Westlake Girls Inaugural Snowsports Camp is a Winner

A rapid growth in recent years and the Snowboarding team’s title win at the Auckland Champs earlier this year, led to the Westlake Girls Snowsports inaugural trip to Wanaka to take it to the next level.

Blessed with bluebird days, the team hankered down for a gruelling week of training at the Cardrona Ski Field during the holidays in preparation for the North Island Secondary Schools Ski and Snowboarding Championships.  Thanks to Peter Legnavsky, Manager of the Parks Squad, the skiers were blessed with great coaches in Skier Sam Lynch and Snowboarders Nick Clapperton-Rees and Cam Graham.

Students rose at 6am each morning, loaded into vehicles and gradually woke up on the drive up the Crown Range. Blessed with excellent conditions, they were grateful for their coaches who allowed them to by-pass the queues of many thousands. Across the course of the week, the 10 skiers and 8 snowboarders were pushed and challenged to take it to the next level from 8.30am – 12.30pm, they worked on improving their technique before being put through their paces with race training.  A busy morning was always followed by lunch then a freestyling afternoon on the mountain.

By mid-week many students with sore bodies were begging for a later start on bleaker days, but the promise of newly packed snow overnight forced them into the van as per usual. Well-supported by parents, these enthusiastic students learnt a great deal during seven days and were looking forward to applying it at the North Island Secondary School Championships.

A week later, Harriet Gowing, Coco Mauger and Claudia Pilkington looked impressive at Snowplanet’s 365 Challenger Event, where they helped Westlake Girls to win both Year 9+ Ski and Snowboarding titles. Gowing and Mauger finished 1st and 2nd respectively, in the snowboarding events while Claudia Pilkington finished 2nd in the ski event. Sadly, Covid 19 Level 4 lockdown, has just cancelled the North Island Secondary Schools Ski Champs scheduled from 20 -22 September at Whakapapa and the Snowboarding Champs at Turoa a week later. Cardrona was a blessing😊