Aaron "Aswag" Hampshire (USA) won his first ever IDF race at Mt Ruapehu today, beating out the Brazilian trio of Dalua, Thiago Lessa and Max Ballesteros who had looked set to continue their dominating Australasian tour.

It was a controversial final, with the three Brazilians getting tangled up and bringing each other down, leaving Aaron to thread the needle between the bodies for an open path to the finish line.

Aswag on the hunt
Aswag on the hunt - Pic: Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa & Turoa Ski Areas

Emily Pross, Jaydon Howarth and Ben Hay replicated their Mt Keira win in the Womens, Juniors and Masters categories, while Mike English took out Luge.

Max Ballesteros, Josh Evans and Emily Pross and Callum Mathieson
Max Ballesteros and Josh Evans eliminate Emily Pross and Callum Mathieson in the quarter finals - Pic: Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa & Turoa Ski Areas

After the terrible weather of Day 1, Day 2 dawned bright, clear and cold, revealing the spectacular naked peak of Mt Ruapehu. The harsh alpine environment formed the perfect stage for the sinewy roller-coaster track.

Connor Ferguson (day 2)
Last years winner, Connor Ferguson, was eliminated in the quarter finals - Pic: Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa & Turoa Ski Areas

Early rounds went smoothly, with no major upsets. Jimmy Riha, Alex Charleson, Emily Pross and last years winner, Connor Ferguson, were all eliminated in the quarter finals, leaving the Brazilian trio, Aussies Jackson Shapiera and Josh Evans, Coloradons Tanner Morelock and Aaron Hampshire, and Kiwi Api Ihaia in the semi-finals.

Alex Charleson (day 1)
Alex Charleson sails out of the fog on Day 1 - Pic: Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa & Turoa Ski Areas

The timed qualifiers on Day 1 were a different story, with weather that was borderline unskatable. Wind, rain, cold, and dense fog made riding impossible at times, but as the day went on the conditions improved, and two dry runs were made at the end of the day, with times dropping by about 20 seconds from the those made in the wet.

The Brazilians were 1, 2, and 3, with Dalua blowing everybody away with a time of 1:45.660, a half second in front of Thiago Lessa, and then a further gap to Max Ballesteros. At that stage the Brazilian trio looked unstoppable. In the end they only managed to stop each other.

Emily Pross (day 1)
Women's winner Emily Pross takes a qualifying run on Day 1 - Pic: Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa & Turoa Ski Areas
Aaron 'Aswag' Hampshire
Aswag carried to the podium on the shoulders of fellow Coloradan Tanner Morelock - Pic: Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa & Turoa Ski Areas

Check the full results here.

Mentioned riders

This post is related to Ruapehu Gravity Festival 2016

Colin Beck

This post was written by Colin Beck

• Former Secretary, International Downhill Federation
• Founding member of ASRA (Australian Skateboard Racing Association)
• Skateboarder since 1972
• Likes visors
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