Firefighters chilly fundraiser

There will be no love lost at Coronet Peak tomorrow as firefighters go up against each other in teams of four, competing in the 2011 Firefighter Chill Factor Challenge.

Originally to have been held as part of the Queenstown Winter Festival, the charity fundraiser was postponed due to a lack of snow, but firefighters from Queenstown, Frankton, Wanaka and Auckland remained committed to the cause.

The four firefighting teams will each aim to complete the most number of sponsored runs down the main M1 Trail between 8am and 10am tomorrow.

The "challenge" is each four-member team has to hold on to a fire hose on the way down.

Organiser Tony Scott said it was likely to be "hilarious" to watch.

"All four members of each team ski or board down the mountain, turning this way or that way and trying to keep at relatively the same speed without being able to let go of the hose.

"We're trying to raise as much money as we can for Queenstown charity the Bruce Grant Youth Trust and each descent is sponsored, so it's a combination of trying to go as fast as possible without completely losing the plot and ending up in a big heap on the snow," Mr Scott said.

Mr Scott, an Auckland-based firefighter, was inspired to create the event when he saw a similar event on the snow overseas.

"I thought it was a fantastic idea, and it's also our way to say thanks to the Southern brigades who support our fundraising Sky Tower event every year.

"We wanted to find a way to come down and support the boys here.

"I love the work that the Bruce Grant Youth Trust does for young people down here so we thought that was a great charity to support.

"Our Auckland team has already raised $750 for this even before we get down here."

Mr Scott said he would like to see the event become an annual fixture, with up to eight teams competing and raising from $10,000 to $15,000.


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