Queens down at heel but race goes on

Frazer Currie (Queenstown Resort College), left, and Diego Moyano (St Mortiz) concentrate in the Queenstown Winter Festival waiters' race yesterday. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery. Sixteen men helped to put the Queen into Queenstown yesterday, during the 23rd running of the Queenstown Winter Festival Drag Race yesterday.

Normally restrained Queenstown businessmen decked out with heavy make-up, false eyelashes, balloon breasts, fishnets, wigs, hand-bags and the obligatory high heels turned heads as they did a lap of the CBD on an open-topped bus before parading through The Mall, stopping for photos along the way.

The obstacle course - comprising hay bales to be hurdled and barriers to be ducked - also required contestants to put bras on four members of the public, apply lipstick and slip on tiara and hula hoop before running through tyres and negotiating more hay bales and barriers to the finish line.

However, simply getting to the start line proved difficult as many of the queens wrestled with their heels while being escorted off stage, some sliding down the stairs to solid ground.

The cross-dressers went on to hurl themselves through the course, taking clumps of hay and half the barriers along with them.

Some of the queens decided instead to focus on dazzling the crowd with displays of astonishing elegance and not so good manners.

In the end, Walter Peak's Lindsay Westaway was crowned Drag Queen 2014 - a fitting honour given yesterday was his 69th birthday.

Mr Westaway, or Lulu, entered the first Drag Race in 1991.

For councillor and broadcaster Craig Ferguson - dressed as ''The Duchess Fergie 20 years on'', being named Miss Photogenic was a dream come true.

The title of Miss Best Dressed went to Simon Green, dressed as ''Frank'n Flirter'', while Brendan Quill picked up Miss Friendly and Scott Conway had the best kiss.

Earlier in the day the QRC Hospitality Race and the Cup and Cake Challenge were held. Local hotels entered teams of three to carry suitcases, make beds and deliver a round of drinks to the finish line.

The race was won by the Heritage Hotel Kamikazes, followed by the St Mortiz team (Hotel St Moritz) and the team from Queenstown Resort College.

Today festival action moves to Coronet Peak with the annual Dog Derby at noon, before the dogs and their owners head to Earnslaw Park for the Dog Barking competition from 3pmProgramme highlights

Dog Derby, Coronet Peak.
3pm: Dog Barking, Earnslaw Park.

From 7am:
Eichardt's Tavern revisited, Queenstown Memorial Centre.
Noon: Dodgeball, Earnslaw Park.
4pm: Night skiing, Coronet Peak.
7pm: Ice hockey - Southern Stampede v Botany Swarm, Queenstown Ice Rink.


 - Tracey Roxburgh and Alastair Lynn.