Lake Wanaka, New Zealand (25 September 2015) – Upper Clutha Primary and Intermediate school students enjoyed a stunning spring day for their Ski and Snowboard Championships held on Tuesday 22 September at Wanaka’s Cardrona Alpine Resort. The event is organised by the Wanaka Ski and Snowsports Club.
32 teams competed in the Ski and Snowboard Giant Slalom and Gravity Cross races with the 121 students representing Mount Aspiring College and Alexandra Primary, Clyde Primary, Goldfields Primary, Cromwell Primary, Hawea Flat and Wanaka Primary Schools.
Teams could have up to four members and the three best combined times counted towards the team’s overall result. As well as team prizes, individual medals were awarded to the “Fastest Boy and Girl on the Hill". Both the fastest boy and girl were skiers this year. Jin-wook Hong was the fastest boy in a combined time for GS and Gravity Cross of 53.018s. Phoebe Garland was the fastest girl, in a combined time of 64.456s.
For the ski teams, first place went to Wanaka Primary School’s Pocket Rockets who also took out the Ski Connect Cup. The Cup is awarded to the top performing school team with an age penalty applied to race times to allow a fair competition between older and younger competitors.
Hawea Flat’s Fast & Furious placed second and Wanaka Primary Orange placed third in the ski teams’ category. “We Don’t Do Park” recorded the fastest overall time in this category but were not eligible to win a team medal because team members were not NZ Registered home schooled students based in the Upper Clutha or close surrounds.
Wanaka Primary School teams took out the top three places in the snowboard category: Jibbers first, Epic Shredders second, 3 Musketeers third.
While Mount Aspiring College Black, Red, Yellow went one, two, three in the Intermediate Ski Teams’ category. Only one team posted a result for Intermediate Snowboard: MAC Green.
The Upper Clutha Primary and Intermediate Schools Championships have grown to be a popular end of season event for local students largely thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of outgoing Race Secretary Kris Vollebregt. Kris took on the role in 2010 and set about reinvigorating the event with the aim of attracting 100+ competitors.
Suzy Gendall, who has taken over as Race Secretary this year explains that the objective of the event is to provide a fun and friendly competition environment in which the students can practise skills learned throughout the season and as part of their schools’ snow sports programmes.
With an emphasis on fun and participation the event attracts first time racers as well as some seasoned competitors. Racers are usually within the year three to eight school age with a handful of competent year two competitors. Organisers hope to see the event continue to grow in coming years with more schools in the Upper Clutha region entering teams.
The organisers would like to thank New World Wanaka, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Outside Sports for providing spot prizes and goody bags for the event. A big thank you also to all the volunteers who helped out on the day.
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