SASS Sponsors Chicas Only Contest
(Bariloche, Argentina)—The fourth annual "Chicas Only" contest sponsored by South America Snow Sessions kicked off VIP session 4 at Cerro Catedral in Bariloche, Argentina on Sunday, August 30th, 2009. Beaming blue skies set the stage for a perfect park day for this ladies only event. Over 70 females of all ages and nationalities charged through the Nubes Terrain Park during the two-hour jam session. The format of the day had a true Argentine feel as it allowed girls to compete in a super mellow and stress-free environment, encouraging progression. "Todo bien," Spanish for "all good", proved to be the mantra of the day, as everyone was stoked to be riding with only ladies in total blue bird conditions.
The abilities of the entrants were totally across the board as some of the riders were fully sponsored slayers, while others were merely learning the basics of freestyle riding. The varied skills made this contest unique allowing the less experienced to take cues from the seasoned veterans.
Robin Van Gyn and Lynn Neil, both coaches at SASS, offered their expertise to the lady shredders by encouraging everyone to step up and out of their comfort zone. This was Lynn Neil's second Chicas Only event and she was amped on the day saying, "It was really cool to watch everyone who had never hit a box before have the courage to try it since they were so comfortable riding with just the girls. I had a blast coaching today… Chicas Only is a super fun comp! Can't wait for next year!"
Similar sentiments were felt by all, spawning from the contest's appeal and the design of the course. The layout was tailored to females, providing the perfect set up to lay down new tricks while also allowing girls to steeze out their stock moves. Despite the inclement weather that plagued Cerro Catedral in days prior, Nano and Tincho Palomeque and the rest of Nubes terrain park crew, created a sick chicas-specific course. At the top of the park one could pow down, or opt to hit natural cliffs before heading into a jump. This feature consisted of two lips where girls could choose to send it either 10 or 25-feet. Following this kicker, a series of jibs tempted the ladies with boxes and rails suited for all abilities. A favorite was the up/down box that included a 30-ft butterpad in-between. This setup was ideal for girls to showcase spins on and off boxes while styling out butters in the middle.
After the jam session, ladies were treated to a lunch of delicious and authentic Argentinean BBQ known as "asado". Everyone enjoyed sizzling "lomo" sandwiches as judges decided the overall winners of the day. Riders were considered for 4 categories: Overall Park Queen, "Revelacion" or Breakthrough Performance, Best Style, and Honorable Mention. SASS' own Nicki Slechta was crowned Park Queen and was donned a pink cape and crown before being awarded bags brimming full of Argentine shred swag. After the awards, Slechta shot down the mountain clutching her new prizes, her cape wavering in the wind. The ladies then met at the base of the mountain at Las Rosas to enjoy complimentary Budweiser's during the Argentine aprés.
The free beers after the solid day of riding were welcomed, but this is Argentina, so a legit after party was also in order. Dusk, which is SASSer's favorite nightclub in downtown Bariloche, hosted the fiesta. As the festivities got underway around 1am (which is early for Argentina) the club filled with tons of hot lady snowboarders and skiers. Music and lights pumped through the club and everyone reveled in the experience, happy to celebrate a perfect day in a perfect park, with "Chicas Only."
Shout outs to Sabrina del Coco, Mery Serrao, Tincho Palomeque, Flor Ibarra, Vero Imbert, Caqui, Hotel Asimra, Catedral Alta Pategonia and the rest of incredible crew for making this event possible. Also big ups to the other sponsors of the event: Kicker, Oakley, K2, Isabel the Catholic, RipCurl, K2, Dakine, MGT and Rappa Nui for all the support.
Park Queen: Nicki Slechta
Best Style: Tami Lopez Aguileta (Winner of a 2011 K2 Gretchen Belier pro model)
Revelacion: Vale Medo
Mencion: Garcia Corado
Best Style: Natalia Revora (Winner of K2 skis)
Revelación: Morena Fernandez,
Mención: Luna Barbagayo
PHOTOS: Armelle Burke