Flips and slips at Rainbow skifield

'The next two weeks should be great'

JONATHAN MCKEOWN
Last updated 13:00 24/09/2012
MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ

Competitors brave the cold to take the Slush Cup challenge at Rainbow Ski Field.

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MARTIN DE RUYTER/FAIRFAX NZ Zoom
Charlotte Tear of Stoke discovers going backwards in the Slush Cup isn't a good idea.
Snow
MARTIN DE RUYTER/Fairfax NZ
SLUSH FUN: Chris Riddell competes in the Slush Cup at Rainbow Skifield. Competitors ski or board down the mountain crossing a pond. Some don’t make it.

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Rainbow Ski Area's annual Slush Cup could easily be converted into a splash cup due to the amount of dunking on Saturday.

Every spring when the air temperature is warm enough for participants to have a couple of runs before going hypothermic, a slightly nutty cluster of about 20 skiers and snowboarders attempt to cross a 15-metre pool filled with a mixture of snow and water.

In the ninth edition of the event many entrants wore shorts and T-shirts knowing sooner or later they would be getting wet. Not so for Rainbow committee member Hamish Neill who knew he was destined for the drink. His full length wetsuit was not dry for long as he took the first plunge only making it halfway across the lake in his first attempt.

The first round went smoothly with all other entrants making it across the lake including the most senior entrant and past rainbow committee member John Fitchett . . . but that was the easy part.

Charlotte Tear upped the ante on twin-tip skis, taking on the lake backwards and on her final run she attempted the distance on one ski and failed miserably. After their first plunge the entrants were a little more relaxed with some successful and some not so successful 180 degree turns entering the slush pit.

The duo of Spencer Cathman and Blake Hornblow succeeded in taking on the lake at the same time and the final run of the day saw one bold competitor attempt a barrel roll, making it only halfway before getting his frozen dunking.

Prizes were awarded on the day and the best trick went to Lee Dobson for his back flip. Reuben Kerr was judged most stylish through the pool and the most creative was Miss Tear. Not the most awe-inspiring but certainly entertaining Andrew Shepherd was handed the best crash and splash award.

Mr Neill said apart from being "completely soaking wet and frozen solid" it was an excellent day up on the field.

"With sunny warm conditions and no wind this allowed for the hardy few to venture across the manmade tarn of ice cold water and slush."

Although the event is purely for entertainment the staff use the event to raise funds for safety and ski patrol equipment. The weekend was the best since July for Rainbow with beautiful fine conditions both days. With a base of 50-100cm Rainbow will be open until October 7, the end of the first week of the school holidays.

"With a great snow base and excellent spring skiing still available, the next two weeks should be really great for skiers and boarders," said Mr Neill.

"People are often seen breaking out barbecues in the car park at this time of year as the temperatures rise."

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- The Nelson Mail

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