The unofficial first contest of the twenty first century, and the first halfpipe event ever at Colorado’s Beaver Creek resort, went off without a hitch today.

Thirty nine riders aged nine to 40 turned out for the Snowboard Outreach Society halfpipe competition, part of a series that garners U.S.A.S.A points for participants. For most it was the first contest, not only of the millennium, but of the season¿many previously planned amateur events were canceled because of Colorado’s meager snow conditions.

While not a “super” pipe, Beaver Creek’s halfy proved sufficient for most. In fact, local-area pros like Todd Richards have been coming over regularly since its opening just a few days ago.

But today was all about the ams. They came from Steamboat, Summit County, and as far away as Crested Butte for the experience, and to accumulate the points it takes to qualify for the U.S.A.S.A. Amateur Nationals (held at Waterville Valley, N.H. this spring).

Marta Boelens and Aaron Roskowski had an added incentive to make the three and a half hour drive from Crested Butte¿unlike their home mountain, there’s at least some snow in Beaver Creek. Actually, it was snowing today.

Conditions changed drastically between practice and the main event¿the best of two runs. Badly needed snow piled up in the flat bottom, making final runs slower and more challenging than those during practice. We all rule during practice, don’t we?

Aaron made the most of his twenty dollar entry fee and discounted twenty dollar lift ticket, finishing second in the Men’s 16-22 age group. Marta, who placed fifth in last year’s Nationals at Telluride, didn’t pull it together to make the podium today, her first time in the pipe all year.

The contest, which started around eleven a.m. and was over by one o’clock, ran smoothly. Both competitors and sponsors like Palmer Snowboard’s Marty Carrigan seemed pleased, saying it was “professionally done.”

To wrap up the awards and a raffle participants all signed the number one bib, which will be retired to commemorate Beaver Creek’s first pipe event.

Vail’s pipe opened today. Oh, and Wolf Creek has gotten twenty eight inches out of this storm so far.

Check out sosoutreach.org for a schedule of upcoming events.

Today’s winners include:

Boys 11 and under: Nick LarsonBoys 12-15: Sean KlineGirls 12-15: Casey GosperMen 16-22: Bryan ShawWomen 16-22: Misty FordeMen 23 and up: Dave MinorWomen 23 and up: Suzette SalazMen Pro-Am: Gregg DavisWomen’s Pro-Am: Rachel Nelson