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Snowfest sports continue

Staff reports

Ford Downhill SeriesOLYMPIC VALLEY – At Squaw Valley USA in a finale to the Ford Downhill Series, California native and three-time Olympian Kyle Rasmussen and Team Switzerland’s Daniel Mahrer are tied for the individual lead with 190 points. Rasmussen is striving for back-to-back titles in the overall individual title. Today and Friday the athletes will be training on the top of Olympic Lady at 11:30 a.m. Saturday is race day.The first run starts at 11:30 a.m. and the second run will begin at 12:30 p.m. The Ford Downhill Series is produced by ECLIPSE Television & Sports Marketing and will be televised on CBS March 25.Anything can happen in the World Professional Downhill Championships with double points available in the final race at Squaw Valley on Friday. Olympic downhill Gold Medalists Jean-Luc Cretier (1998 Nagano) and Tommy Moe (1994 Lillehammer) are among the impressive field of world-class athletes chasing the leaders. Rasmussen claimed a second victory at Sunshine Village by a narrow margin of one-tenth of a second to catch Mahrer in the individual standings.The downhill course, with a vertical drop of 1,814 feet, is steep and fast. These world-class athletes will hit speeds of over 80 mph as they negotiate the steep upper section, followed by tight turns and huge jumps.Team Switzerland has continued their conquest for overall series champions, edging out Team USA at Sunshine Village, Banff, Canada. Switzerland has dominated the team competition with four straight wins in the Ford Downhill Series. Team captain Daniel Mahrer with teammate William Besse have been solid all year.With double points on the line, Team USA can still overtake the Swiss. All it takes is one mistake by either Mahrer or Besse in the second run and the Team Championship is up for grabs. Team France is in third place with 110 points, followed by Team Canada and Team Italy tied at 70 points. Both individual and team titles will be awarded including total prize monies of $500,000 and two Ford SUVs to the winning team. For more results and information, visit their Web site at http://www.forddownhillseries .com.Gates & WakesALPINE MEADOWS – Competitors will go from Alpine Meadows to Sunnyside Resort Friday at Snowfest’s first presentation of the popular Gates & Wakes event, sponsored by Nautiques by Correct Craft.In the morning skiers and snowboarders compete on the slopes of Alpine Meadows in either giant slalom racing or bordercross. Following lunch, the action moves to the lakeside Sunnyside Resort where participants brave Tahoe’s frigid waters in freestyle waterski and wakeboarding competition.At the end of the day the event concludes with an awards ceremony. Prizes are awarded to the top three contestants in both men’s and women’s divisions. Racing begins at 8:30 a.m. Entry fee is $52. For more information and to register, call Alpine Meadows at 583-4232.Gates & Wakes returns to Lake Tahoe in the spring for a second competition, May 11 and 12. For more information, call West Coast Craft at (916) 983-4343.Everson memorial raceHOMEWOOD – The Bob Everson SnowFest Memorial Fun Race will take place Friday at Homewood Mountain Resort. Registration begins at 9 a.m. in the base lodge. Racing begins on the lower mountain at 10:30 a.m. The entry fee of $20 (which includes the lift ticket cost) includes two timed runs, giveaways and raffle. Lift tickets must be pre-purchased from local merchants for $15Bob Everson was the founder of Snowfest. Athletic and agile, Everson excelled on the ski slopes. At age 19, as head of the Tahoe Ski Bowl Ski School, he became one of the youngest ski school directors in the United States The Tahoe Truckee High School graduate was instrumental in starting the Tahoe Ski Bowl Ski Team, and for eight years taught skiing at the resort, now a part of the Homewood Mountain Resort.Skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities are welcome. The event is sponsored by Dave’s Skis and Boards and the Tahoe World.Lift tickets may be pre-purchased at PDQ Market in Tahoma, West Side Sports and Obexer’s Market in Homewood, and Bank of the West, Porter’s Ski & Sport and the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association in Tahoe City, Bank of the West in King’s Beach and all five Dave’s Ski and Snowboard Shops (Truckee, Tahoe City, Olympic Valley, King’s Beach and Incline Village).For more information, call Homewood Mountain Resort at 525-2992.


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