An evening of snow sport under the roof


Dunedinites are accustomed to watching Ben Smith run rugby clinics under the roof at the Forsyth Barr Stadium, but tonight they will have the opportunity to see some snowboarding and skiing action.
A specifically-designed 5m high and 20m long scaffolding ramp, stacked with snow imported from the Cardrona Ski Field, is being set up for the Red Bull Jib Jam.
University of Otago student and event organiser Ben Youngman said the aim of the free event was for people to go along and experience the environment and culture of snow sports.
‘‘There is 50cu m of snow coming in, so hopefully enough to make sure it doesn’t all melt away. We’ve got two rail features coming down from Christchurch as well.
‘‘We’ve got a variety of talent, including some sponsored riders from Wanaka, but we’re also trying to keep it as a big university jam. It’s a mainly a student-organised event, for students.’’
The event would provide plenty of entertainment for spectators and organisers were hoping to draw a large crowd, he said.
‘‘We’re running it like a surfing competition in the sense that there are timed heats.There will be about 10 people in each heat and they’ll have 30 to 45 minutes to display what they can do on the features.
‘‘It’s free entry for competitors and spectators. It’s more of an exhibition event than a money-maker.
‘‘Dunedin is very forgotten in terms of its snow culture, so we’re encouraging people to bring that culture to Dunedin. We want to get the students involved in that and show them what it’s all about.
‘‘The closest commercial ski field is about three hours away, so why not bring the snow to the people before they start knuckling down for exams.’’ – The Red Bull Jib Jam is on from 6pm to 9pm at Forsyth Barr Stadium tonight and spectator entry is free.