Travis Rice, Ted Davenport, Aline Bock and Ane Enderud were named overall champions at the 2010 World Heli Challenge in Lake Wanaka, NZ yesterday. The event window saw some of the most difficult conditions imaginable for big mountain competition, but the final day was blessed with an inversion layer that allowed final runs to be contested with good visibility and reasonably decent snow compared the sheer ice that plagued much of the early rounds.
"Conditions in the history of this event have never been so difficult or extreme," event founder Tony Harrington said in a press release.
Rice created the most buzz of the day by riding a line most of his competitors felt was not possible.
"This is truly an epic contest, the terrain is here, the riders are here, and the heart of the event is here, unfortunately this year, the snow wasn't here." He went on to add, "No matter where you are you're only batting 60 percent on getting good snow anyways. So here's to next year ... I'll be back."
Davenport successfully defended his 2009 title, despite setting off a class two avalanche that he was forced to ski out of in the middle of his run.
"It was great to come and win this prestigious event in the most opposite of conditions of last year," said Davenport. "Last year was the best ever (snow conditions) and this year was the worst. Winning both years shows that I can adapt to whatever nature brings."
2010 World Heli Challenge Results:
1. Travis Rice
2. Shin Biyahima
3. Will Jackways
4. Andy Finch
5. Chris Rasman
1. Aline Bock
2. Maria Kuzma
3. Eysia Gibb
1. Ted Davenport
2. Sam Smoothy
3. Fraser McDougall
4. Cam McDermind
1. Ane Enderud
2. Janina Kuzma
Freestyle Charging Award: Shannan Yates
Best "Rear View": Luke Potts
Driver Dip Stick Award: Elysia Gibb
Harden Up: Ralph Backstrom (for being bloodied two years in a row)
Media Star Award: Blizzird (the rescue dog)