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International Skiers For Compaq 50k Of Coronet

QUEENSTOWN (27 April), The Compaq 50K of Coronet will showcase endurance ski racing at its best when eight international teams featuring world class skiers line up for the gruelling event at Queenstown's Coronet Peak in July.

Last year's inaugural race, modelled on the prestigious 24 Hours of Aspen Race, received international recognition and raised $70,000 for the Cure Kids charity to fund research into children's life threatening diseases.

The race involves eight teams of three, battling head to head in a non-stop 16 hour race, which starts at 6.00pm on July 30 and finishes at 10.00am on July 31. Last year the finish was a tense cliff hanger 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.

Lead sponsor Compaq Computer is increasing its support for the race this year and says the event has a strong, long term future as New Zealand's leading snow based sports event.

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 times winner of the 24 Hours of Aspen race, competing along with German skiing ace Martin Fiala, Australian legend Stephen Lee and a highly popular all women Swedish team. Other teams were entered from New Zealand, Slovenia and Spain.

Applications for the race are still being assessed but Mr Café says they have spread the international net even further this year and with more competitors with World Cup racing experience promised.

"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, and 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."

Mr Café, who with two other Queenstown businessmen, Fraser Skinner and Jeff Turner, conceived the idea of the endurance race, 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."

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Jenny McLeod Media Co-ordinator Compaq 50K of Coronet 021-357 173 mcleod@queenstown.co.nz

Pamela Bonney Compaq Computer NZ Ltd 021-914 990 pamela.bonney@compaq.com

Website: www.compaq50K.co.nz

ABOUT COMPAQ Compaq Computer Corporation, a Fortune Global 100 company, is a leading global provider of technology and solutions. Compaq designs, develops, manufactures, and markets hardware, software, solutions, and services, including industry-leading enterprise computing solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, and communications products, commercial desktop and portable products, and consumer PCs that are sold in more than 200 countries. Information on Compaq and its products and services is available at www.compaq.co.nz

Up-to-date information about the COMPAQ 50K of Coronet, plus information about Compaq and its products and services, is available at http://www.compaq50k.co.nz


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