Queenstowner wins downhill dash


A super-speedy Queenstowner mountain biker has been named the inaugural DirtMasters Downhill champ.

Reon Boe hurtled from the top of the Skyline gondola through Ben Lomond Forest to the Brecon Street finish line in 5min 08sec 50millisec.

Contenders also had to tackle the Brecon St stairs in front of a waiting crowd.

Boe – the fastest qualifier and top seed – pipped second-place getter Christchurch’s Rupert Chapman from top spot with his time of 5:13.56millisec.

Boe thinks the race – a keystone event in the first Queenstown Bike Festival – was “awesome”, and there’s potential for the resort to host a World Cup downhill in the future.

Boe also took out third spot in the gut-busting non-stop six hour Super D Enduro race – also part of the festival – the previous weekend.

Local Seb Kemp took out the veteran men’s title in 5:22.44millisec, about seven seconds ahead of local biking nut Jim Hawkridge, with Vertigo’s Tim Ceci third.

The fastest woman of the day was Veronique Sandler of Nelson, hooning down the hill in 6:27.35millisec to win the under-16 section.

First-time downhiller Canadian Amy Freedman cleaned up the open women’s title in 6:59.18millisec, despite crashing. Queenstown’s Kate Fluker – who won the open women’s Tour de Wakatipu on Saturday – also a novice downhill racer – claimed second spot.

Veteran Teresa Blanpain from Dunedin won her section with a time of 6:39.28millisec.