“Team Vacation” wins popular vote into World Heli Challenge
29 Aug, 2014
A US/Canadian team of skiers eager to avoid the heat of their northern summer has won the inaugural World Heli Challenge “Call Up” poll today.
“Team Vacation” secured the most votes in the online vote to win their place in the 2014 World Heli Challenge and are excitedly preparing for their 9-day free-riding heli-adventure to the Southern Alps of New Zealand.
“Team Vacation’s” three-minute video earned overwhelming support from online voters with their winning combination of humour, storytelling and plenty of solid technical skiing. They just nudged out New Zealanders Cam McDermid and Tom Brownlee’s team “All of Us in Winterland” to take the coveted “People’s Choice” slot.
Team captain Essex Prescott competed in his first World Heli Challenge last year placing third in Men’s Ski and was ecstatic at the news his team had won the “Call Up” today.
“After an intense week of voting and the amazing caliber of edits we were up against in the “Call-Up” we are stoked to secure a spot in the Challenge. The turn out of votes and support we received from so many different avenues just blew our minds and we can’t begin to thank everyone enough who voted for us. We’re frothing to get down to Lake Ohau and Aoraki and put everything we’ve got into the Challenge,” said Essex.
“I was blown away by last year’s event and excited to see what this year had to offer. Things only got better when I heard about the new format and realised that Leo and Dylan would be the perfect teammates. For the “Call Up” we wanted to create something different that would draw people in… it can be difficult to get people excited about a ski edit in the middle of our summer. We had to make a connection and that’s how the Summer Vacation idea came about!
“Team Vacation” will be pitted against another, as yet unannounced team, to be chosen by an international panel of judges based on their “Call Up” video entry. The judges will select a team based on their blend of technical ski/snowboard ability, filming/editing of their edit and their response to the competition brief “Big Adventure/Big Rewards”.
World Heli Challenge event director Tony “Harro” Harrington was delighted with how the new “Call Up” poll format unfolded this week, “ We hoped teams would step up and get creative to win a spot in the Heli Challenge this year and they did just that.
“ “Team Vacation” put together a great entry and deserved every single vote they got. They bring together both on snow skills and style and their edit was fun and well made. We are impressed by the quality of all the entries and our judging panel has their work cut out choosing the team to take them on,” Harro explained.
An international line up of judges drawn from the freeride world, media and peer athletes choose the second World Heli Challenge team which will be officially announced at Fitzpatrick’s in Wanaka New Zealand, and online at www.worldhelichallenge.com, on Thursday 4 September (8pm NZ time).
Both teams will take on the World Heli Challenge based out of Lake Ohau Lodge from 7-15th September in a chase for $10,000 first place and prizes.