By Madison Fisler Lewis
Feb. 24, 2015. If you enjoyed the first Skier/Boarder X event held on Jan. 31 at Appalachian Ski Mtn., or if you missed it and wish you hadn’t, you’re in luck. Appalachian Ski Mtn. will once again host the spectacular, downhill racing event on Saturday, Feb. 28.
Appalachian Ski Mountain will host Skier/Boarder X, a timed downhill competition that brings athletes back to the early days of the sports. This Boarder/Skier X is open to anyone interested and all funds raised will go to support the Appalachian Jr. Race Team at Appalachian Ski Mtn. and the Appalachian Snowboard Club.
About 120 participants came out for the Jan. 31 event, said Drew Stanley of Appalachian Ski Mtn.
The competition this weekend will follow the same format as before, he said.
The downhill race will be structured into heats with many different age groups for both skiers and snowboarders. After the timed trails, the tournament takes on a round-robin format, where the top two racers advance from each heat.
During each heat, four athletes at a time will race down the mountain, similar to a downhill ski course, but with features along the way including rollers, banked turns and jumps. At the end, medals will be given out to the overall winners, as well as prizes donated by event sponsors.
Age divisions for skiers and snowboarders include ages 9 and younger, 10-13, 14-17, 18-39, 40+ (masters) and open advanced. Helmets are required for all athletes and this event is intended for athletes who are at least intermediate level.
Registration for the day will take place 8:30-10:30 a.m. on the day of the event in the Snowcloud Room on the third level of the lodge. Registration is $12 per participant, with all proceeds supporting the Junior Race Team and Snowboard Club at Appalachian. Course inspection and warm-up will take place starting at 10 a.m. with a competitor meeting at 11:45 a.m. The official competition starts at noon.
Though this event is unique to many young skiers and snowboarders, the skier/boardercross events are something that organizer Andy McDaniel hopes catches on once again.
“When a lot of kids first start out, they are really intimidated because they don’t want to hit that huge jump, but they definitely want to race with their buddies,” he said in a previous interview.
“This is about bringing that back and the Olympics has made this style of competition popular again. It is a much more fun thing to watch than a slope style event. It is action packed – you will see people racing and wipe outs and kids passing from behind. This has that racing element that the sport has lacked for a while.”
For more information about the skier/bordercross event, click here.