American Alex Ferreira claimed World Cup gold in New Zealand today ©Getty Images

American Alex Ferreira and Cassie Sharpe of Canada topped the men's and women's standings respectively at the first International Ski Federation Ski Halfpipe World Cup of the season in New Zealand.

Ferreira claimed a winning score of 93.40 at the Cardrona Alpine Resort to beat France's defending overall World Cup champion Kevin Rolland.

The Frenchman is looking to win the overall title for a third year in a row but had to make do with silver today on 90.20.

Simon D'Artois of Canada won bronze, scoring 88.60.

The American was praised by the judges for his good technical skills, well executed tricks and huge amplitude.

"I was just going for big air and good clean grabs, just good smooth skiing, something for the spectators," he said.

Cassie Sharpe won the women's title for Canada ©Getty Images
Cassie Sharpe won the women's title for Canada ©Getty Images

Both qualification and the final were held in the men's competition today after fog prevented any action taking place yesterday. 

Sharpe finished on 91.00 to win gold, boosting her amplitude and cleaning up her grabs on the second run.

Estonia's 15-year-old Kelly Sidaru won silver after winning the slopestyle World Cup in Cardrona last week.

"I knew what I had to do," said Sharpe.

"Kelly came out there with a really strong run, I just wanted to boost, get all my grabs and get ahead of her because she had a great run. 

"I'm stoked, the judges saw what I was trying to do and I’m really, really happy."

France's defending overall World Cup champion Marie Martinod had to make do with third place.

She scored 84.40 to clinch bronze. 

The competition,  part of the Audi Quattro Winter Games NZ, was the first major halfpipe event of the Winter Olympic season, with Pyeongchang 2018 taking place in February.