The World Heli Challenge is one of the most extreme action sports events known to man. The annual competition features the absolute best skiers and snowboarders on the planet going head to head in a backcountry freestyle competition like no other. Coming this August, these all-stars will be dropping out of helicopters to test their mettle on slopes seldom touched by any other individuals.
New for 2012 is the exciting partnership between organizers of the World Heli Challenge and the technological innovators at ION Worldwide. ION is the international consumer electronics company responsible for the cutting edge personal camera system known as the ION AIR PRO Wi-Fi camera. Similar to GoPro Hero2 or ContourHD action POV camera systems, ION AIR PRO cameras provide action sports enthusiasts with high-quality, compact cameras that can go just about anywhere. ION takes their offering to the next level by employing cutting edge technology that allows the cameras to simultaneously upload to the the user’s cloud storage, as well as share on Facebook, YouTube and email.
Just as the helicopters allow the World Heli Challenge’s competitors to gain access to the far reaches of untouched backcountry, the ION Air Pro Wi-Fi will allow instantaneous online access and sharing of the event’s footage (in all its 1080 HD glory) for the fans at home.
“We are excited to bring ION on board as a partner,” said event founder Tony Harrington. “The quality of their product is a perfect match to the high production adventure lifestyle content that we can provide on a global scale. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to use this leading camera technology to showcase the World Heli Challenge.”
Film crews and athletes on-site during the two week-long event will be equipped with ION’s brand spanking new HD Sports Video Camera with Wi-Fi PODZ™. Thanks to this new technology, they will be able to share their footage as they shoot it! Once the action concludes, each of the event’s six action sport cinematographers will transform the footage they captured to cut a five-minute clip that represents the event through their eyes.
“Partnering with the World Heli Challenge allows us to test our cameras in some of the most extreme environments on the planet,” said Giovanni Tomaselli, CEO of ION Worldwide. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to showcase our new product in the beautiful back country of New Zealand’s South Island and to have a handful of the world’s best skiers, snowboarders and cinematographers in front of and behind the lens.”
The three year agreement places ION as the title sponsor of the ION Showcase Awards Night which follows the main event period of the World Heli Challenge. The black and white attire gala event will be an opportunity for event’s participants to be recognized for their efforts behind the camera, piloting the helis and shredding the slopes. The 2012 World Heli Challenge will name one of the competing skiers or snowboarders “Overall Best All Mountain Rider”, a title coveted by many. The ION Showcase Awards Night will also honor the best photography and cinematography exhibited during the main event period.
The 2012 World Heli Challenge will kick off on August 1st and continue through the 16th with adrenaline-fueled heli skiing and snowboarding, events, parties and adventure days. Fans can catch all the action by visiting worldhelichallenge.com and will be invited to join the party during the ION Showcase Awards Night which will be broadcast live for the first time in World Heli Challenge history!
Here’s a video highlighting all the insanity that went down during the 2011 World Heli Challenge. We’re still thinking about all the epic riding that went down during the competition — not to mention the surprise we felt when reigning 2009 and 2010 champion Ted Davenport (who also starred in The Ski Channel’s Winter) was taken out of the running due to a gnarly crash! There’s just no telling what to expect during this year’s World Heli Challenge, thankfully, viewers will have no shortage of options to catch all the action!
Stay tuned, you don’t wanna miss a moment!