Lake Wanaka, NZ (13 June 2011) - After much anticipation, World Heli Challenge organisers today announced the winners of its first ever Young Gun competition. 12-year-old skier Mark Hendrickson (Calgary, Canada) and 12-year-old snowboarder Lyon Farrell (Hawaii) have taken the honours.
"Given that this was our first time doing this contest, we were astounded at the number of highly qualified applicants," said event founder Tony Harrington (Harro) "The decision wasn't easy." Selection was based entirely on content in the video and photo submissions to the World Heli Challenge facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/World-Heli-Challenge/71335977998).
"The World Heli Challenge is not just about big mountain, it's not just about freestyle, it's the combination of both to determine who the world's greatest all round skiers and boarders are," said Harro. "In the end we went with the two athletes that we felt embodied the passion and spirit of this event and who excel in both freestyle and big mountain, display progressive moves, are aesthetically pleasing to watch and demonstrate a futuristic riding style. The winners also showed competency above their age group."
"Choosing a winner was not easy," said Harro. "It came down to the same basic principles of why people choose one photo over another for a front cover or a painting for an art award -what the judges are inevitably looking for is something they believe will excite the wider consumer and in this case, the athletes they believe have the most to gain in their future by being the ‘Young Gun' of the 2011 World Heli Challenge."
If for any reason either of the two selected Young Guns are unable to compete the following alternates will become eligible to take their spots (in order listed):
Zak Mousseau, 15, Canada
Finn Bilous, 11, NZ
Ian Borgeson, 17, USA
Chase Blackwell, 12, USA
The Young Gun competition will most definitely be held again next year, so those interested have a year to start putting together their edits and photos. World Heli Challenge will start accepting applications for the 2012 Young Guns in April 2012. Organisers encourage aspiring Young Guns to continue to post photos and video throughout the year to gain as much exposure as possible prior to official applications.
To see the winners video submissions and photos visit the World Heli Challenge facebook page.
You can view the winners entries here:
Skier Mark Hendrickson:
Snowboarder Lyon Farrel:
10yr old Lyon Farrell-Skate and Snowboard from Jase Hancox BASKET PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.
About World Heli Challenge
The World Heli Challenge is the ultimate adventure lifestyle event of snow sports. The 2011 World Heli Challenge is set for 27 July to 11 August. The World Heli Challenge is much more than just another snow sports competition. It brings together people, art, creativity, lifestyle and cultural experiences against the dramatic backdrop of New Zealand's Lake Wanaka. A handful of the World's top athletes compete on some of the best heli-accessed terrain in the Southern Hemispher. The goal is to find out which athlete is the best "all rounder" by combining their freeride and free style skills to showcase their overall talent.
About the WHC Young Gun Competition
For the first time in the history of the World Heli Challenge, event organisers welcomed submissions from youth around the world who believe they have what it takes to follow in the footsteps of athletes like New Zealand's Jossi Wells and Australia's Mitch Reeves, taking on the big mountain heli-accessed terrain in Wanaka, New Zealand with the best of the best. Winners will receive free entry into the event, valued at $2,200 and the door will be opened wide to their future as professional snow sports athletes.
Media Contact: Tania Pilkinton