Top athletes ready to ride rivers

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New Zealand’s first Riverboarding World Championship is coming to Queenstown this week.
It’ll see boarders compete in races on the Kawarau River, with a freestyle event taking place at the Hawea Whitewater Park.
About 100 athletes from 20 different countries will fight for the top spot.
Local guide Huw Miles helped bring the event to Queenstown after convincing the World Riverboarding Association to host it down under for the first time.
Miles says there’s been a ”fair amount of blood sweat and tears” to put the event together.
”[I’m] so stoked it’s all about to kick off, not only will it bring hundreds of thousands into the economy at a quieter time of year, but it also puts Queenstown and riverboarding back on the map on a world stage.”
The athletes will compete in slalom, boardercross and endurocross races, before the freestyle event at the end of the tournament.
Indonesia hosted the first ever championship in 2013, before the next event was held in Guatemala two years later.
The sport has grown in popularity ever since the first event, which attracted more than 60 riverboarders from 10 different countries.
This year’s event, which is free to watch, runs from Sunday till next Saturday.
joshua.walton@scene.co.nz