Coronet Peak Prepares For Exciting Race Season

Postby Melissa_Theuriau on Mon 13/Jul/09 2:38pm

The race department at Coronet Peak is set to host a series of exciting race events this season in the lead up to the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games where the ski area will host the alpine racing events, Big Air and closing ceremony in August.

Home to some of the best racing terrain in New Zealand, Coronet Peak will stage the Super G, Slalom and Giant Slalom events as part of the inaugural Winter Games from 21 to 30 August.

Winter Games is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest winter sports event acting as a direct lead-up to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Ski Area Manager Hamish McCrostie said he was thrilled to be part of the Games and was committed to helping it become a world class event.

“We’ve been working closely with the Winter Games team to provide a first class race environment to welcome some of the best alpine skiers in the world,” he said.

“We’re also getting set for a spectacular closing ceremony at The Peak where the world’s top snowboarders and freeskiers will be on display in the Queenstown Resort College Big Air which will be broadcast to the world on live TV,” he added.

Meanwhile, Head of Race & Events Richard Murphy’s immediate focus is on the first race event at Coronet Peak this year, the Junior Interfields for athletes aged from five to 14 years old starting on July 18.

“This is a great introduction to ski racing for the young ones who will compete in a Giant Slalom format,” said Mr Murphy.

For serious and social competitors alike, the popular Coronet Peak Lindauer Winter Classic Race Series starts on 21 July and finishes in early September – sign up and practice runs take place on 14 July. Categories include masters, pros, serious and social competitors in Dual Slalom and Giant Slalom events.

Mr Murphy said the Lindauer Winter Classic attracted local and seasonal skiers with and without ski racing backgrounds.

“This is one of the most popular race events on the ski racing calendar,” he said. “It caters for all types of ski racer - it’s competitive but it also has a social element to it. Each race ends with a prize giving at a pub in Queenstown with some fantastic spot prizes up for grabs.”

The NZ Ski Masters for competitors aged 30 years and over includes a Downhill race, a Slalom and finishes with a Giant Slalom, on 7 and 8 August.

The Southern Cup Japanese FIS Race series (19 -22 August) is expected to draw a strong field in the lead up to the Winter Olympics next year. This event includes four days of top end racing comprising of two days Giant Slalom followed by two days of Slalom.

The National Ski Championships will be the final race event of the season which includes Giant Slalom (4 September) and Slalom (5 September) events.

Mr Murphy said he also expected this event to attract a strong field of Kiwis competing for a New Zealand title with an eye on the Winter Olympics.

“We’ve got excellent race conditions at Coronet Peak and we’re really excited about this year’s events,” said Mr Murphy. “We encourage locals to come on up to witness some spectacular racing action from some of the world’s top athletes – it’s all happening at The Peak.”
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