Ralston Cup set for Saturday | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ralston Cup set for Saturday

Becky Regan
Published Caption: Photos courtesy Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Catch some of the best snowskaters duking it out slopestyle this weekend.

The sixth annual Ralston Cup is going down Saturday at Sierra-at-Tahoe Mountain Resort. The Ralston Cup is an open snowskate competition that features some of the top athletes in the up-and-coming sport.

“This is like the big show for snowskating. This is as good as it gets,” said Danny Sheehan, Ralston Snowskate founder.

This competition isn’t just for the elite though.

There’s an entry level for everyone with a class for youth, amateurs, women and pros.

About 65 snowskaters usually come out to compete for the Ralston Cup, coming from as far as Germany and Switzerland.

“This year we might break 100, but I say that every year,” Sheehan said. “That’s the goal though.”

There will be plenty of local talent there as well. Some of the top South Shore snowskaters to watch are Pat Quinn (previous winner), South Tahoe High School’s Jommy Smith (won the cup at age 14) and talented local snowskater Richard Ellis.

Sheehan, along with snowskate pros Seth Hall, and Mark “Spacolli” Montgomery will serve as judges.

The competition kicks off at 11 a.m., and snowskaters can register the day of from 8:30-10:30 a.m. in Aspen Cafe at Sierra-at-Tahoe. It costs $20 to register for the competition, and Sierra is doing a discounted lift ticket for $40.

“It really wouldn’t be as good if it wasn’t for Sierra kicking down,” Sheehan said. “They don’t charge me a dime to do this. Every resort around Tahoe wants this event, but Sierra has been there for nine years and so hopefully we’ll keep it there for years to come.”

Division winners will get handmade trophies made by local artist Thatcher Unsworth. Division winner will also get cash, the exact amount depending on entry fees, and prizes.

Prizes include a pair of $800 MTN Approach skies, which fold up for easy backcountry travel, and Rayne Longboards will be given away. Local distillery Tahoe Moonshine is also sponsoring the event.

“I don’t just give sponsors away for a couple shirts,” Sheehan said. “Everyone sponsoring is coming in with $500 or more.”

Sheehan has also recruited some of the best videographers in the area to capture the action. The video will be available on the Ralston Snowskate website.

But the best place to catch the action is at Sierra on Saturday.

“It’s right at the bottom of the hill so you can just walk right over,” Sheehan said. “We have a DJ and there are a lot of people out there watching. It’s just something different to watch.”

Rental snowskates are available at Shoreline in South Lake Tahoe. Sheehan recommends grabbing one ahead of time because they may not be available at Sierra.

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