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Brilliant Halfpipe Debut by Holly Crawford in Whistler World Cup

17 December 2002

Exciting young OWI snowboarder Holly Crawford has made a brilliant debut on the FIS World Cup circuit, finishing 12th in the halfpipe in Whistler, British Columbia, over the weekend.

She was one of three young Australian halfpipe riders who had their first World Cup starts in the Canadian event.

Young team-mate Frances Miller, who only turns 16 later this month, finished in 28th place in the women’s halfpipe, while in the men’s event, 19 year-old Ben Mates posted a first up 21st placing.

Crawford, 18, won the national championship in September, and earlier in the year placed 13th in halfpipe and eighth in snowboard cross at the World Junior Championships in Rovaniemi, Finland.

Australian World Cup halfpipe judge Steve Brown, presiding in the judges stand for the event, said he was generally impressed with the riding of the Australians.

“The pipe was smaller this week, but the Aussie girls stood out by really wanting to give it a go.”

“Holly Crawford would have made the final if she had nailed the 540 at the end of her run. All in all, it was an excellent debut for the team and the program.”

The team will now continue on to the first leg of the United States Ski and Snowboard Association Grand Prix series in Park City Utah. All seven members of the team will go up against some of the best riders in the world, including 2002 Olympic Halfpipe champions Ross Powers and Kelly Clark of the USA.

In alpine snowboard, Skiing Australia snowboarder Johanna Shaw rode to the best World Cup result of her debut season, finishing 22nd in the parallel slalom in Whistler, British Columbia.

The previous best for the national parallel GS champion, who is coached by Zeke Steggall as part of his elite French team, was a 31st placing in parallel slalom in Tandadalen, Sweden.

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