The Minus 7 Melee was held at Donner Ski Ranch on St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 2012. The skies opened up and dumped inches of fresh snow just in time for the competition. The Minus 7 crew built the park in the morning while the other competitors broke out powderskates and surfed freshies until the competition got underway at about 1:00PM.
The format of the competition was jam style for the first round. Commentators did a good job of keeping up with the action by calling out which skaters were on course and letting the crowd know what tricks were being thrown. Big time skaters like Alan Gerlach, Matt Hightower, Reek Ellis, and Quinton David were going huge from the start. They all laid down at least one super clean, technical line.
The final round consisted of 3 skaters from the youth division, 3 from the women’s division, and 5 from the men’s division. Each skater got one final run to lay down their best line.
The kids were ripping pretty heavily. First time competitor and Minus 7 rider John Zapata took 3rd place. 2nd place went to Blake Kipp. And, 1st place went to Wade Osborne on an Artec Snowskate!
Of the women’s division, Tara Atkins couldn’t pull herself away from the powder for the first round but showed up to take a run in the finals. She took the Powder Princess title and 3rd place.Predog’s Mathilda Spiers and I battled through the first round stepping it up each run. She hit everything that I hit, and I made sure to take a stab at every feature that she hit. I bagged one clean stomp off the “snarlin’ turd” log jib, and Mathilda just couldn’t claim it. She had a clean final run while I struggled with mine, bailing off the first box. Judging must have been excruciatingly close. In the end, Mathilda took a very close 2nd, and I took 1st. Regardless of the results, I love sessioning with these girls!
Competition was deep in the men’s division. Minus 7 riders were at a bit of a disadvantage because they had been working hard all morning to build and shape the park. And, you could tell that they were worked by the time the competition began. Kyler Lee was the one Minus 7 rider that made the finals. The rest of the finalists were Sean Davis, Alan Gerlach, Joachim Bronzich, and Mark Spicolli. Spicolli was charging all day and had a clean final run earning him 3rd place. Super techy Sean Davis grabbed 2nd place. The winner was Ralston‘s Joachim Bronzich who threw down big and super clean lines all day long and claimed his pot o’ gold. One hundred dollars worth! All the guys who placed won booze and sick skateboard gear! What a loot!
Then, the Irish Downhill Race took place after last chair. The rules were as follows: No rules. Any line is a go. First one to the bar in the lodge at the bottom wins! Strategies varied, but only one man prevailed. The preliminary legend is that not only did he get to the bar first, but he ordered and had his beer in hand before 2nd place (Spicolli) rolled in. Pat Bonser walked away with the sickest prize of all for his 1st place finish: a custom Minus 7 long board made from an old water ski!
Big thanks to the Minus 7 team for putting together a park for all of us, Donner Ski Ranch for hosting, and all the skaters that showed up to make this a super fun event!
Apparently, everyone was too busy shredding to get any action shots. But keep an eye out for the next Project Snowskate post which will be full of powdery photos of the March 18th St. Powder Day Sesh!
Photography by Predog