The World Heli Challenge plans to open a select number of slots to non-pro athletes, event founder Tony Harrington announced yesterday. Held in Wanaka, New Zealand, the Challenge runs July 27 through August 11, and hosts top skiers and snowboarders. "It wasn't created just for the pros. We realize that there are a lot of great skiers and snowboarders out there who aren't sponsored and are not necessarily on the competition ciruit," Harrington said. "Participants run the gamut from undiscovered and emerging talent to top ranked athletes and legends and that's how we like it." The remaining 53 slots will fill on a first-come, first-serve basis. The primary events of the World Heli Challenge consist of two helicopter accessed ski and snowboard competitions, each on its own day. The 10-day window of time allows the selection of the best weather for the four helicopters to shuttle athletes to the mountain. And it's not just non-pros new to the Heli's athlete mix. A pair of 12-year-olds who won the first World Heli Challenge Young Guns Competition will also compete as the competition's first-ever youth entrants.
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