June 26, 2009

The Winner Is...

The winner of the Burton Zoom Pro Pack is Trent from Victoria. He tells quite the tale of how the previous home to his beloved 20D let him down. It was a hard choice as we had a number of quality entries to win the pack, therefore we have a few runner up prizes going out as well as everyone who entered will get a little something from us to say thanks. So after you read Trent's tale go out and wait for the mail man.

"Ahoy there chaps and chapettes, I would like to regale you with a story that happened to me last year. Sit back, get comfy, grab a pillow and a Snuggie if you would like, and I shall spin you a yarn so sordid in details it will make your bowels shake with regret, so contemptible you think it not to be true probably not but read on anyways.

It was a carefree and jovial southern hemisphere winter, the winter of ‚08. I was young and starry eyed, a boy of 24 and like every other winter and 24 year old lad, I was excited for a season of snowboarding. However, unlike every other year this year was to be different. This was tops, the year to trump all years as I was the proud holder of a Jetstar ticket to New Zealand. I was going snowboarding OVERSEAS.

Now, before we go any further, I‚d like to take you on a trip even further down memory lane, to the Christmas one year prior. It was a carefree and jovial winter in the southern hemisphere, and I a youthful and quixotic man-child of 23 was excited for what Santa had brought me in the night. Early that fateful morning I awoke with a smile on my face, and excitement in my heart as I ran down the stairs at full speed in my holiday footy pyjamas. I tore into my presents, opening disappointing holiday sweater after holiday sweater. That was until I came to a modest sized box that didn‚t sound like clothing at all. I shook it frantically trying to guess what it was, being met only by a clanking noise and my mother‚s stern words saying I‚d break it. I shred the wrapping paper and dug my nails into any vulnerable areas I could manage to find. And then, as if a holy beam of light came in through the window I saw it ˆ the gift that would stand to beat all gifts, a Canon 20D Digital SLR with a Zoom lens and a Peleng 8mm fisheye.

I was ecstatic, my body flailing everywhere, my screams of excitement shrill and in a frequency not yet known to man. I took my camera and for months following I took pictures nonstop of anything and everything, no matter how insignificant. Sure I was no Ansel Adams or Atiba Jefferson, but I was giving it a red hot Aussie go. Plus my mom said my pictures were fantastic.

Which now leads me back to my overseas snow jaunt. I had met my mate at the airport, snow gear in hand, and my beloved 20D in its hand-me-down Lowepro backpack. We boarded our plane and in no time, our feet were off the ground. The flight was uneventful, and I got in trouble for taking pictures of people as they slept through the flight, rather ˆ when I thought they were sleeping. The only real highlight of this endless and uppity flight was when my mate wittingly convinced the air hostess that giving us a free beer was a great idea, and when she came back with 2 icy cold tinnys, I had to agree ˆ it was a pretty rad idea.

Finally we touched down in Christchurch, got our hire car and headed to Wanaka. We arrived at our hotel "accommodation" a term I use quite loosely as I‚m sure prisoners in Guantanamo Bay had better facilities than what this blue-block cement brick room provided. But it was cheap. And I am cheap; therefore, it was a match made in heaven.

No matter though I was there to snowboard, hit the slopes, if you will. And hit them I did. I was having amazing luck impressing the ladies with my sick moves on the hills, and enjoying a good beer at the bottom of every one (hill, not ladies ˆ there were no ladies). Sometimes I would fall, sometimes I would fall and make it look intentional, these are the ways of the mountains. No matter how I did it though, I did it accompanied by that patchwork Lowepro backpack which safely guarded my 20D. Also in that backpack harboured many a‚non-alcoholic beverages. This part is important.

As I was making my way down a really big hill, a very difficult and manly hill I might add, I came across a dog saving a blind child. They came out of nowhere, forcing me to dodge them frantically and stumble over myself. Either that or I tripped over myself, minus the blind child and dog. No matter how it happened, though I insist I saw a child and dog in my way, I ended up falling head over heels all the way to the bottom of the hill.

I had made it to the bottom, cut up and with a badly bruised ego. My arm was broken, and I was a hot mess. „That‚s okay though,‰ I thought to myself, „at least my camera and beverages survived the heroic fall.‰ Naturally that would be the correct assumption, would it not? It would not. With my one, gimp-free arm I managed to wriggle the zipper of my damned Lowepro bag, I threw my hand into its stomach and found a camera, sticky, wet, and broken. I don‚t entirely know how it happened, but I will assume that sometime during my fall, I hit a rock, which could also be when I broke my arm ˆ we‚ll say it is and kill two birds with one stone. After hitting this really big rock that got my arm as well as my backpack, my non-alcoholic beverages were punctured and their contents leaked all over my beloved camera.

A part of me died that day, the day I lost my camera. Not only am I missing that camera, pictures of sleeping women undeveloped, but I am also bagless. Which is why I am appealing to you, please grant me this bag so that my heroic snowboarding adventures, and voyeuristic photography may someday soon continue."

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