Paintballing first

19:49, Jun 13 2012
The Obsidian paintball team, from left, Phillip Butters, Beau Michaels, Mirren Harvey, Jason Gardiner and Mike Hendrick who represented Marlborough in the Southern Series paintball tournament.

Making Marlborough paintballing history, the Obsidian paintball team is hoping to bring some of the South Island's best paintballers to Blenheim.

The team has just finished competing in the South Island Southern Series Trilogy league, where it came sixth out of 12 teams after the third and final tournament in Dunedin last week.

It was the first time a team from Blenheim had competed in the league, which has been running for 20 years, team member Beau Michaels said. The team was very pleased with the result as its members were much less experienced than some of the other teams, he said.

Kitted out for action at the Blenheim paintball centre

"There was a team where one player had more experience than our entire team. There were teams that had four years of competition over us and there were some strong teams with lots of experience that we managed to give a good thrashing."

The team has no training venue in Marlborough and could not train properly before the tournament, Beau said.

After getting some good experience in the South Island event the team is planning to head to the national competition in Wellington in October, where Beau also has high hopes of doing well.


Kitted out for action at the Blenheim paintball centre

"I think we're going to hand a lot of teams their losing ticket. We've had teams from the South Island go over to Australia and compete in their semi-professional division so I think our South Island teams are stronger than in the North Island. Obviously we'd like to win but if we can come somewhere in the middle again I will be stoked."

Tournament games were not like traditional paintball but featured teams of five playing five-minute games in a small arena, where players try to capture a flag and get it to the opposite end of the arena.

"We don't put on camouflage paint and play in the forest like Rambo like people think we do. It's more like a touch rugby type of deal. You have to be quick. In the first 10 seconds there's well over 1000 paintballs fired."

Kitted out for action at the Blenheim paintball centre

The game was very fan-friendly as well, as they could watch close up and see all the action without getting splattered.

The team is hoping to bring the final tournament on next year's Southern Series to Blenheim, he said. The tournament was due to be held in Christchurch but that was unlikely because of earthquake damage.

The sport was expensive: along with equipment and a $600 tournament fee the team used 15 tins of paint pellets, costing them more than $1200, Beau said.

"The adrenalin rush of playing this type of paintball is unmatched. "

The Marlborough Express