The 2010 World Heli Challenge recently wrapped, capping off an incredible eight days of fun on and off the snow set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of Wanaka, New Zealand.
Despite challenging weather conditions the event went off with amazing success. The World Heli Challenge is about finding the best all-around rider. The best all-around rider should be able to perform regardless of conditions, to adapt to their surroundings. In this spirit, the competitors stepped up and threw down regardless of the weather.
“No one can control the weather and, all in all, we all know how to make fun out of whatever Mother Nature provides,” said Lib Tech snowboarder, Adam DeVargas (USA)
The all-star lineup of athletes charged hard on both the Freestyle and Extreme days, resulting in some stunning photos and stories. But the World Heli Challenge is an eight day event with only two days on snow, and the athletes had a plethora of other activities to keep them stoked on the down days.
DeVargas said the highlight for him was the rally car session. “It was a great chance to get to know everyone and SO much fun!”
The riders were able to experience all New Zealand has to offer with events that included an epic surf adventure, golf, fishing, the aforementioned rally car session, a tour of Rippon Vineyard, and even herding over 900 deer at the Glen Dene Station (In true NZ style). The two winners from the female category, Ane Enderud (NOR) and Aline Bock (GER), even found time to take the ultimate plunge by jumping out of a plane with Sky Dive Lake Wanaka.
The competitors were also able to give back to the local community in a big way, by planting trees and seedlings for Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust, a community-based native plant nursery, which specializes in propagating plants of local origin for the restoration of habitats in the Upper Clutha Basin.
“This event isn’t just about the time on the snow, it’s about showing these extreme athletes everything that New Zealand has on offer,” said Harro. “It goes without question…this is the one of the most unique, exciting and colorful event experiences of any snow event – and beyond.”
Another highlight of the World Heli Challenge was The Exstreamtv Street Style Snow Show, which took place on Saturday night. The event drew a great crowd despite heavy rains, and all money raised was donated to the Hawea community to help fund the restoration of their community center. The Snow Show was followed by the After Burner Party where the athletes were able to let off steam and make plans to return next year.
The World Heli Challenge re-launched in 2009 after a seven year leave of absence, much to the delight of skiers and snowboarders around the globe. The event was an astounding success, and that success has been repeated again in 2010. The World Heli Challenge film production team pulled out all the stops to ensure that the quality of the global TV production matches the dramatic location, the incredible talent of the athletes, and the mind blowing action that is the World Heli Challenge. A 2-part TV series will be screened on TV networks globally.
Plans are already underway for the 2011 World Heli Challenge, log on to www.worldhelichallenge.com for more on this year’s event and to make sure you’re up to date on the plans for 2011.