Wells family aim to dominate in halfpipe event

CHE BAKER
Last updated 11:05 21/05/2014

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The short-term goal for New Zealand's top freeskiing family is to clean sweep the podium in the halfpipe event at the 2014 New Zealand Freeski Open.

The long-term ambition is to become the first family on record to have four members qualify and compete at a Winter Olympics.

The Wells family, based in Wanaka, consists of freeskiing stars Jossi, 24, Byron, 22, Beau-James, 18, and Jackson, 16, who were coached by their father Bruce.

Jossi and Beau-James were placed fourth and sixth respectively in the freeski half-pipe event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games while Byron was forced to pull out due to injury.

Jackson, as well as his older brothers, will work towards qualifying for the Winter Olympics in Korea in 2018.

The siblings would train in Wanaka this season with the major competitive event being the open in August.

Beau-James, who after the games went on to win the World Junior Freeski Half Pipe Championships in Italy and earn the second place world ranking overall in the Association of Freeskiing Professionals, said a key ingredient to the family's success was having their father as their coach.

"I wouldn't want anyone else as my coach. The five of us together is the best coaching, learning environment to be around," he said.

The rivalry between the brothers was strong, which meant they pushed each other.

"We're all pretty competitive," he said.

However, "if you don't do well, you know someone else [another brother] has," he said.

Paralympic Winter Games New Zealand sit skier Corey Peters, who won the medal in the Giant Slalom event, said this season would involve testing new shocks on his sit ski to advance his equipment and improve his race performances.

Peters only picked up the sport in 2011 after he bought sit ski equipment at an expo without attempting to try it out first down a mountain.

"Considering I've winged it, I've done pretty well," he said.

There were no competitions in New Zealand this season for Peters and he would return to international competitions in December with the pinnacle event, the World Championships, being held early next year.

He will be chasing more Paralympic medals in future.

"We'll go for a different colour. Go for gold," Peters said.

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- The Southland Times

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