Winning three out of four of his heats including the final, Jason Brown dominated a field of 48 competitors at the Chevy S-10 U.S. Grand Prix Boardercross event at Northstar-at-Tahoe, California today and ended up in first place at the end of the day and 10,000 dollars richer. On the women's side, Kate Fletcher lost her first heat, then battled back through the loser's bracket to finally win the finals out of 24 women and also took home 10,000 dollars.
In conditions that were bleak to say the least¿with blowing snow changing to rain, high winds, and a fast, hard course¿contestants definitely had to step up or get out of the way.
Jason Brown followed the simple boardercross strategy that most use: "I went for the hole shot, and it helps if you're fat," he said after winning. Evidently fat is where it's at for Brown, who already has plans for the winning check. "My wife told me I could by a motorcycle if I won a contest this year. I'm going to get a 125 Yamaha dirt bike. I've got an old beater, and now I'm going to buy a new one."
Coming in second behind Brown was Seth Wescott, who got third in the halfpipe two days earlier. He edged out Brown's fellow Palmer team rider Mark Schultz at the end of the race in a total photo finish.
"It was my first bad start of the day and everyone was out in front of me," said Wescott, who had won every other heat he was in earlier in the day. "The course was fun and it really smoothed out."
Brown was nearly a casualty early in the finals when Lucas Dehmlow almost took him out as their boards knocked. "I just thought I caught an edge," said Brown.
In the women's final, Amy Johnson took the hole shot, but wiped out through the whoops, and then the Fletcher sisters moved up in between Lynn Ott.
"I was super nervous because there were so many good girls in it," said Fletcher. "Usually, I'll just go for it and crash, but this time I just stayed solid. I saw a bunch of girls falling, so I knew that was my chance to get ahead. Lynn Ott was behind me just cheering me on, so it was super fun. I was stoked my sister got third. I can't believe it."
Kate and Beth are younger sisters of successful racer Rosey Fletcher. Kate says she actually hasn't been riding much this season. "I go to Sierra Nevada College in Incline. But I guess I can afford a pass now," she says.