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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Olympian efforts turn out MoreFM Day on the Bay champions

Overachieving athletes joined the wild, the wacky and the utterly ridiculous as Day 3 of the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival turned sporty on-and-off the slopes.

Downtown action drew thousands to the shores of Lake Wakatipu to get vantage points for the action at the MoreFM Day on the Bay.

While MoreFM Birdman entrants had worked for weeks on their entries, Olympic swimmer Moss Burmester made a spur of the moment decision to enter the Mophie Splash n Dash, swimming 50 meters in the icy lake followed by a 50 meter dash down the beach.
AEQWF 2013 MR4 Undy 500 competitors at American Express Queenstown Winter Festival 2013On holiday in Queenstown from Auckland for his birthday, he was looking at the Festival programme and the word ‘splash’ got his attention.

“I’ve done a few polar plunges and saw that the Mophie Splash n Dash had great prizes, and despite knowing how cold Lake Wakatipu can be, I thought I’d give it a go,” he said.

“We’ve always talked about coming to a Queenstown Winter Festival and I guess I’ve really ‘done’ a Festival now.”

The rest is history as the official result for the 2013 Mophie Splash n Dash is recoded as ‘1st, Burmester, New Zealand.’

Always a crowd-pleaser, the annual MoreFM Birdman competition once again drew gasps and cheers from a huge crowd as competitors braved the freezing waters to show-off their homemade birdman entry. 

Quiksilver took out the business category with ‘Art of Flight’, a live re-enactment of the epic snowboarding movie of the same title.

AEQWF 2013 MR4 Moss Burmester is congratulated by Henry Youngman after winning the Mophie SplashnDash at FestivalTaking out the non-business category, Steve Gurney and Jackie Clarke tarred and feathered themselves for ‘Who jumped first? The Chicken or the Egg’ before hurling themselves into the water, with the multi-sport champion breaking out of a paper mache egg.

An armada of representatives of local jet boat operators lined up for the Vincent Holdings Jet Sprints to fishtail and power their way through a slalom course of buoys near the waterfront. Kevin Malloy from Skippers Canyon Jet took it out in 59 seconds, a full four seconds ahead of his competitors.

The Smooth Riders men’s team and The Tiki Hine women’s team took out the Quiksilver Paddle Board Race. Josh Connell from the UK and Zelia Horrell from Queenstown took out the men’s and women’s divisions of the Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Undy 500.

AEQWF 2013 MR4 Coronet Peak's Skin to the Summit at sunrise on Day 3 at the American Express Queenstown Winter FestivalZelia Horrell’s placing boosted the AJ Hackett team’s overall score so far in the inaugural Pub on Wharf Festival Challenge which started today with eight teams competing to take out the title. Teams will complete 10 events over the 10 days of the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival.

Earlier in the day, a crisp Central Otago dawn greeted spectators and competitors taking part in the dawn Coronet Peak Skin to the Summit event. Twenty three started out from the Coronet Base at 7am, powering themselves to the top with the fastest, Grant Guise from Queenstown, summiting a mere 27 minutes later.

Foodies were treated to a spectacular lunch by MasterChef judge and Michelin star chef Josh Emett. Guests enjoyed four sublime courses at the American Express Rata Lunch, accompanied by award-winning wines from Gibbston Valley Winery.

AEQWF 2013 MR4 A tarred and feathered Steve Gurney bursts from an egg in the MoreFM Birdman at Festival
The newly-renovated Memorial Centre will be comedy central tomorrow night in the first of the NZ Comedy Gala shows. The event initially sold out within 24 hours, forcing a second showing to be added to the Festival line-up.

Some of New Zealand’s best stand-up comedians such as Dai Henwood, Paul Ego, Ewen Gilmour, Urzila Carlson and Jeremy Corbett join host Brendhan Lovegrove for an evening of one-liners and belly laughs. They’ll then do it all again tomorrow night in what promises to be two nights to be remembered.

Day 4 of the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival starts tomorrow at midday with the Alpine Health and Fitness Zumba Mania in Earnslaw Park. Hunt out your retro sportswear and join in the dancing and fun of this Latino-infused workout, with prizes for the best Zumba and best dressed.

To see the full line up of the programme and individual event details check out the complete American Express Queenstown Winter Festival calendar online at www.winterfestival.co.nz or pick up a programme at information outlets throughout the region.
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