Skiing’s next generation smoke Coronet

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Queenstown Winter Olympians have been passing on tips to the next generation of skiers during Coronet Peak races on Saturday. 

More than 200 fearless young aspiring alpine skiers took part in the first race of the Southern Region Junior Inter-field Ski Series. 

In difficult snow conditions, the competitors aged between five and 17 years old set overall times over two runs in the 17-gate Giant Slalom race. 

Local Olympians Tim Cafe, an alpine skier, and Mitchey Greig, who competes in skier cross, were there to pass on their knowledge to the next generation. 

Queenstown Alpine Ski Team programme director Nigel Brown says it’s probably one of the biggest junior field races in South Island. Out of 45 medals dished out, QAST took 27. 

QAST youngster Sam Hadley won the E1 Boys (under nines) with an ultra-quick time for his two runs of 56.56 seconds – faster than many of the competitors in all age groups. 

QAST K1 coach and former Olympian GS ski racer Cafe says: “I’m really happy with the kids and proud of how they went. Given the right opportunities they could go a long way. 

“There’s some talent,” Cafe says. 

“When I came through the local programme it was very strong and then about five years ago it went through a bit of a decline. 

“But in the last few years there’s been a shift and the programme is on the rise again.” 

The next race is at Treble Cone on August 12, followed by The Remark­ables on August 26, and the series final at Cardrona on September 9. 

Results: E1 (under nine year olds) boys Sam Hadley (Queenstown Alpine Ski Team QAST), 56.56 seconds; E1 girls Mackenzie Frost (Twizel Snow Club) Twizel Snow Club, 60.17secs; E2 (under-10s) boys Julius Staufenberg (Treble Cone), 55.97secs; E2 girls, Alice Robinson (QAST), 52.87secs; K1 (under-12s) men Zac Mutton (Treble Cone), 51.72secs; K1 women, Cameron-Leigh Murphy (QAST), 53.50secs; K2 (under-14) boys Aymeric Vaudelin (QAST), 51secs; K2 girls Barbara Vives in 51.76secs; J (under-17s) women Emily Bassett (QAST) in 1:03.85