Australia’s Chris Booth upside down, down under. Image:: Harro
World Heli Challenge
At any resort in the world, the conditions that presented themselves on Tuesday would mean no event, but not at The World Heli Challenge.
The weather was perfect for the first day of the Challenge with blue skies and no wind. Conditions however were challenging after warm storms hit the region in the two days preceding the competition.
As a result event organisers consulted with the athletes and everyone agreed it was best to move from a competition day to an expression session.
There will be a freestyle component added to the Extreme Day, which is currently scheduled for Thursday, weather permitting, and the overall winners will be decided on that day.
According to Nick Mills, head judge and technical director, “The success of the day was due to quality decision making from the safety crew and a positive and professional response from the athletes. It was obviously less than ideal and potentially hazardous conditions for everyone, yet we managed to responsibly move around the mountain and have an epic day together in the hills.”
“The World Heli Challenge is all about adapting to the environment and whatever nature provides,” said founder Tony Harrington.
Fly the world’s best skiers and snowboarders up a mountain in one of the most beautiful spots in the world and they’re going to have a great time, regardless of the conditions.
One of the riders commented, “It was a great day, I got to hang out with good friends and people I’ve never met before, meet people from different cultures and see what everyone had under their hood.”
“Everyone got together and built a number of jumps and sessioned them in the sunshine.”
It wasn’t just the skiers and riders that were world class… add to that a dozen of the world’s top photographers and cinematographers and you get some epic pictures.
Snowboarding legend Travis Rice soars across the backdrop of Mt Aspiring National Park. Image:: Harro
World Heli Challenge group shot. Image:: Harro
Backcountry helicopters fly athletes to the top of the course. Image:: Harro
2010 World Heli Challenge Grommie, Mitch Reeves with Blizzard the rescue dog. Image:: Harro