Mt Hutt, New Zealand (23 September 2015) – The Mount Hutt NZ Youth Series/ South Island Championships Slalom and Junior Interfield Kombi took place last weekend despite the best efforts of Mother Nature to halt proceedings.
“It was a really challenging weekend,” explains Chief of Race, Jono Eaton. With fresh snow falling overnight “it took a huge effort from everyone to get the race away on Saturday.” Coaches, officials and mountain staff spent three hours with shovels and rakes clearing the side of the course while competitors worked in teams of four and five slipping the course.
“It would have been very easy to simply cancel the race but everyone worked together to make it work. It was definitely something to proud of and inspired by and the result was a great race run in safe conditions,” says Eaton.
The NZYS Slalom was held on the Saturday. Wanaka Ski and Snowsports Club athletes River Mutton and Blake Hartley won the U14 age category while Queenstown Alpine Ski Team members Alex Hull and Ben Ellis were the fastest U16 racers. U18 top honours went to Eve Aspinall (Team Hutt) and Taane Whetu (Team Ohau).
With another 15-20 cm snow overnight it was too soft to get the South Island NZYS Giant Slalom away on the Sunday and the event was cancelled. However, knowing that the younger competitors were eager for their turn on course the Race Organising Committee once again persevered and with support from technical delegate Dave Grogan (TD), referee Igor Stros and Team Hutt Coach Chris Mosaed a call was made to run the Junior Interfield Kombi.
Racing got underway at 12.50 with Olympic medallist Annelise Coberger forerunning the course. By the time run one was complete visibility had deteriorated, the course had cut up and the call was made to decide results on a single run.
Isabel Watterson (Wanaka) and Kezik Magill (CAST) were the fastest U8s, Mathilda Watterson (Wanaka) and Bayley McDonald (CAST) fastest U10s. U12 winners were Esther Vile (QAST) and Max McDonald (CAST).
Image: Alex Hull (Credit: Chris Vile)