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Germany Returning To Defend Compaq 50K Title

QUEENSTOWN (17 May). A German campaign is being mounted to defend the prestigious Compaq 50K of Coronet title won last year by a trio of unbeatable world class skiers.

The Compaq 50K of Coronet is a 16 hour non-stop, downhill endurance ski race modelled on the 24 Hours of Aspen and held for the first time last year.

Eight teams each with three competitors put the inaugural event on the international skiing map creating world-wide interest and inspiring entries for the 2001 event from almost 20 teams from Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

The team selection process has been completed and Compaq 50K director Wayne Café says the calibre of the entries has made the final decision extremely difficult.

"We have been in discussions with numerous ex-Olympians and World Cup circuit racers as well as other international and national representatives who have been keen to come down to Queenstown for the event."

"It has been a very tough call to have to narrow the field down to just eight teams when the standard was high enough for us to have accepted almost double that number," he says. "But the race only allows a limited number of teams and we have applied a mix of criteria to come up with what we believe will be an outstanding field."

While the teams will be kept under wraps until the official launch of the Compaq 50K of Coronet in Auckland and Sydney in mid-June, Mr Café has confirmed the entry of Germany, last year's winners, under the leadership of skiing legend Martin Fiala.

"Germany put on a huge display, clocking the fastest speed of 138kmh and going head to head with Canada until the final minutes. With two of the original members still on the team and a new young racer straight off the World Cup circuit joining them, they are giving notice that they want to be back on the podium in number one place."

The Compaq 50K of Coronet starts at 6.00pm on July 30 and finishes at 10.00am on July 31. The event raises funds for the Cure Kids charity which is a division of the Child Health Research Foundation, along with the Queenstown Alpine Ski Team, which provides the 200-strong volunteer workforce for the race.


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