The 2013 World Heli Challenge begins in the backcountry
surrounding Wanaka tomorrow with the event's first junior
competition, open to competitors aged between 12 and 16.
Event director Tony Harrington said that the ski and
snowboard competition had always had a ''young gun''
component and had launched the careers of Jossi Wells and
junior heli challenge ambassador Mitch Reeves.
''With so much interest and young talent out there, we
decided it was time to take it a step further and create an
event dedicated for the younger athletes.''
The elite level ski and snowboard heli event - open to
competitors aged 16 and over - will take place from August 4
to 22, featuring a strong local line up including 2012 winner
Will Jackways and Wanaka men Sam Smoothy and Fraser
International competitors include snowboarder Antti Autti, of
Finland, and 2012 women's champion Jacqui Edgerly, of the
United States. The competitors will be flown to the
backcountry on two competition days - a freestyle day and
extreme day. They will be judged on their overall performance
across both days, their abilities to display their freeriding
skills in steep and challenging terrain, and to deliver a
smooth, strong and consistent line.
The event closes with an awards night in the Lake Wanaka
Centre where prizes will be presented to the winning
competitors, and the winners of the Canon Shootout film and
Outside the two competition days, competitors can explore the
surrounding area and get a taste of New Zealand through
opportunities to shear sheep, plant native flax with
residents, ski at Treble Cone and Cardrona, and take part in
other adventure activities.