Queenstown, New Zealand, July 27, 2001--Looking for pain? Head down to The Compaq 50K of Coronet in Queenstown, New Zealand on July 30. The race will showcase endurance ski racing at its best when eight international teams of world class skiers line up for the grueling event at Coronet Peak.
Last year's inaugural race, modeled on the prestigious 24 Hours of Aspen, received international recognition and raised $70,000 for the Cure Kids charity to fund research into life threatening child illnesses.
The race involves eight teams of three battling head-to-head in a non-stop 16-hour race, which starts at 6pm on July 30 and finishes at 10am on July 31. Last year the finish was a tense cliffhanger between the highly rated German and Canadian entries. Germany eventually took first place on the podium, after completing 101 laps of the challenging downhill course.
Compaq 50K co-director Wayne Café says last year's race saw some outstanding skiers such as Canadian Chris "Superman" Kent, who was a three time winner of the 24 Hours of Aspen, German skiing ace Martin Fiala, Australian legend Stephen Lee, and a highly charismatic all-woman Swedish team. Other teams were entered from New Zealand, Slovenia, and Spain.
Applications for the race are still being assessed but Café says they have spread the international net even further this year and promise more competitors with World Cup racing experience.
"Our race has a great profile particularly after the presentations we made at last year's 24 Hours of Aspen. There are a lot of skiers who have now heard about the race and want to come down here and compete."
The Compaq 50K requires a volunteer workforce of around 200 people, mainly provided by the Queenstown Alpine Ski Team, which in return receives a grant to help further ski racing in the region. Sponsorship marketing manager Darryn Keiller says Compaq has reinforced its commitment to the event, and to Queenstown. The company has set its sights on raising even more money this year for the charity. "A major part of the event is to create a quality environment for the Cure Kids fundraising activity and with our partners BMW and Air New Zealand we are confident we can underwrite the charity even further," said Keiller
Café says Compaq has shown strong vision in their support for the event. "Their enthusiasm for the event is evident by their increased sponsorship this year. The company has also branched out investing support in other areas in Queenstown, which is a good spin off from the event for the resort."
Check back with SkiNet for more coverage and the results of the Compaq 50K of Coronet.