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Double disciplines for Estelle

Double disciplines for Estelle

After an impressive six consecutive stints competing at the NZ Uni Snow Games, Otago University’s Estelle Baker decided an even bigger challenge was needed for her seventh.

So, instead of her traditional snowboard, she also packed skis this year and effectively doubled her competitive schedule – her tally of nine events the most of any of the 150 students gathered in Wanaka for the annual event.

“It’s the first time I’ve done both ski and board events – I thought it would be a bit of fun,” Baker, who is studying a PhD in Microbiology, said.

“It’s been a while since I was on skis but luckily I’ve remembered how to do it.”

Slalom ski and board, GS ski and board, skier-cross, boarder-cross, half-pipe, slopestyle, Big Air and even cross-country feature on Baker’s racing itinerary this week – and she’s even adopted the role of team manager for the 42-strong Otago contingent.

“It’s just good fun having some chilled competition,” Baker said. “Snow Games is a great opportunity to catch up with people from other universities as well.

“And its great having the event split over four resorts and three mountains – they’re completely different terrains.”

Winning the gold medal in the GS board event on Tuesday, a fifth placing in the boarder-cross and top 10 finishes in every other event, Baker has contributed valuable points as Otago strives to defend the coveted Mike Forrestal Memorial Shield, which it has dominated for the past few years.

“For the Otago University Alpine Sports Club, this is the big one – everyone builds up to it each year,” she said.

And there’s another annual custom – Baker’s birthday.

“I’ve celebrated my last seven birthdays at Snow Games – it’s a bit of a tradition.”


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