Rahlves’ Banzai Tour kicks off at Kirkwood | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour kicks off at Kirkwood

Sylvain Duclos leads a hard-pressing Jayson Hale during a men's snowboard heat at Sunday's Rahlves' Banzai Tour opener at Kirkwood.
Courtesy David Clock / www.davidclockphotography.com |

The Rahlves’ Banzai Tour brought its high-speed, skiercross-style racing to the steeps of Kirkwood Mountain Resort this past weekend, Feb. 27-28.

The first of only two stops this year, the opener began with an exciting, near-vertical gate drop into The Wall as skiers and snowboarders raced through elimination heats of four down the natural terrain of the mountain.

In the men’s ski final, Josh Anderson, who was seeded eighth in Saturday’s individual time trials, took the win ahead of top-seeded Kyle Coxon. Alec Jones came in third and Garrett Oren fourth.

Second-seeded Shannon Rahlves, sister of event organizer and former Olympic ski racer Daron Rahlves, topped the women’s ski field and was followed by former World Cup moguls skier — and Banzai Tour rival — Shelly Robertson. Caitlin Robinson placed third and Katie Wry, who entered as the top seed, was fourth.

Lucas Dehmlow claimed victory in the men’s snowboard final after earning a No. 4 seed on Saturday. Jayson Hale, who was seeded sixth, finished second while his Banzai nemesis, top-seeded Sylvain Duclos, was third. Roger Carver placed fourth.

Audrey Hebert backed up her No. 1 seed with victory in the women’s snowboard final, finishing ahead of Yoko Nakamura, Mariah Dugan and Bre Stringfellow.

New to the tour this year was the Mini Banzai, which pitted young members of the Sugar Bowl and Kirkwood ski teams on a shortened course. Carl Ottoson of Kirkwood took the win and was trailed by Sugar Bowl’s Florian Standteiner, Jack Schrady and Dreyson Rahlves.

The Rahlves’ Banzai Tour wraps up this weekend at Sugar Bowl, with time trials on Saturday, March 5, and elimination heats followed by the Super Final on Sunday, March 6.

In the Super Final, the two men’s ski winners from the Kirkwood and Sugar Bowl events will race against Rahlves in a one-run, winner-takes-all heat worth $5,000. The fourth spot in the Super Final will be filled by a random draw of the top eight finishers at Sugar Bowl. Rahlves remains undefeated in the Super Final.

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