Vail’s The Session Starts Jan. 16

VAIL-Jan. 5, 2004-Competitive snowboarding gets off to a jamming start in 2004 when The Session returns to Vail Mountainon Thursday, Jan. 16. Last year’s male and female leading prizewinners, Shaun White and Jenny Jones, head up the impressive competitor roster promising another weekend of big air, big tricks and big prizes. Stadium lights will illuminate a Friday night rail contest and a Saturday night Slopestyle. The event is free to spectators and both the rail and slopestyle finish area are accessible by foot at the base of Golden Peak in Vail.

The action starts on Friday night with the Men’s Salomon Rail Competition at 5:30pm. Riders will compete in a session format for 90 minutes on three unique rails, strategically deciding which to session as they pull out their best tricks to win the title prize on each rail. A team of two International Judging Commission (IJC) judges scores each rail individually. The women take on the rails on Saturday at 5:45pm with same format for 45 minutes.

On Saturday, the ladies are first on the Bud Light Super Slopestyle course at noon, followed by the men at 7pm under the lights. Women riders have 75 minutes to session the course and the men have 90 minutes. It is estimated that each rider will get 4-6 runs and each scored run counts for overall placing. Six judges from the IJC are in charge of deciding the standings.

The Honda Session features rails and slopestyle course construction by Pat Malendoski and Ryan Neptune of Planet Snow Design. Malendoski, owner of Planet Snow Design, a rider-driven company headquartered in Oregon, is responsible for the planning, design and construction of renowned parks, pipes and other terrain features at mountain resorts and events worldwide. The Company’s resume includes such notable competitions as the US Open, Grand Prix Series and the 2002 Olympics.

The only pro snowboarding invitational of its kind in Colorado, The Session is an athletic endeavor of the Vail Valley Foundation and produced with the cooperation of Vail Mountain. The event is free for spectators and viewer friendly with easy pedestrian and snowboard/ski access. For more information, visit www.sessionvail.com or call the Vail Valley Foundation at 970-949-1999.