Otago/Southland Secondary Schools Ski Championships

By Paul Vlietstra | Posted: Tuesday August 8, 2017

Last weekend saw two vans with trailers and chains, 13 boys and 3 adults depart from Dunedin, bound for Wanaka for the Otago/Southland Secondary Schools Ski Championships. 

Once we arrived in  Wanaka the hospitality shown to us by Mike and Des Ryan was above and beyond as they had myself, my wife Barbara and 3 boys staying with them while other parents hosted their sons and other boys too.

During the weekend, we wanted to get the boys up the mountain for some practice before the actual event day, which was on Monday the 7th. Saturday was a good weather day and the boys that came up on the Friday night made the most of it getting a full days skiing in. The remaining boys arrived on Saturday evening, after staying in town a bit longer so they could play their rugby games. When we woke on Sunday morning, it was raining and the boys were disappointed, wondering what to do.

So we checked all the forecasts, and checked what the weather was like in Queenstown, (thanks Fiona Brabant for your informative messages) and we made the call to shoot over to Coronet Peak Ski Area so that the boys who hadn’t yet skied, could at least get an afternoons skiing in before racing the next day. It turned out to be a good afternoon and the boys came back very satisfied and tired. Dinner and packing the trailers with all the gear and an early night was had, in anticipation of the next day!

Monday morning and the alarms went off at 5:45am and the boys woke to a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, grilled tomatoes and toast cooked by Mike Ryan (Dan’s Dad) and myself. Everyone turned up on time and we were off up the mountain nice and early to get registered and organised for the days racing. The racing was exciting and Rhondda Bowen, Barbara Vlietstra, Mike Brabant and I were assigned as marshals to the top of the Giant Slalom Course. There were many competitors and both the girls and the boys got two runs down the course with their combined times giving them their final result.

Max Watt was our standout performer with a 1st place in the Gravity Cross and a 2nd place in the Giant Slalom. With the combined times of our number one ski team: Max Watt, Felix Brabant and Oban Hansen, the OBHS team result was 2nd place. These times are only taken from the Giant Slalom results and I suspect if they were able to combine results from all the events that OBHS may have had an even better result as we had 3 out of the 4 boys in the final of the Gravity Cross event! Max Watt 1st, Oban Hansen 3rd and Felix Brabant 4th.

I especially want to thank Mike and Des Ryan, Mike and Fiona Brabant, Richard Blakely and my wife Barbara for your special assistance not just on the mountain but with accommodation and information. Rhondda and I very much appreciated your dedicated assistance which made for an amazing weekend for us and all the boys. 

Giant Slalom Results


Gravity Cross Results


Team Results


Image Gallery