By Andrew Mitchell
A field of over 70 skiers and riders turned out to the season’s inaugural King of the Rail contest, held under the lights at the base of Blackcomb on Saturday, Dec. 30.
Athletes had their choice of two lines, with a long flat rail to a challenging up-flat-down rail on skier’s right, and a down-flat rail to flat rail on skier’s left. Most opted for the more challenging right-hand line, although that meant longer waits early in the evening.
The athletes had an hour and a half to session the rails, before they cast votes for the top skiers and riders in different age groups. The riders who got the most votes in each category got a share of the prize purse based on the number of people in their category, while all participants had an opportunity to win draw prizes from event sponsors at Nintendo, Showcase Snowboards, Glacier Shop and Whistler-Blackcomb.
In the snowboard adult male category the top prize was $100, going to Thierry Martineau.
Brian Coles was the top adult male skier, earning $5 — essentially getting his entry fee back.
Ashley Low was the top adult female skier, earning $20, while Tara Hickey was the top snowboard adult female to win $10.
The top male youth skier was Jake McGregor, earning $45, while Bring Alexander was the top youth snowboarder to win a purse of $60.
Mike Zemaitis won the draw prize for the Sapient Snowboard, while Thierry Martineau was crowned the overall King of the Rail with the most votes of any athlete.
The next King of the Rail event is this Saturday, Jan. 6 at the base of Blackcomb. Registration gets underway at 5 p.m. in the Blackcomb daylodge. The price is $5 to enter with a valid Night Moves ticket. Helmets are mandatory for all riders and skiers.
The second Park Rider Session of the season, a slopestyle on Blackcomb, will take place the following day (Jan. 7). You can pre-register at any Whistler-Blackcomb Guest Relations location and save $5 while guaranteeing yourself a spot — slopestyle events have been known to sell out in the past.
Day of event registration is available until 9:45 a.m. at the Rendezvous Lodge. Helmets are mandatory once again, and riders will compete within their age groups.