From the court to the slopes, boarders take a turn at P-I-G | SierraSun.com
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From the court to the slopes, boarders take a turn at P-I-G

BAY KELLEY, Sierra Sun

Competition, in 1991, became secondary to fun for Tom Burt who gave up racing for solitary descents down ungroomed terrain.

Burt, a professional snowboarder now living in Kings Beach, competed for several years on the world circuit – from 1984-91 – but gave it up so he could spend more time in the back country making descents.

Three years ago, then, when Alpine Meadows called and asked if he wanted to put on a competition, he proposed one specific stipulation.

“I told them that I’d only put on a contest if it was a fun contest,” Burt said.

The Tom Burt PigFest Classic 2000 was held at Alpine Meadows Saturday.

The event, now in its third year, featured a mix of 20 professional and amateur snowboarders, divided into different heats, trying to one-up each other in a big air competition.

Utilizing the same rules as the game PIG in basketball, a competitor announces what he/she intends to do and if it’s successfully pulled off, the next competitor must repeat the trick (or sequence of tricks. Failure to repeat the trick(s) results in a letter.

Three unsuccessful attempts to mimic the preceding person spells elimination.

Andy Hetzel prevailed in the professional division. Hetzel overcame a field of more than seven pros, capping his victory over the runner-up by getting five grabs in one air for his final trick.

“It was very fast, but the grabs were there,” said Burt.

Hetzel defeated Burt, Jim Zellers, Nate Cole, Jim Morin, Nick Bancroft, Nate Holland and Ruben Sanchez.

Arron Johnston took first in the amateur division, pulling off a backside 540 indie grab as his final trick.

Such feats were not necessary to stay competitive, however.

In addition to the triple elimination format, there is also the factor of the

competition where the tricks can be as silly as they need to be.

One doesn’t have to pull 540s over school buses to stay competitive.

The single ramp with quarter pipes on either side did not demand perfection; it demanded imagination.

“People would jump, belly slide and finish standing,” Burt said.

“As long as they said that was what they were going to do, it counted,” said Burt.s

PigFest, and the accompanying raffle, raised more than $1,500 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Lake Tahoe.

“It was a super-fun contest,” Burt said. “It was a blast … fun on all sides.”

Burt’s only concern with the event was the “PigFest” moniker, which he feels is a tad misleading. Next year he is considering the name “Pig Air.”


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