Words by Ralph Kucharek.
Photos by Brendan Mclnerney.

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Just a few months ago I learned about the concept of "Collective Impact."  It's a community development strategy that uses strategic partnerships to combat persisting issues in society, for example snowboard companies collaborating towards increasing climate change awareness and reducing their impact on the climate as manufacturers.  In the case of Northern Vermont, the snowboard community benefitted from collective impact with having the opportunity to ride a handcrafted banked slalom course and participate in a grassroots event. On Saturday, March 17th, 2018 or for those who recall the root cause of their post St. Patrick's Day hangover was the third annual Sidesurfers Banked Slalom.  With 119 racers in attendance this was the largest year of the event yet, which was coupled with a course for the masses.

Just two weeks prior to the event Sugarbush had suffered from a warm spell leaving winters footprint looking bleak and grassy.  With the help from a succession of several Nor'Easter storms, the green mountain spine and specifically central Vermont where Sugarbush became socked in for five days and received over 50 inches of snow.  In Sidesurfers tradition the new snow allowed for a course to be built on Sugar Run, which made the third variation of the ever-changing course possible. Throughout the field of riders were familiar names like Sugarbush local super crazy Lily Calabrese, VTSP legends Seth Neary and Curt Gurry, announcer and Frendly face Jack Mitrani, Sean Genovese and Luke Mathison from Dinosaurs Will Die, your favorite photographers favorite photographer Cole Barash, Vermont hero Nils Mindnich, Olympic judge Connor Manning, Stowe's own Tommy Emanuelson, one of the last people who can combat a 30+ foot tall quarter pipe Tyler Emond, New Hampshire's River Richer, and event creator and your local powder snatcher John Murphy.   However, these names only scratch the surface of the amount of dedicated and skilled riders in attendance from Vermont and beyond.

They say, "time will tell" and in snowboarding time can test your ability as a turner.   After 240 plus runs the timer was turned off and the printer was turned on. At the end of the day three categories of men and women 14 and under, 15-30, and 31+ were crowned as the three quickest in their respective fields.  Underhill, Vermont native Jesse Curran at 52.30 seconds put down the quickest time of the day for men, while the fastest woman was Acadia Farrell (1:00.00) who is representing the next generation of women rippers coming out of Vermont.  Per request of a 40+ category from the community we were able to award Curt Gurry (54.58) a vintage Burton Craig Kelly Air and Amanda Gardener (1:07.67) a 1996 Lib Tech Acme as the quickest 40+ riders of the day with help from a generous donation. This succession of events would not be possible without collective impact from Sidesurfers peripheral eye protection, the brains and Braun of Trevor Borelli and his dedicated staff at Sugarbush Parks, the nimble events leader Tony Chiuchiolo from Sugarbush Resort, and without the gracious donations of event sponsors and supporters.   

A special thank you to all event sponsors who make it all possible: Salomon Snowboards, Sugarbush Parks, Sugarbush Resorts, Sidesurfers, 686, Darn Tough Vermont, Cabot Cheese, Splinters Boardshop, Black Sand Supply Co., SAP!, The Spot, Super Crazy Ceramics, Stickerfam, Anon Optics, and Crab Grab.  

Women:

14 and Under:

  1. Ilyana Valadakis (1:10.99)
  2. Josephine Neary (1:23:.85)
  3. Sydney Howard (1:28.16)

15-30:

  1. Acadia Farrell (1:00.00) *Quickest Lioness
  2. Lily Calabrese (1:01.16)
  3. Jessamine Young (1:01.85)

31+:

  1. Meghan Oliver (1:03.23)
  2. Amanda Gardner (1:07.67)
  3. Nicole Driscoll (1:09.14)

Men:

14 and Under:

  1. Xavier Hayes Kenne (56.12)
  2. Dylan Keelty (59.09)
  3. Dylan Willey (59.47)

15-30:

  1. Jesse Curran (52.30) *Quickest Lion
  2. Jack Mitrani (53.57)
  3. Nick Blaney (54.00)

31+:

  1. Tyler Emond (53.09)
  2. Dave Hamann (53.55)
  3. Michael Rodriguez (54.30)

Delinquents/Testers/Event Volunteers:

1) Nils Mindnich (51.95)

2) John Murphy (53.57)

3) Connor Manning (57.23)

3) Tony Chiuchiolo (1:04.45)

4) Ralph Kucharek (1:05.88)

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