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Silver Belt race is back

Staff Reports

During a weekend that was tempered with nostalgia – Donner Ski Ranch hosting the Legends of Snowboarding Reunion and Alpine Meadows hosting the Wayne Wong 70s party – Sugar Bowl reached into history the farthest.

Sugar Bowl celebrated its 60th anniversary by reintroducing the Tiki Cup Race (accompanied by a Hawaiian style party) and the legendary Silver Belt Race, two events that date back to the 1940s.

On Saturday, ski racing went Hawaiian style as grass skirt clad racers slalomed around palm trees and jumped off the side of a smoking volcano during the Tiki Cup race. At the finish, spectators and competitors were entertained with Polynesian music and dancing in a makeshift tropical setting complete with a waterfall and thatch roofed huts.

Sunday, racers were challenged by a demanding course set by Jim Hudson, Director of the Sugar Bowl Ski Team, through the varied terrain of the Silver Belt gully and finishing at the base of the Steilhang.

Truckee resident Kristen Krone negotiated the traditional track with the fastest time for the women pro/celebrity contestants, edging out fellow Olympian Heidi Preuss. Krone’s husband, Fritz Vallant, former Austrian Men’s Alpine technical coach, outpaced the men. Tim Itin, a former all-American skier at Dartmouth College, held the fastest time for male amateurs and the fastest time of the day. Katie Hitchcock, a young Sugar Bowl Ski Team member, was the quickest female amateur of the day.

Saturday evening, guests, including past Silver Belt champions Babette Haueisen, Starr Walton, Eric Poulsen, Peter Klaussen, Jim Hudson and Anne Thys got together for dinner at Sugar Bowl’s Mt. Judah Lodge.

The weekend raised nearly $40,000 dollars to help support the Sugar Bowl Ski Team and Ski Academy with increased scholarship funding, improved facilities and funds for regional and national racing travel.


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