The Daron Rahlves Banzai Tour concludes on Sunday with the traditional “Super Finals” race. The exciting dash down a steep run at Sugar Bowl ski resort will be lacking one thing this year – Daron Rahlves.
The highly decorated skier suffered a dislocated hip recently and won’t be skiing this weekend (March 9-10). The two-time winner of the race and event originator, Rahlves will be watching Sunday’s finals.
“Unfortunately I’m out of the Super Finals this Sunday, but the show will still go on with a four-man battle of the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour winners,” Rahlves said. “I’ll be watching and be hanging with everyone at the finish this weekend.”
Despite the absence of Rahlves, the Super Finals will still be an exciting one to watch. The winner has plenty of incentive, thanks to a $5,000 winner-take-all check that goes to the winner.
Maddex favored in Super finals?
Competing in the finals will be earlier winners John Bochenek, Jesse Maddex, Kyle Coxon, and whoever emerges among the skiers this weekend who are doing qualifying competitions at Sugar Bowl.
Maddex, who raced to a win at the Alpine Meadows stop, could be the favor, considering Sugar Bowl is his home course.
Sugar Bowl last stop on Banzai Tour
The Rahlves’ Banzai Tour began in early February at Kirkwood Mountain Resort and had subsequent weekend races at Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley. The finals at Sugar Bowl, Rahlves’ home resort, will be both today and Sunday.
The skiing and snowboarding racing, which is eligible to anyone 18-older, will end where it all began more than 70 years ago – the historic Silver Belt gully at Sugar Bowl. Some of the best skiers and snowboarders in the West will battle it out to cap off the four-stop skiing competition with a win this weekend.
The Banzai Tour is described as “big mountain freeskiing meets skier/boardercross.” Competitors race in four-person heats over natural terrain in a contest of pure skiing speed.
“What’s so unique about this race is every-day rippers line up against pro-level athletes and have a shot at the title of Rahlves Banzai champ,” Rahlves said. “It’s a competition among competitors. But ultimately, it’s against the mountain.”
The Rahlves’ Banzai’s roots date back to the famed Silver Belt downhill race, which began at Sugar Bowl in 1940 and was considered one of North America’s premiere ski races, attracting elite skiers from across the nation.
Banzai course very challenging
The Rahlves Banzai course starts at the top of Mt. Lincoln, Sugar Bowl’s highest peak. From the Block House starting line, it drops into the Elevator Shaft and into the Silver Belt Gully. As skiers pass the Keyhole, they have an option of going either right or left, around an island that will open to spectators during the race. After dropping into the CEP Compression Gully, it is a flat-out, mad dash race to the finish.
Rahlves is an Olympian, X Games gold medalist, one of the most decorated downhill skiers in U.S. history, and freesking film star. He helped reshape the race into the four-resort circuit that it is today.
The event has $80,000 total prize money, including $25,000 of prize money that will be handed out to winners at the Banzai’s final stop.
Prizes, including the coveted Banzai’s Silver Belt Buckle, will be handed over at an awards ceremony at the Mt. Judah Lodge on Sunday afternoon, featuring Red Bull and Sierra Nevada drink specials.
A portion of each drink sale will support the High Fives Foundation. A Banzai Barbeque featuring Sierra Nevada beer, burgers and bratwurst, will be set up at the Rahlves Banzai finish line both days, allowing spectators to eat and drink while they watch the race action.
The race will be announced by X Games commentator Chris “Uncle E” Ernst and High Fives Foundation Executive Director Roy Tuscany.
Visit www.rahlvesbanzai.com for more information on the Rahlves Banzai Tour.