Canadian University student Essex Prescott took a couple of weeks out from school to compete in the World Heli Challenge in New Zealand this month and has earned himself another week of heli-skiing in Alaska for his efforts.
Prescott was named the Shane McConkey Award winner for the 2014 World Heli Challenge, an honour bestowed on the athlete who best embodies the spirit of the iconic late freeskier, Shane McConkey.
“It’s been a dream of mine to head to Alaska and I’m blown away that I finally have the chance! It’s been great working hard all week with the crew to stack shots and I can’t believe I’m going to be able to bring it to a whole new playing field in Alaska this spring. Excited is an understatement” Essex said.
World Heli Challenge founder and director Tony “Harro” Harrington explains the award, “Shane was a good friend and a passionate and inspiring skier. The World Heli Challenge strives to celebrate the qualities Shane embodied in his life; it’s all about loving your skiing and boarding, pushing yourself and most importantly having a blast while you’re at it.”
The Shane McConkey Award is given to the athlete who has a great attitude, gets out there and inspires with progressive and exciting riding and energises themselves and those around them.
“Essex worked really hard during this competition,” said Harro. “He lead his team, kept everyone smiling and repeatedly hiked and sent it off some features that many skiers might have shied away from. He didn’t always succeed but he damn sure kept trying and that’s why we are taking him to Alaska.”
Prescott was overwhelmed to win the special recognition of the Award, “I’m wishing I could bring the entire ‘Team Vacation’ crew with me as it’s been amazing working with them on this event and there’s no way I could have had such a good time here without them,” said Essex. He will be make a trip to Alaska next Northern winter to take up his one week heli-ski adventure prize at Points North Heli in Cordova where he will be photographed by Tony Harrington.
The Shane McConkey Foundation headed by his wife Sherry is pleased to be associated with the World Heli Challenge and fostering Shane’s legacy. “The World Heli Challenge is the kind of event Shane loved” said Sherry.