary, AB), who finished fourth.
Amy Fraser of Calgary placed eighth with 65.20 points in the final.
In the qualifiers, Dillan Glennie (Vancouver, BC) placed 12th, while Elena Gaskell (Vernon, BC) finished 15th.
Emma Morozumi (Calgary, AB) finished the day in 19th place.