It’s pretty much a Christmukkah miracle when just about everything, including the weather cooperates for an east coast contest. But luckily for Wachusett, MA, Salomon and Eastern Boarder who put on the East Coast Invitational Rail Jam December 18th, it’s the holiday season.
With a stacked list of invited riders that included a bunch of Canadians, some Utah rail shreds and Shane Flood himself, the contest actually attracted some serious talent. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t the prospect of riding at the snowboard epicenter of the greater Boston area that brought in the talent, it may have been the suitcases full of cash that went to the winners. It was Colleen Quigley and Laurent Paquin who took top honors, $2000 and $8000, respectively.
Despite a complete and total lack of snow only one week early, cold temperatures and an abundance of snow guns made it possible for Wachusett to put together a serious rail garden for the event. The course included a c box, flat down box, up flat box, flat bar and the “money booter, a double kink rail complete with stairs. Although there were lots of options, the real show went down on the double kink.
34 men and 11 women, some who were invited and some who had earned their spots but throwing themselves down the icy obstacles on Friday night, rode in jam sessions vying for the big money. The men were divided into two heats and while one group rode, the other served as the judges. This accomplished the dual purpose of saving the mountain money and making it so the judging was actually fair, a new, but reasonable concept.
Frenchie Laurent Paquin worked the creative angle, using the entire course, spinning in and out of everything and combining air tricks, like stylish methods with smooth slides to take the title and earn 8k (or like a million bucks Canadian.) Shane Flood’s smooth switch front board through the kinks earned him second place and a cool two grand. Other highlights of the men’s super final, which included 12 riders, were Pat Moore’s smooth 270 slides, Justin Benee’s hard way 270 to switch back lip and Chris Rotax’s 450 boardslides.
The 11 women went all at once while the men sat back and judged. Colleen Quigley was the first women to attempt the double kink and the only one to ride out of it smoothly, which in combination with her masterful use of the rest of the course was enough to earn her a suitcase full of 2000 dollar bills. Drea Russell went for the smooth and stylish approach to the course, sparing herself the near concussions suffered by the few other women who stepped up to the kinker and was rewarded with second place and 500 bucks.
And after the party was the Red Bull fueled after party, held in a sweet tent with a DJ and all that good stuff, but for the truly hardcore, Wachusett was even open for some more night shredding.IMAGE 8]IMAGE 9]