Snowboarders put on show at Vans Cup; South Tahoe’s Hight takes 1st in Superpipe
Professional snowboarders soaring, spinning and jibbing their way to top finishes at the Vans Cup at Northstar got a whole lot richer this past weekend.
Truckee’s Chas Guldemond won over the judges in Friday’s men’s rail jam with his aggressive yet smooth riding style, winning $10,000 for his efforts. Guldemond, who took third in the 2006 Vans Cup slopestyle, edged Brandon Reis of Dublin, N.H., and Kade Madsen of Sparta, N.J.
Molly Aguirre of Mammoth Lakes won the women’s rail jam and was awarded $3,000. Desiree Melancon of Riverside and Cheryl Maas of Biarritz, France, placed second and third.
Norwegian rider Andreas Wiig padded his pockets with $20,000 after claiming his second straight Vans Cup slopestyle title on Saturday.
The slopestyle course, which centered around a three-jump line, was perfectly aligned. An east wind pushed the riders off the jumps and the sun kept them warm after an overnight storm dusted the mountain.
Wiig, who also won the X Games slopestyle last month, had to pull out some final-run heroics to beat Mason Aguirre of Mammoth Lakes, who entered the final as the top qualifier. Trailing Aguirre entering his final run, Wiig stomped a frontside 1080 to his signature backside rodeo 900 over the money booter to seal the win.
Aguirre’s frontside 1080 truckdriver earned him Best Trick and second place, while Robbie Walker’s consistency on all three jumps put him in third.
In the women’s competition, Cheryl Maas of Biarritz, France, took the top spot in Saturday’s slopestyle with a backside 720 over the 60-foot third jump to earn $15,000. In addition to the first-place purse, Mass also was awarded $2,000 for Best Trick, and placed third in Friday’s rail jam, which was worth $1,000.
Danny Kass of Mammoth and Elena Hight of South Lake Tahoe ruled the superpipe for the second straight year as the Vans Cup wrapped up under sunny blue skies on Sunday afternoon.
The men’s top-3 looked a lot like last year, with only Louie Vito sliding into second place behind Kass and repeat third-place finisher Iouri Podlatchokov rounding out the podium.
Kass, who also won the inaugural Vans Cup superpipe in 2005, took home $20,000 for his win. For the ladies, Hight claimed the $11,000 first-place prize ahead of Lizzy Beerman and Kjersti Buaas Oestgaard.