The three-day event stars an ‘invite only’ selection of 50 of the world’s top snowboarders and skiers who will compete across three disciplines.
Riders will battle it out in “Big Mountain”, “Freeride” and “Downhill” divisions in terrain that is only accessible by helicopter in the Mount Aspiring National Park region of the Southern Alps.
Every competitor will be tested both physically and mentally in the challenge, which is unique to every other snow event in the world. The overall goal of the World Heli Challenge is to find the best all-round skier and snowboarder.
Quiksilver will be the official Mountain Wear sponsor, providing clothing, merchandising, media distribution and will also act as a strategic Partner.
“To have a partner like Quiksilver on board is epic,” said World Heli Challenge director Tony Harrington. “Quiksilver is a company who shares the same passion and vision that we hold for the World Heli Challenge, it’s a perfect fit. Quiksilver’s history and credibility in the industry is legendary and it typifies adventure lifestyle sports and the social environment of the Challenge itself.”
Quiksilver’s Winter Sports Manager Jeff Sweeny adds, “This style of event fits perfectly with direction of both our image, our athletes and the way they’re taking on the mountains, beyond the boundaries of the ski lifts and resorts. With the likes of Travis Rice spearheading our team – the back country is their terrain park. The World Heli Challenge is a perfect opportunity connecting Quiksilver’s attitude to this progressive unique event”.
Riders already confirmed represent a cross section of revered freestylers, extremists, ski racers and pure bred freeriders. A final event field will be selected in the coming weeks with a number of Quiksilver team members to be included in the selection.
Snowboarders already confirmed include Ralph Backstrom (USA), Matthew Annetts (USA), Susan Mol (USA), Paula Dewey (USA), Rachel “Ratty” Sheidow (Australia) Mitch Allen (Australia), Rob Kingwell (USA), Matthias Haunholde (Austria)
International skiers already confirmed include Jeff Annetts (USA), Erik Roner (USA), Chris Booth (Australia), JP Auclair (Canada), Andrea Berchtold (Australia), Sam Smoothy (New Zealand), Chris Davenport (USA), Ted Davenport (USA), Charlie Timmins (Australia), Boen Ferguson (Australia)
Quiksilver have a longstanding history with the world’s biggest events, staging performance-leading events like the Quiksilver Big Wave in Memory of Eddie Aikau (Waimea Bay, HI), the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast (the number one event each year on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Men’s Tour) and Travis Rice’s Natural Selection snowboard invitational (Wyoming, USA).
Explains Erik Roner, TGR ski athlete and renowned base jumper: “The World Heli Challenge is a rad concept, it allows the opportunity for an athlete to showcase all their abilities, whether they are a free-styler or big mountain rider, it encapsulates their all round skills and brings it all together in one event.”