Photo: Snowboarding legend Travis Rice soars across the backdrop of Mt Aspiring National Park Credit: Tony Harrington (Harro)
At any resort in the world, the conditions that presented themselves today 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 organizers consulted with the athletes and everyone agreed it was best to move from the competition’s Freestyle Day to an expression session.
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.
Photo: Australia’s Chris Booth upside down, down under Credit: Tony Harrington (Harro)
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.