Olympic Gold Medalist Ross Powers charged to victory in the first ever Sugarloaf Banked Slalom today, topping a field of 141 riders, including two-time Olympic champion Seth Wescott.
Powers, a 2002 Olympic gold medal winner from Okemo, VT, finished the race in 1 minute, 18.36 second, just under five seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, 36 year-old Kevin McMahon of Stratton, VT, who posted a time of 1.23.32. Wescott, who lives at Sugarloaf and helped to organize the event and build the course, finished the race in third place with a time of 1.24.02.
The Sugarloaf Banked Slalom is based on the model of the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom, and is a snowboard-only, open registration event, which allows snowboarders young and old to compete against snowboarding legends on a winding course of banked turns down Sugarloaf’s storied terrain.
“The banked slalom is something that we’ve thought would be a great fit for Sugarloaf for a long time,” Wescott said. “The Mt Baker Legendary Banked Slalom is a truly unique event, and brings snowboarding back to its roots. The race is a perfect fit for Sugarloaf, and it was an incredible experience to be able to race in a banked slalom here at my home mountain.”
The race features five different age categories for both men and women, with prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers in each category.
The age categories are 14-and-under, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, and 40 plus. Registration will be capped at 100 riders.
The Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom is widely considered to be the first organized snowboard competition, and it eventually gave birth to the sport of snowboardcross. Wescott has won the only two Olympic gold medals ever awarded in snowboardcross.
The event was sponsored by K2 Snowboards, Bern Helmets, Bolle, and Team Eight Snowboards.