Sharks, Unicorns and UFOs in Coronet’s most aniticipted snowball fight: The 2016 Quest Banked Slalom

The slopes of Coronet Peak were graced with the razor sharp edges and race wax of over 100 die-hard Snowboarders last Saturday, congregating for Quest Queenstown’s annual Banked Slalom.

The sun had presented itself perfectly and even managed to leave the wind behind especially for the occasion. For many the familiar event culminated some strategic planning and careful sewing, for others it was an exciting introduction to true Banked Slalom etiquette.

With almost double the contestants to that of last years event the competition was fierce and reigning best dressed champion was clearly in it for the win. Sharks, unicorns and UFO’s alike rivaled and also lined up to speed down the slushy slope.

After finishing touches were added to the course and all racers were warmly welcomed by the Quest team, another momentous event was officially underway.

Local legends like Deni Bevin, Christy Prior, and Nick Hyne were among the long list of contending champions. The course was tight and peppered with tussock, ready for both pros and amateurs to skilfully navigate each burm and simultaneously block the barrage of snowballs coming in from every direction. Now if you’re sitting there thinking you’ve ever been in a snowball fight, I politely ask you to think again; bloody noses, black eyes and lost goggles were just a few of the many casualties encountered, and that was only after the first turn. Though despite the pain no civilians crossed the finish line without a smile.

The usual barrage of snowballs smashing riders in the first gates. Photo by Callum Wood

The usual barrage of snowballs smashing riders in the first gates. Photo by Callum Wood

The afternoon saw in complementary t-shirts, a well deserved BBQ, and party laps, complete with high pitched heckling and “shukkas”. Finally the highly anticipated award for best dressed was announced, undeniably deserving to Craig Vernon, with an outfit ready for the big screen. Unfortunately the sheer number of athletes caused a slight delay in collating everybody’s times and announcing the fastest man and woman; Deni Bevin and Adele Walker had to wait for the after party.

Evidently the day was a huge success. The team at Quest can assuredly rest easy after their biggest turn out yet, whilst the rest of us should probably knuckle down and get on top of costume designing.

Slushy course fun at the Coronet Peak Quest Banked Slalom. Photo by Richie Johnston

Slushy course fun at the Coronet Peak Quest Banked Slalom. Photo by Richie Johnston

How's the costume efforts? Photo by Richie Johnston

How’s the costume efforts? Photo by Richie Johnston

Caley Alger

Queenstown-based lover of board sports, yoga enthusiast and Trampoline Coach, Cayley spends her time bouncing between our surrounding mountains and her favourite local coffee shops.

Here at 360qw, Cayley writes about female-focused topics, lesser-known aspects of life in Queenstown, and… whatever other vivacious subjects appear in her mind.

Read all Cayley’s articles at 360qw or check out her own blog here.

The usual barrage of snowballs smashing riders in the first gates. Photo by Callum Wood

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