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Since the world locked down last year, we’ve all been searching for whatever nugget of joy we can find to cope with the weight of our Covid reality. When New Zealand shut down, they took it to the next level, and Sam Blenkinsop holed up with his family and reveled in the opportunity he was given to spend time with his young daughter.
As the year progressed, the 10-year World Cup DH veteran found himself at home for his first winter in over a decade. As the lockdown eased, he jumped at the opportunity to explore the untapped trails of the Central Otago, just beyond the Remarkables Mountain Range.
The high desert topography and harsh landscape was once home to the South Island’s gold rush, and its trails were blazed by courageous miners who hiked their way in for days, taking respite in hillside caves in the glacial rock fields along the way.
Once he struck paydirt, he made arrangements with Hunt Cinema, and together they created Hidden Claim, capturing Sam’s unmistakable style aboard his Sight as he traces a path from cave to cabin in the 150-year-old footsteps of the intrepid explorers in search of the earth’s hidden treasures.
The exposed heat of the winter sun is usually too oppressive in the Central Otago, but Blenki and Hunt Cinema captured the nuanced gold backdrop of the perfect day that allowed this journey through a pivotal era in New Zealand’s history.
Concept and Execution: Hunt Cinema
Athlete: Sam Blenkinsop
Director/DOP/Editor: Scott Robb
Producer/Director: Nick Stevenson
Guide: Phil Oliver
Soundtrack: Space Above – Laniakea
Audio Mix: Scott Robb
Photography: Cam Mackenzie
Special Thanks: Helen & Brett Sanders – Matangi Station
Presented by Norco Bicycles.
Matangi Station, Alexandra
Flat Top Hill, Alexandra