Queenstown Winter Festival events ranged from the wacky at
Coronet Peak to gloved combatants whacking each other in the
head for a good cause on Saturday.
Up at the ski area, onesies, skinsuits and masks were the
order of the day for the Suitcase Race, along with the
mandatory crash helmet.
The term ''battered suitcase'' took on a new meaning as
riders careered into crash pads - and each other - at the
bottom of the course.
Ross Murdoch, of Queenstown, won the men's event, and also
beat women's winner Karina Page, also of Queenstown, in a
race-off to win the overall crown.
The Dash for Cash course at Coronet Peak could go down as one
of the more challenging in its history as 13 entrants had to
alternately ski or board, and run up, down or across the
mountain as well as scramble through netting.
Claiming their $250 prizes were veterans' winner Charlie
Phillips, of Queenstown, while two more locals, Erin Greene
and Stephen Popenhagen, claimed the women's and men's titles
The second-last day of the festival had a treat in store for
Queenstown's youngest residents and visitors.
The Family Fun Day at the Queenstown Memorial Hall included
puppet shows, face painting, art, bead-making and
Saturday night's main event was the Mountain Scene ''Thriller
in the Chiller'' boxing event, with 18 amateurs going head to
head at the Queenstown Events Centre in the name of charity.
The event's director, Simon Green, said the evening raised
$24,000 for the Branches Trust, taking the total raised over
the Thriller's five-year history to more than $100,000.
Meanwhile, at the Queenstown Ice Arena on the same night,
local ice hockey team the Southern Stampede suffered a loss
to Auckland team Botany Downs, meaning the teams' two-game
series was squared after the home team's 9-7 victory on