VAIL, Colo., -Nov. 18, 2004-In its third year, the 2005 Honda Session presented by Salomon returns to Vail Jan. 14-16, 2005 with the world’s top snowboarders, including Shaun White, Chad Otterstrom, Marc Frank Montoya, Janna Meyan and Priscilla Levac competing for more than $118,000 in cash and prizes. Rated by Transworld Snowboarding as one of 2004′s top five snowboard events, the 2005 Honda Session will also feature a new format for giving away the cash as well as different rail and slopestyle courses.

“In three short years, the Honda Session has earned tremendous respect by listening to what the riders want and pushing the envelope to new limits, ” said Ceil Foltz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation, the nonprofit organization that produces the Honda Session.Pat Malendowski and Ryan Neptune of Planet Snowdesign, innovators of last year’s unique rail set up and slopestyle course, will start building all new slopestyle and rail courses in early January. The super slopestyle will be even bigger but shorter in length with four hits, along with boxes and rails, allowing the men to fit in more runs in the finals. This means there will more opportunities to cash in on the $80,000 cash purse. But, to have a chance at the money, the men will have to make it through qualification. The qualification includes three runs on the course, with the 10 best scores moving on to the finals, along with the top five finishers from last year.

On the rail side, riders can expect four rails to choose from during competition. More rails means more chances to score well which translates into dollar signs. New this year and new to snowboard competition, cash will awarded every 15 minutes to the top five men and women. Both men and women will compete under the same-scaled prize system that will have six payouts over the 1.5-hour session for the men and 4 payouts over the 1-hour session for the women. Also new this year is the Malay Factor award named in memory of Vail local and pro snowboarder Josh Malay who passed away last year after a snowboarding accident in Spain. This award will be given for the best trick during the rail competition. In total, the Honda Session will be giving out $118,000 to the top riders, with the largest single cash payouts.

The When, Where and What of the Honda Session
The Honda Session kicks off under the lights Friday, Jan. 14 with the Salomon rail competition for men and women. Right at the base of Vail’s Golden Peak, the rail competition gets people up close to the action. The action continues in the evening on Sat., Jan 15, with the Bud Light Super. Sunday kicks off with the Sunday Session featuring a pro clinic for snowboarders of all ages and abilities and a rail contest with great prizes after the clinic. Signup for open to everyone and will take place at the Salomon tent in the Honda Session Base Camp. The Honda Session is a spectator friendly event, bringing people up close to the action. All the events take place at Vail’s Golden Peak, a short walk from the heart of Vail Village. For a complete schedule and for information, go to www.sessionvail.com

Honda Session is a Ticket to RideAs if the prize money, cutting-edge format and year-long bragging rights weren’tt enough, competitors at Vail’s 2005 Honda Session, presented by Salomon, will have yet another reason to go big as the event was recently added to an elite list of eight international qualifying competitions for the Ticket To Ride Society’s “Arctic Challenge”, an end of the season all-star session.

The Ticket To Ride Society is a rider-driven initiative, spread over three continents, that celebrates a diversity of formats and champions the continual evolution of competitive snowboarding. One of the main goals of the organization is providing new young riders with a chance to qualify for the Arctic Challenge at major events, such as The Session.

The 2005 Honda Session will join with seven other snowboarding competitions in the U.S., Austria, Japan, Switzerland and Sweden to produce a final field of 17 riders that will compete in The Arctic Challenge, March 29 through April 5, in Tromso and Lofoten Norway.

For information in credentials, please contact John Dakin at the Vail Valley Foundation at jdakin@vvf.org or at (970) 949-1999.