Snow forces stage cancellations
- 9th October 2006, 6:56pm
This afternoon’s Cardrona Hillclimb stage and tomorrow morning's (October 10th) Nevis Stage, have both been removed from the event on the grounds of safety due to the extreme weather and snow.
When the remaining 69 cars left Greymouth this morning, the heavy rain from overnight cleared and the cars set out on today's second leg of the Silver Fern Rally. But that was just a teaser for what was to happen later in the day.
Cars completed the first stage of the day east of Greymouth and then traversed the Southern Alps via the Arthur's Pass Road and competed in the Lake Lyndon Road stage in brilliant sunshine, with a light dusting of snow on the roadsides and on the surrounding hills.
The sun continued to shine through the Fairlie area for the Rockwood Rd and MacKenzie Pass stages before competitors took on the famous Black Forest Road, again in brilliant sunshine, with the cars trailing dust behind them.
From there the day made a serious change for the worse with many of the cars having to travel through the Lindis Pass in lightly falling snow. Though the the weather improved slightly for the Tarras stage, the snow was still falling high in the hills surrounding Wanaka and Queenstown.
Organisers then made the decision on the grounds of safety to cancel the Cardrona Hillclimb stage, and competitors toured back to Queenstown where they are parked up for the night. They will tour via Cromwell to the Hawksburn Rd stage, leaving Queenstown tomorrow morning at 7.45am.
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