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First ever Junior World Heli Challenge announces winners

Sunday 4 August, 2013 Wanaka NZ: Finn Bilous (13) from Hawea Flat took out first place in the inaugural Junior World Heli Challenge awards announced last night in Wanaka. Finn shared the honour on the night with his older brother Hank (15) who claimed second place, Australian skier Mitch Reeves from Mt Buller received third.

Judges awarded the podium to Finn for his strong performance on the heli-accessed competition day when he successfully performed a Flat 3, Cab 5 and a 720 despite challenging conditions in the landing. Hank received recognition for a huge backflip and Mitch for a well-executed Flat 360.

Event director and founder Tony “Harro” Harrington was thrilled with the maiden event for the juniors, “These athletes are the future of our sport and they have been an inspiration this week. They’ve soaked up so much information and it was exciting to see them applying it in a backcountry setting high in the Southern Alps on the competition day.”

Finn Bilous (NZ) revelling in the conditions

Photo: Finn Bilous soaring to victory high above Minaret Station.  Credit: AceMedia

The Junior World Heli Challenge is the first and only event of its kind for 12-16 year old skiers and snowboarders. It has evolved out of the elite level World Heli Challenge “young guns” program where a small cadre of upcoming athletes joined the iconic big mountain competition.

The group spent the week developing backcountry tactics, avalanche awareness, media and communication skills based out of Wanaka as well as plenty of time on the slopes at Treble Cone. The event climaxed with a heli-accessed competition held high above Minaret Station outside Wanaka, New Zealand on Friday 2 August.

The Junior World Heli Challenge is open to advanced skiers and boarders and will be held annually in the lead-in the World Heli Challenge competition. The 2013 event commences on Sunday 4 August with elite athletes converging in Wanaka for a two-week gathering.

 

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