This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper in December 1997
1997 Ski Sports Weekend
The club Ski Sports were held in the mellow mists of a late September weekend, and being the social focus of the club ski calendar Tararua Hut was a bustling hive of activity. Most people took part in the events, some were there but not involved, and a few unfortunate ones couldn't actually find the start area. The slalom was the first event, a tight and challenging course set on the Yankee Slalom/Aeroplane Gully area of the field. After the competitors had made their two runs down this course, it was lunch time, and while they retired to the hut the course was re-set for the downhill. By early afternoon, the snow conditions were variable, being very soft and wet, and many of us didn't even manage to get down the course intact!
Apart from Ross Pickard snapping a ski, there was no permanent damage done, and certainly nothing that couldn't be anaesthetised by a gluhwein or three. The theme for the after-match party was "Hats and Ties", a colourful event which really brightened up the hut. As a bonus, it was also Goran's birthday, and a cake materialised complete with candles, but we weren't allowed to say how many.
Sunday was fine and clear in the morning, allowing us to get out and have a blast in the Valley. After lunch the jump competition and a new event, the Novelty Race, were held in the "back yard" behind the Hut. The novelty race was the brainchild of Peter Gates and other lateral-thinking individuals. It involved a four-person team sliding down a slope on a plastic sheet, then ducking through a snow cave, emerging briefly and entering a second cave. Inside, the team members had to swap jackets with each other, and finally push or pull one person in a wheelbarrow across the finish line. And then it rained.
It is noteworthy that the Macpherson Shield for the Men's Downhill race was won by Ian Baine, against a very competitive field. Ian first won this trophy in 1952, and this award is the 17th time in 45 years; a remarkable record bettered only by El Nino. As I write this, the warm spring weather has arrived and skiing is finished for another year. Many thanks to the other Ski Committee members and to the scores of "non-commissioned" helpers who instructed, carried race gates, made the gluhwein, planned and prepared dinners on Club Ed, and all those other things that made the season happen for all of us.
For the record, the event results were:
|Men's Novice||no award made||Women's Novice||Kate Williams|
|Men's Intermediate||Mark Sherriff||Women's Intermediate||no award made|
|Women's Slalom||Jenny Gates||Men's Slalom||Nick Crang|
|Women's Downhill||Jenny Gates||Men's Downhill||Ian Baine|
|Men's Aggregate||Nick Crang||Women's Aggregate||Merran Lewis|
|Telemark||Goran Persson||Men's Jump||Nick Crang|
|Women's Jump||Anne Dowden|