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Qantas Media Awards 2009 WINNER!

In 2009 I was told by the organisers after I informed them that I couldn’t be present at the Qantas Media Awards that if I could, I should really try and make the awards as my presence would be worthwhile. Well a phone call like that gets your confidence up somewhat. However I kept that secret close to my chest not even telling my wife or parents. We drove  down to Wellington and on the journey I couldn’t help think, have I won something? Was I just a finalist? Or were they just scamming me to increase ticket sales to the event.

My wife Sarah and I

Well once we headed into the TSB Bank Arena into the shoulder to shoulder hustle of who’s who of NZ media, grabbed a quick glass of Champagne to take the edge off, followed by another ( the edges were quite big) then another. I was ready to relax and take it all in.
Maggie Barry, yes the gardening lady, was the host for the evening and must be admired for her strength in public speaking.
On our table lay the evenings programme with lists of the finalists for each category, Wow little did I know I was a finalist in two categories that was a surprise. Once the awards started my nerves were running in overdrive the finalists work in each category were displayed on the big screen and there was some amazing work. Once we reached the sports photography section and the other finalists work splashed across the screen, images from the Olympics and major events across the world showed, I felt somewhat deflated and went into this trance so deep that when they called my name as the winner I didn’t even hear it.  Once I snapped out I headed up to receive my award ” Best Sports Picture” which was presented to me but a lady from Qantas that was about 7 foot tall, all 5’8″ of me looked slightly out of balance. The next awards finalists were read out and I took a deep breath that I seemed to hold till I turned blue and then relief I had also won ” Best Sports portfolio”  I had won the two awards I had entered and became the first independent ( not from a major news agency) to win the Qantas award. I was over the moon and after a few more bottles of wine, celebrated some more with a feed of Mcdonalds on Cuba St in the early hours.  While it was very self satisfying to beat the guys I was up against also in an Olympic year, the result was a coupe for my sport of surfing as it was know seen to be accepted alongside other major sports of our culture.

The big screen and my moment

The following Images made up my sports portfolio:

Rowers training on Lake Rotorua as storm approaches.

An angler pits his skill against the fight of a Rainbow trout on the Tongariro River.

A surfer and his mirror image reflect during a early morning session in Sumbawa Indonesia

Mid winter sunset on the Taranaki Coast silhouettes a travelling biker and his trailer

A rodeo Cowboy takes down a steer in the rope and tie at Rerewhakaitu

and this remote flash Image won “best sports image”

Maz Quinn New Zealands number one surfer lit up by a remote flash against the sunset of an outer island, Sumatra, Indonesia.

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