WHISTLER, BC, March 27, 2001 ¿ Canada’s longest running snowboard event, the Westbeach Classic, returns to Whistler Mountain, BC, May 18-20. The 2001 Westbeach Classic will take place at two venues separated by over 4,500 vertical feet. In the alpine, the specially constructed half pipe beneath Whistler Mountain’s Glacier Bowl and next to Whistler Village, the recently expanded Whistler Skate Park.

The Westbeach Classic continues to evolve with this year’s event featuring the Pro-Am Halfpipe Jam Contest, a Skateboard Street-Course Contest, all day BBQ and live entertainment. The two-day Halfpipe Contest will be held in a “Super Dragon” pipe and offer the opportunity for up and coming amateurs to compete against their heroes, thanks to the “Jam” format. Competitors will vie for $50,000 (CDN) including prizes of $20,000 (CDN) for the Pro Half Pipe and $5,000 (CDN) for the Skateboard Contest.

Coinciding with the unofficial start of summer, Canada’s Victoria Day long weekend, the May 18-20 dates match the new direction from Westbeach and Whistler/Blackcomb to tie the two sports of snowboarding and skateboarding together. For Westbeach, the May timing also signifies the seasonal transition between these two core sports activities. “May is a good time to bring together snowboarders for one big season ending event, and gather skateboarders to kick-off the summer,” said Todd Friesen, Director of Westbeach Retail. “We plan to make skateboarding a big part of Westbeach Classic this year and for years to come.”

The Masters Group, event managers of the World Snowboarding Championships, World Cup Snowboarding and the DV8 tour are back at the helm organizing the Westbeach Classic after a three-year hiatus. “We are very excited to be working with Westbeach and Whistler/Blackcomb in running a contest that is so renowned among riders and the industry,” comments Mark Taylor, event manager, “…this event represents a very soulful tie to the roots of the sport of snowboarding and we look forward to creating a great weekend of riding and skating for all the pro’s and amateurs that come out.”

Westbeach clothing is equally excited, “With the enthusiasm we’ve felt from the riders and The Masters Group behind it, the Classic is going to go off this year,” states Jim Fenton of Westbeach Sports Inc.

For event information call the 2001 Westbeach Classic Hotline at 1.800.944.1044, visit www.whistler-blackcomb.com/westbeach.