In spite of the perfect blue skies and comfortable 85 degree weather, there was a bit of a shadow lurking on race day. On Friday during practice Lib Tech rider Dave Lee was whisked away in an ambulance from the track after a serious crash. It was later reported that Dave broke his back and would be going into surgery the following day. After Dave’s spill Jim Moran took a fall and broke his collarbone forcing him out of the competition as well. Billy Anderson also crashed breaking a bone in his hand. A few more minor wrecks added a couple of jammed thumbs and sore bones to the event.
Injuries aside the race day was as motocross always is: a lot of action with huge air, good wrecks, and excellent dueling among friends. After charging hard in the beginnier class last year, Jim Rippey stepped up to the intermediate snowboard class joining Burton binding guru Chris Doyle, Chris Engelsman, and others. “I thought it was time to try moving up to see how I could do with in a harder class,” said Rippey. “I got fifth in the fist run so I feel pretty good about that.” In his moto Rippey pulled a spectacular wreck cartwheeling his bike, but rode away unscathed.
Vail boys Joe Curtes and photographer Bill Thomas placed bets on how they would do against each other. Curtes, riding with a stiff shoulder after a motocross fall the week before, was attempting to defend his second place title from last year. “I’ll just take five ibuprofen before every run,” he said confidentally. He did manage to beat Bill, but took third this year in the 250 intermediate snowboard division.
The 540 Snowboard shop crew with Paul Myers leading up the pack all made the annual haul up with their swanky entourage of shiny, new blazers complete with personalized plates that read “5 forty.” Jamie Lynn made it to the race this year but chose to not ride after Dave Lee’s fall. His girlfriend Malena Steris still rode though, getting second place in the women’s division after Morrow’s Jennie Jonsson.
New faces at the moto this year were Oakley’s team manager Joe D’orazio, K2 rider Chris Engelsman, Morrow’s Tara Dakides, and Derric Swinford. Returning to the Albany track was Tex Devenport who had just driven in from Texas, Roan Rodgers, and Aaron Vincent. Also roaming the track but not racing was Jeffy Anderson, Russell Winfield, Rosie Fletcher, Jaime MacLoud, and Jason Ware. The highlight of the day, as is the case also with snowboard events, was the pro motocross demonstration big air. Big name motocrossers like Ryan Huffman, Mike Metzger, and Carey Hart performed their high flying bike acrobatics for the crowd. There was a little controversy over the big air however. Ryan Huffman took first and Metzger took second with a perfect heel clicker knack-knack. While the response from the crowd showed Mike was the obvious winner, judges scored Huffman higher.
After all was said and done and the prizes were handed out, barrels of cold Budweiser and a hamburger feast helped wash out dusty throats and lubricate all of the stories to blow out proportions. Everyone went home smiling and the winners walked with bike stand trophys. Results
Men’s Junior 125 Snowboard
1 Derric Swinford
2 Kim Boyle
3 Shannon Haymes
Junior Intermediate 250 Snowboard
1 Ken Block
2 Darren Parrish
3 Joe Curtes
1 Ryan Anderson
2 Matt Schlingman
3 Matt Goodwill
4 Ian Price
1 Jennie Jonsson
2 Malena Steris
3 Megan Bollinger