Bouldergaine event makes world debut

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 05:00 15/03/2014
Bouldergaine
JOHN PALMER
ON THE UP: Rock climber Tom "Gomez" Hoyle boulders a rock at Castle Hill.

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Rock-climbing meets orienteering at Castle Hill today in the first event of "an entirely new sport" in New Zealand - and the world.

The inaugural "bouldergaine" event was organised by the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC) and is described as "a hybrid of rogaining and bouldering".

The "extreme new pursuit" combines rock climbing on boulders to a safe height without the need for ropes and harnesses with an endurance form of orienteering, involving locating electronic checkpoints in cross-country terrain.

NZAC programme manager Sefton Priestley said participants would work in teams of two to locate checkpoints spread over 4 square kilometres. The competitors, about 180 people, would score points with an electronic tag at each one they reach, which was "the rogaining aspect".

They had three hours to score as many points as possible.

"At each checkpoint there are also bonus point clickers that can be reached by climbing to the top of a boulder - that is the bouldering aspect."

Priestley said the new sport combined rock climbing and orienteering "in a way that no one has tried before. It will be interesting to see what tactics people use".

"If all goes well we will look at a series of at least three events in 2015. There is already interest from overseas so maybe this will be the start of a worldwide phenomenon," he said.

FRINGE SPORTS

NIGHT SURFING

The Canterbury University Boardriders Association (Cuba)'s annual night surf will be in September. The club will light up the waves with floodlights on the New Brighton Pier, crank some tunes and get a barbecue sizzling.

A scientist at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) said sea temperatures offshore of Christchurch were "roughly about 10 degrees Celsius" in August/September and it was "the coldest time of the year".

WAKESKATING

It's like skateboarding, but on water. Christchurch wakeskaters go to secret locations and wakeskate behind boats or jetskis.

"Or if you are winching, you can do it in ankle-deep water . . . but you risk significant injury if you fall," said an anonymous wakeskating source. A national competition is potentially on the cards for later this year.

URBAN JETSKIING

This sport, which made headlines in Christchurch last week, requires a jetski and flooded streets. The streets in parts of Heathcote were about 70 centimetres under water on the day of the city's latest flood, which was more than enough for Hekmat Sultani's jetski to operate.

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GEOCACHING

Geocaching is for people who like using hand-held GPS devices to hunt for small plastic containers. Members hide a "cache" and share its longitude, latitude and other useful information on geocaching.com, which other players use to find it. A group of keen Christchurch "cachers" are organising an event in the city at Labour Weekend next year.

WHARF JUMPING

Christchurch is home to the New Zealand Wharf Jumping Association [NZWJA] headquarters. The association's website defines wharf jumping as "an art/sport/activity involving the performance of physical manoeuvres from a platform . . . into a body of water".

NZWJA locations manager Reuben Williams said: "If you do not want to get into the water, that is fine. You just have to enjoy watching."

- The Press

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