Feb. 14-16, 1997 – Bear Mountain Ski Resort, Rig Bear. CA
Feb. 28 – March 2, 1997 – Sierra at Tahoe Ski Resort, CA
March 12-14, 1997 – Solitude, Utah

(Big Bear Lake, CA) BoarderCross, the snowboarding discipline where six riders at once race motocross style down whoop-dee-doos, berms and table tops, will be on display this winter when the North America leg of the Swatch-ISF World BoarderCross Tour, presented by O’Neill and Vans, hits Bear Mountain, California, Sierra at Tahoe, California and Solitude, Utah, and television audiences worldwide.

BoarderCross, which combines freeriding and alpine racing, is held on a giant slalom-type course enhanced with such obstacles as berms, whoop-dee-doos, rollers and table tops. The object is to complete the course as quickly as possible without missing any control gates. Unlike halfpipe, BoarderCross has neither restrictive rules nor potential for subjective judging. The first rider across the finish line wins the heat. BoarderCross is basically a battle (sometimes literally) for the finish line.

The tour stops at Bear Mountain Ski Resort, Big Bear Lake, California on Feb. 14-16, Sierra at Tahoe Ski Resort, California on Feb. 28 – March 2, and Solitude, Utah on March 12-14. Prize Money is $20,000 minimum per event, which are all presented by Swatch, O’Neill sportswear and Vans footwear. The tour finals are scheduled for Laax, Switzerland on April 4-6, with a ‘Harley Davidson BX custom motorcycle up for grabs as title championship.

Each stop of the tour will air on Fox Sports regional network al affiliates. International distribution will push the television audience to approximately l50 million households overall.

Among those expected to compete are; the current ISF BoarderCross points leader Omar Lundie, former snowboarding world champion and motocross/mountain biking enthusiast Shaun Palmer, leading BoarderCross competitor Sherry Newstead and Kokanee BoarderCross champion Andrew Murphy.

Each International Snowboard Federation sanctioned BoarderCross event heat consists of six or less riders exiting the start gate simultaneously. The riders navigate the course, so-called incidental contact is common, and the top three finishers advance to the next round, usually in times between 35 to 45 seconds. The final heat determines the top six riders.

A participant is disqualified if he or she has more than one false start; misses a gate; does not wear mandatory helmets, or flagrantly obstructs, blocks or makes contact with a an opponent with the intention to knock over or in injure.

“You have to have good lines and be able to stay up when everyone is piling up on you,” relates Canada’s Sherry Newstead, a leading professional competitor.

Prior to this competition hitting North America, the tour also made stops at Solden, Austria on Nov. 22-24, 1996, and Val D’Isere, France on Dec. 23, 1996. The riders caught the most attention included Shaun Palmer (USA) winning the first event, Marguerite Cossettini (USA), and Nicolas Huet (France).

In addition, each tour date will include side attractions and entertainment.

O’Neill Sportswear accepted the offer to embark upon this global partnership with the World BoarderCross Tour as co-presenting sponsor. “For O’Neill, BoarderCross creates a great opportunity to be a part of one of the best events in snowboarding,” states Joost Bellaart, O’Neill.

Vans footwear is the other co-presenting sponsor of the tour. “We’re eexcited to be involved in this event because it is a run discipline and a number of our top riders, including Shaun Palmer, enjoy competing in BoarderCross,” says Cary Allington, Vans marketing manager. “We want to support the whole sport Or snowboarding and especially those areas in which Vans riders are active.”

Swatch, the title sponsor of the World BoarderCross Tour, continues to support and encourage the development of this growing snowboarding discipline. As the official timekeeper and sponsor of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, Swatch remains on the cutting-edge of skiing of skiing and snowboarding, as well as a wide range of alternative sports.