Photos by Clint Trahan

(News release from Crankworx)


The vibes were high as Skyline Rotorua welcomed Crankworx fans back with the Official New Zealand Whip-Off Championships. The crowd was roaring while the riders were frothing and running back up to the top of the course to get more laps in. This was also arguably the largest women’s Whip-Off field in Crankworx Rotorua history.

Canadian Elite Women, Georgia Astle and Kirsten Van Horne made their debut appearance on a Crankworx Whip-Off podium, coming in second and third place respectively. Crankworx Whip-Off veteran, Vinny Armstrong won first place with her signature style of carving up the lip and floating through to look effortlessly sideways.

Vinny Armstrong won the Pro Women’s competition.

“I kept running back up because it was so fun, and I just wanted more,” Armstrong said of the event. “This is the biggest women’s field we have had in Rotorua; I think. I love just training with my mates, and we are all such good friends and it’s good fun like hyping each other up.”

Second Crankworx Whip-Off event, and second time on the podium for Edgar Briole, but this time, he took the top step for Elite Men. No strangers to a Crankworx Whip-Off podium, UK riders Kaos Seagrave and Kade Edwards put on a show for the fans – getting so sideways, some might be suffering from mild neck strain. Seagrave took home the silver medal, and Red Bull rider, Kade Edwards threw it down for the fans snagging himself third place.

France’s Edgar Briole took the win in the Pro Men’s division.

Here’s what a few of the podium-getters had to say about the Official New Zealand Whip-Off Championships and the course:

“Insane course, good people and I’m feeling good,” Minimal words needed from Briole, his whips do most of the talking.

Kade Edwards, above, took third place among the men.

Downhill winner Jess Blewitt took fourth in the Pro Women’s competition as darkness was settling in over the venue.

“The jump was sweet,” claims Astle. “It was kind of like a chiller version of the Innsbruck Whip-Off jump. In my opinion, I think it is the perfect Whip-Off jump. It’s super floaty on the way up, and then it’s nice and easy set down to bring the whips back. I really liked this course!”

Somebody might need to help the “I’M LOST” sign-holder find the way back to the main village as darkness settles in on the crowd.

“It was sick, I was a bit stressed at the start because it was a bit wet from yesterday,” Seagrave said. “We had a couple laps in and the boys did some work to it and did an amazing job. We just had one of the sickest times just throwing some whips with your mates.”

From left to right: Kaos Seagrave (GBR)  and Georgia Astle (CAN), second place; Edgar Briole (FRA) and Vinny Armstrong (NZL), first place; Kade Edwards (GBR) and Kirsten Van Horne (CAN), third place.

Results – Official New Zealand Whip-Off Championships

First place: Edgar Briole (FRA) // Vinny Armstrong (NZL)
Second place: Kaos Seagrave (GBR) // Georgia Astle (CAN)
Third place: Kade Edwards (GBR) // Kirsten Van Horne (CAN)

(Above and below) Putting the name with the action and the face: Tuhoto-Ariki Pene.

Tuhoto-Ariki Pene made the finals in the Pro Men but placed outside the top five.

For full results go to

Crankworx Rotorua Air Downhill returns and is up next on the docket. From Friday, March 25th onward, the remaining pro final events will be broadcast live on Red Bull TV.

Follow @Crankworx and @CrankworxRotorua socials for updates on Crankworx Rotorua as they come, and stay up to date with all things Crankworx:

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