2000 people brave weather for railjam
GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
A sudden downpour scuppered a motocross display and culled potential crowd numbers at Queenstown's largest off-mountain snow event, but 2000 hardy souls still turned out for Saturday's Parklife Invitational Railjam.
The six-hour deluge coincided almost exactly with the Parklife start and finish times, turning a potentially huge crowd into an umbrella wielding cluster at the Queenstown recreation grounds.
However event organisers NZSki were not letting the rain dampen their enthusiasm for making future Parklife nights bigger and better at the new venue.
NZSki sales and marketing general manager Craig Douglas yesterday said the company was used to being at the mercy of Mother Nature.
"Last night proved we had the venue and formula right, and there was an absolutely great standard of riding and skiing," he said.
"The 2000 people that did turn up in the hammering rain were a testament to the spectacle that was on show, and we can only hope the weather is more co-operative in future years."
Redbull X-Fighter motocross rider Nick Franklin, who had just returned to New Zealand to put on a display at Parklife, along with other motocross riders, was unable to perform safely in the wet, slippery conditions.
On Friday he was setting up ramps for the planned finale - jumping over the main ramp while skiers and snowboarders rode rails on their descent.
"I've just got back from a tour where we performed at some new countries including Columbia and India, so I'm stoked to come back to Queenstown and do this. It's completely rare to be able to mix boarding and skiing with motocross, and I'm really looking forward to it."
Although the rain forced Mr Franklin to cancel his jumps, he was able to bungy jump on Thursday and ride fresh snow on The Remarkables skifield yesterday.
- © Fairfax NZ News