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Sprite Park Rider series kicks off with a halfpipe

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The first Sprite Park Rider event of the season went off on Saturday under sunny skies and almost spring-like warmth. That made the wearing of jeans and jean jackets – the latest in park rat fashion – possible, and softened the pipe enough for competitors to feel confident in pulling out their big tricks, and getting inverted.

The first event attracted 75 competitors, including 31 skiers. If you follow on-mountain trends, the number of skiers participating in these events has easily doubled each year since they were first allowed to participate in valley events two seasons ago.

For the handful of spectators that came out to watch, the event showed just how deep the local talent pool is.

Some of the highlights include Ski Press cover boy Kye Petersen’s huge air off the first wall, snowboarder Bekki Read’s backflips in the middle of her run, and the incredible inverted moves by skiers Mark Abma and Chris Booth.

The next event on the schedule is another halfpipe this Saturday, Jan. 25. You can register in advance at any ski school desk or by calling 1-800-766-0449. Check out the events calendar on the Whistler-Blackcomb site (www.whistler-blackcomb.com) for more information.

Sprite Park Rider Series, HP#1

Skiers 16 & Under Women

1. Keltie Hicks, 8.8

2. Hailey McLean, 6.6

Skiers 16 & Under Men

1. Kye Petersen, 22.7

2. Callum Pettit, 17.1

3. Sean Pettit, 16.0

Skiers 17 & Over Women

1. Virginie Faivre, 19.5

2. Zoe Booth, 13.9

3. Robyn Allan, 11.7

Skiers 17 & Over Men

1. Mark Abma, 26.2

2. Chris Booth, 22.1

3. Tim Clough, 20.8

Snowboard Novice 13 & Under

1. Tamo Campos, 15.0

2. Tyler MacMillan, 12.9

3. Jaram Makuru, 9.2

Snowboard 14 to 16 Women

1. Jana McLeod, 12.5

2. Megan McSkimming, 4.1

3. Mia Daniels, 4.0

Snowboard 14 to 16 Men

1. Phillip Dominick, 20.1

2. Jesse Wilkinson, 18.2

3. Michael Mains, 17.8

Snowboard 17 & Over Women

1. Bekki Read, 20.8

2. Avery Mackenzie, 19.7

3. Amy Vaillancourt, 16.8

Snowboard 17 & Over Men

1. Tom Willmott, 26.2

2. Michael Brians, 25.2

3. Ryan Rausch, 22.0

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