Rahlves’ Banzai Tour to swing through three resorts | SierraSun.com

Rahlves’ Banzai Tour to swing through three resorts

Sun Staff report
Greyson Howard/Sun File PhotoWomen snowboarders race toward the first turn at the start of the Silver Belt Banzai last winter. This year Sugar Bowl and its ski ambassador, Daron Rahlves, are turning the unique race into a three-event series.

Daron Rahlves, a four-time Olympian, world champion and current Sugar Bowl ski ambassador, has announced plans for a new multi-resort race series with stops at Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood and Sugar Bowl.

Mixing disciplines of big-mountain freeriding, downhill racing and skicross and boardercross strategy, the and#8220;Banzaiand#8221; format, with roots tied to the original Silver Belt Banzai at Sugar Bowl, puts four racers at a time blasting out of a skicross start gate feature, maneuvering through strategically placed gates on an all-natural big-mountain course while navigating alongside fellow racers. The main rule: Finish fast enough to advance to the next round.

Rahlves said that while the racing is real, the focus of the Banzai is on having fun.

and#8220;With so many competitions being of such a serious nature, the Banzai Tour invites skiers and riders to come out, get in the gate and point it, still maintaining a high level of racing of course, but also having a great time and enjoying the festive atmosphere that the Banzai is all about,and#8221; Rahlves said.

Complemented with vendor village exhibit areas, numerous spectator viewing spots, finish line barbecues and post-race parties complete with live music and DJs, the event is expected to draw more than just competitors.

Open to men, women, skiers and boarders ages 18 years and older, historically the Silver Belt Banzai at Sugar Bowl has seen an eclectic mix of higher-level athletes, racing enthusiasts and everyday skiers and riders just out for a good time at a great event.

With entry fees of $100 that includes a lift ticket on race day, and a $50,000 overall prize purse, the Rahlves Banzai Tour should see approximately 100 athletes racing at each tour stop.

Each race boasts a $10,000 purse, with an additional $10,000 given out to the overall Tour winners. And while Rahlves himself will not race in any of the three tour stops, acting instead as Banzai Ambassador throughout, he will await each of the Men’s Ski division winners from prior tour stops for a final day, one run, winner-take-all $10,000 and#8220;Banzai Super Finaland#8221; and#8212; sure to be a crowd pleaser.

For more information or to register, go to http://www.rahlvesbanzai.com.

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