By GUY WILLIAMS
The masters of skiing will be hurtling and clattering down the slopes of Queenstown’s Coronet Peak from today.
Forty to 50 competitors are expected to contest the NZ Skiing Masters over two days at the ski area.
It’s the fourth of five masters events throughout the country, starting at the Snowplanet indoor ski slope in Auckland in May, and finishing at Treble Cone next Saturday.
Co-organiser Geoff Hunt says the biggest contingent is usually the 65-to-70 age group, but the oldest competitor will be 92-year-old Paul Bush, a retired farmer from Cheviot, North Canterbury, who’s been coming to Queenstown to ski since 1950.
Consisting of two runs each in slalom, giant slalom and super-G, the event’s held on the ski area’s T-bar course.
There’s also a teams race, with competitors allocated randomly into teams, which is decided by combining the slalom and giant slalom results.
The event, which has been running at Coronet Peak for 34 years, is open to anyone born in 2003 or before, which basically means anyone out of high school.
Hunt, who won all three disciplines in his age group at the Cardrona edition of the series last weekend, says the racing’s a ‘‘great adrenaline rush’’, particularly the high-speed super-G, but the best thing about it is the social side.
‘‘Everyone knows everyone. There’s quite a bit of chat, but once you’ve got your legs in front of the start gate, a bit of focus comes on.’’
There’ll be a prize-giving at Cargo at Gantley’s in Arthurs Point on Saturday at 6.30pm.—