Weather woe for Queenstown Parklife Invitational


Torrential rain dampened spirits at the tenth Queenstown Parklife Invitational.

Dangerously wet conditions saw the planned motocross demonstration cancelled.

But top skiers and boarders still managed to put on a show on the rails and snow brought down from The Remarkables, despite a thorough soaking.

About 2000 spectators braved the weather to watch the snowsport event – held for the first time at Queenstown Recreation Ground rather than Earnslaw Park.

Californian snowboarder Eric Beauchemin took home the $1800 prize for best male rider – after nailing almost every trick. Ireland’s Orla Doolin was best female snowboarder, winning $600.

The world’s best free skier, Gus Kenworthy from Colorado, defended his Parklife male ski title, winning $1500 with spins into and off both rails. Dutch skier Isabelle Hanssen won the women’s category, and $400.

Ross Lawrence, NZSki’s The Remarkables ski area manager, says: “Even though the weather wasn’t in our favour, the night was still a great success.

“It just goes to show the passion everyone has for skiing and snowboarding that the crowd was there until the end. We can’t wait to bring it all together again next year.”

The planned freestyle motocross demonstration would have seen Kiwi Nick Franklin and Aussies Matty Lewis and Brenton Drager perform airborne tricks on their bikes over the rail structure. But it was cancelled for safety reasons, with the wet ramps too dangerous to ride.

Other winners in the rail jam included Will Wesson, whose blind three swap on the down flat down rail earned him $500 for Best Trick, while Marlin Largerstedt received $200 for Best Slam.

Briggs Brown, Sam Matchett and Brett Donnelly all won a place in the jam through ‘Get Me On The List’ – a competition for unknown skiers and riders set-up by The Remarkables Park Crew.