(Donner Summit, CA) – Top freeride skiers and riders from around the world will descend upon Lake Tahoe’s Sugar Bowl Resort March 13th and 14th, 2010 for the running of the Silver Belt Banzai, a unique race blending the excitement of ski-cross/boarder-x action with the tradition of a downhill race. Starting atop Sugar Bowl’s famed Silver Belt run, skiers and riders will race out of the gate in six-man heats with the simple rules of staying on course and finishing in the top two to advance. Up to 100 skiers and riders, both men’s and women’s divisions, will compete in the race, and must be aged 16 or older to compete. Qualifying heats will be run on Saturday March 13th, with winners earning a spot in Sunday’s final races and a chance for cash prizes. Entry fees are set at $100 per racer, which includes a lift ticket valid for the first day of racing, and both days of racing should the competitor advance to Sunday’s finals. If a lift ticket is not needed, entry fees are set at $50 per racer for the event.
Celebrating its 70th season, Sugar Bowl is steeped in tradition and history, and the Silver Belt Downhill is an integral part of the resort’s storied past. Dating back to 1940, for many years the race was considered the preeminent North American race for skiing’s elite. Racers would travel from their home resorts to compete for top honors on the challenging course, always finishing the event with a legendary celebration. The 2010 race will keep the tradition alive, while enticing today’s top skiers to compete by incorporating racing’s latest discipline of skicross and boarder-X action. Each afternoon will finish with festivities including live music and a post-race party in the Judah Lodge on Sunday.
To prepare for race day the perfect training grounds will be Sugar Bowl’s Silver Belt gully, essentially guaranteed to have a deep enough base for the event after recent storms dropped over 7 feet of snow, and Sugar Bowl’s new skicross/boarder-X run on the Tunnel 41 trail. The Olympic-caliber course under the Mt Judah Express lift will be used as a pre-Olympics training ground for US Skier-Cross Team and Sugar Bowl’s own Daron Rahlves, greatly improving the USA’s chances for a Podium finish in Vancouver.
Sugar Bowl opened in 1939 with the vision to provide an exceptional skiing experience for family and friends. With the additions of the Summit Chair and The Backcountry Adventure Center, and a staff dedicated to customer experience, Sugar Bowl continues to be a pioneer in skiing on Donner Summit. For more information on Sugar Bowl please visit www.sugarbowl.com or call (530) 426-9000.