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Home arrow Events arrow What is the Hillary Challenge like?
What is the Hillary Challenge like? PDF Print
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Written by Michelle McCabe, Whangarei Hillary Challenge Team Leader   
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
27 Feb update: Word has just come through that the WGHS/WBHS team was the highest scoring team in the Hillary Challenge Prelims, so is easily through to the five day Hillary Challenge, 19-23rd May.

I feel the team stood out amongst the other teams, however it was hard to tell because the rotation we were in meant we could only compete face to face with 8-10 of the 19 teams.

A quick summary of the weekend...

Saturday we gathered at OPC at 11am for registration. We had four challenge activities to complete in the day, one hour each, and we could earn a maximum of 100 points for each challenge.

Our first activity was kayaking on a freezing cold lake. We had to relay the team around a set course with 2 kayaks. and get as many rounds as we could in an hour. But an extra 2 points was awarded for a wet exit out of one of the kayaks. The water was extdaordinarily cold!

After kayaking we did mountain biking. Here the set up was much like the kayaking; get as many laps as possible on 2 bikes in an hour, but with the added twist of a tyre change to start the race. Our team did this quickly and got into it. But in the last 5 minutes one bike's chain got something caught inside it, and we had to run it round. Lucky for us it happened in the last 5 minutes, some unfortunate teams had it happen to them at the start of the hour. Our team came out on top against the teams at this challenge with a total of 93 points!

Our third challenge was a secret challenge where we were to use junk to cross a section from a to b, however we could only stand on the junk, which include buckets, crates, inner tubes and allsorts. Once we crossed we all put on blindfolds and erected a tent, yes all blindfolded! When the tent was up four of us, including me, took off our blindfolds and instructed the other four to boil water and pour it to make 8 hot chocolate drinks. We managed this just in the nick of time without any burnt fingers!

Our final challenge of the day was the ropes activities, on the OPC high ropes course. Different climbs, etc, earned different amounts of points according to their difficulty. Our team worked well together and racked up a good amount of points on this last challenge.

In the evening the teams met at opc for a quiz night. Here we scored points on our team's knowledge of our native flora and fauna, NZ music, bushcraft, local history and national park knowledge. As we had studied for this, we found the quiz quite enjoyable.

We spent the night at an OPC lodge and got up in the early hours of the morning to travel to the Taupo Blue Moons area for our three hour rogain orienteering course. We went through many different terrains, up hills, throught blackberry and finally finished with as many checkpoints we could gather in the time frame. Cut and bruised but elated all the same.

We know that we are in the top 5, but we have to be in the top 3 to qualify for the next level of competition.

All in all it was a great weekend and even if we don't make the cut this year, all of us will be back and even hungrier for it next year.

We know that we are in the top 5, but we have to be in the top 3 to qualify for the next level of competition. We are all waiting in eager anticipation for the final results!

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