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GaySkiWeekQT: Days 1and2 - Recovery and foam

Sat 29 Aug 2015 In: Our Communities View at Wayback View at NDHA

SUN 10.15PM: The good sized crowd at tonight's foam party just keeps getting bigger and bigger... and sexier and wetter. Our photographer, Aaron, is getting wet shoes as he gets in amongst the hot bloke bods, many of them stripped down to just undies and foam... there's foam everywhere! It's a very friendly atmosphere with groups of new friends forming. Miss Ribena's bbf Kevin Dunseath is on the door being big, loud and butch.  Foam party crew getting in the mood (pic: A.R Photography) SUN 8PM: Surprisingly, it's been a quiet day today, perhaps everyone's recovering from last night, though some of the folk we spoke to had planned their itinerary to have a kind of lay day today. Dealing to an espresso martini, Mark from Auckland was one of the few we found this evening who had hit the slopes today. He was up at Coronet which he says was "a bit quiet." He says the snow started firm but softened up as the day - which has been beautifully fine and warm - progresses, The M1 run got a bit choppy apparently and something called Green Gate softened nicely which is apparently a good thing. He was skiing with a group of friends including 3 kiwis, 1 German and two Aussies. Pierre and Dick Sydney couple Pierre and Dick, originally from North America, were amongst those strolling in the crisp evening air. It's their second Gay Ski Week and they arrived yesterday. Tomorrow they're heading up to Coronet Peak, then they'll do Cardrona for a couple of days. They say they love the GSW atmosphere, the sociability of Queenstown and the glbti folk in town and being able to score a few free ski lessons along the way. Downtown the foam machines are powering up for tonight's LYC foam party, pics asap! SUN 10.30AM: Party pics from last night are kicking in! More in our Scene pics section shortly Photographer Aaron, who stayed on way thru the night and then some, says the party went from strength to strength... it was really packed, hot and sweaty and shirts were off, an amazing vibe, everyone was happy and friendly and meeting new people. The bar team at The Find were wearing rainbow-stripes of glitter on their faces, the drag queens looked colourful and Miss Ribena, in boy drag as Kevin Dunseath, on the door was loud, loud, loud. No surprises there! SUN 8.30AM: The slowly waking town is quiet as the morning sun lights up the snow-tipped Cecil and Walter Peaks (above) and the Remarkables. The crowd at last night's opening Gay Ski Week QT party was having a great time as your reporter quietly headed home after a long day. But we'll have photos from Aaron up here and in our scene section shortly. Interesting to see that the crowd at a competing kick-off event, run by an Australian company using 'NZ' in their promotion, was almost totally Australian and male. But lots of good-looking men there, as there were at the official opening party as well. The men I spoke to as they approached the event seemed unaware that the Aussie firm had started up in commercial competition to the more community-based official event. All thought they were heading in to an official event, one that supports the baseline marketing of Gay Ski Week QT (all those street flags, etc.), and were a bit concerned that their travel organisers were cashing in on the event without supporting it. SAT 8.30PM: The temperature is quickly dropping towards zero and maybe beyond, though it reached high of 16 today. Queenstown streets are a blaze of colour with rainbow-coloured flags hanging from lamp posts. Just out of town the Coronet Peak skifield is spotlit under a partially obscured full moon as skiers continue to hit the slopes, the spotlights shimmering romantically through the lightly falling snow. Word has it that Grindr has been working overtime today and, contrary to stereotypes, a good number of the chaps on the prowl are just looking for someone to see the sights with. Hmmmm. SAT 7.50PM: Queenstown's mayor has cut the rainbow ribbon and declared Gay Ski Week QT officially open. Numbers are swelling at The Find nightclub where around 250 glbti winter sports enthusiasts will kick the festival off before hitting the slopes tomorrow. Mayor Vanessa van Uden says Gay Ski Week is "a wonderful way of showing that Queenstown can let its hair down and that we are welcoming for everyone and anyone." She says there has been no local objection to the town hosting the annual event, "not one single complaint that I am aware of." She says Queenstown sees "much economic benefit" flowing from Gay Ski Week and "it's a great introduction to Queenstown for people who haven't been here before... we hope they'll come back again and again!" A quick check with early party-goers finds glbti people from Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Lower Hutt, Whangarei and Cromwell. Photo: AR Photography SAT 4.30PM: A steady stream of glbti visitors is descending on Queenstown as Gay Ski Week QT gets underway. At the welcoming centre in the foyer of the Novotel organisers Sally and Mandy Whitewoods, assisted by past Mr Gay New Zealand Chris Olwage and a team of volunteers, are handing out information, hundreds of gift packs and advice to visitors from around the world. Tonight's opening party is a complete sell-out. Drag divas Little Miss Cinnamon, Molly Station and Lilly Loudmouth will be there, though not to officially perform. Doors open at 7pm and Queenstown's mayor will do the official Gay Ski Week QT opening ceremony at about 7.30. In a suite upstairs Auckland drag celebrity Miss Ribena's alter-ego Kevin Dunseath is sprawled on a bed entertaining guests and saving energy for tomorrow night when Ribena will host the foam party. Dunseath, less glamorous but just as in your face as Ribena, will be helping out at the door of tonight's party. "Of the foam party he says Ribena's looking forward to "naked flesh, lots of crutch grinding, and everyone getting naughty and loose after a few vodka and Red Bulls. Two visitors from Adelaide, Jo Christie and Sandra Gibney, are amongst those in town ready to party and ski. "We've come here for three years now," says Gibney. "We enjoy catching up with people we've got to know and we'll definitely be partying tonight. The couple can only be here for three nights though, they need to get back to their Adelaide restaurant business in time for the Father's Day rush. The main streets of Queenstown are awash with rainbow flags, Gay Ski Week QT flags and fabulously decorated shopfronts and anyone with even a rudimentary gaydar is spotting glbti people all over the town. Gotta get ready for the party, will report back later Jay Bennie - 29th August 2015    

Credit: Jay Bennie

First published: Saturday, 29th August 2015 - 4:56pm

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