By Ben Gavelda

It was a warm breezy night and the beats were pumping through the village at Northstar for the Vans Tahoe Cup Railjam.  The boys of Snowpark Technologies had a crispy setup that ensured a night of jib fun including a phone booth bonk setup.  As always there were a few rugged slams with Tahoe local Iris Lazzareschi taking home the $1,000 award for her pain.  Self-proclaimed “bad girl of snowboarding” Desiree Melancon threw down for a second place finish, while Cheryl Maas rounded out third.  Big ups went to Molly Aguirre taking home first place and a custom Gibson Les Paul guitar.

The beats were cranked up as the big boy rail slayers brought the heat.  The always-smooth Lucas Magoon was out there trying to capitalize on another Tahoe Cup railjam win with insane rail combos.  Props went to local Dakota Whittaker who brought out the rail trickery after missing qualifiers.  Dakota continued to please the crowd while poaching the contest.  Kade Sparta kept it spicy enough for a third place finish edging out some of the big names.  The white clad Brandon Reis kept things smooth and consistent with every trick including frontboards through kinks.  The night’s big moves came from East Coast transplant Chas Guldemond.  Chas had a wild leap off the scaffolding into the rail setup as well as a smooth 540 bonk on the phone booth.  He was also one of the few riders making the gap to the down flat down.  These hard charging moves lent Chas a great start to the weekend with a first place finish.   

Today’s slopestyle qualifiers started off with stiff conditions as the recent spring slush hardened up for the day’s competition.  Northstar’s park crew had a great setup with two gigantic wallrides finishing out the course of jibs and jumps.  The sun crept out later in the day to soften things up for the finals.  Leading the pack out of qualifiers for the ladies was Cheryl Maas with a ten-point lead.  Cheryl was holding it down after her third place showing in the rail jam the night before.  Kjersti Buass and Chanelle Sladics were also bringing the pressure, vying for a bite of the hefty Vans purse.  Spencer O’ Brien’s smooth sevens were also giving the other ladies a run for the money.  All said and done, Chanelle Sladics took third, and Norway’s Kjersti Buass rung in second behind Cheryl Maas’s consistent runs and solid performance which landed her first place, a heap of Vans cash, and a custom Gibson guitar.  Cheryl added to her already stunning weekend with the best trick award for her backside 720.

There was a strong Scandinavian presence dominating the men’s competition with the likes of Andreas Wiig and Heikki Sorsa.  Hot on the U.S. contest scene was Aussie standout Robbie Walker who consistently slayed the day’s setup.  DC’s Chas Guldemond fresh off his railjam win had persistent runs connecting backside rodeos to 9s and 10s. Mason Aguirre pushed the competition with a truckdriver frontside 1080 that landed him the best trick of the day and some extra cash.  However, last year’s reigning slopestyle champ Andreas Wiig was ready to defend his title.  Wiig sent it hard with a crooked backside nine landing in the chunder on the side of the jump yet pulling it out to complete his run.  He cleaned everything up with his second run and linked up a backside nose press 180 out to switch 900, frontside 1080, and backside rodeo 900 over the jump line.   The Tahoe chill came crawling in and riders made their way to the village for fun sodas and awards.  The day ended with Robbie Walker taking third place and creating some contest buzz.  Second place landed in the hands of Mason Aguirre complementing his trick award.  Wiig held strong with the day’s performance and sacked up another first place Tahoe Cup wwin.

Women’s Railjam Finals:
1.    Molly Aguirre
2.    Desiree Melancon
3.    Cheryl Maas

Men’s Railjam Finals:
1.    Chas Guldemond
2.    Brandon Reis
3.    Kade Madsen

Women’s Slopestyle Finals:
1.    Cheryl Maas
2.    Kjersti Buass
3.    Chanelle Sladics

Men’s Slopstyle Finals:
1.    Andreas Wiig
2.    Mason Aguirre
3.    Robbie Walker

Men’s Best Trick:
Mason Aguirre – Truckdriver frontside 1080

Women’s Best Trick:
Cheryl Maas – Backside 720