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|Mark Sollars: Thursday's Most Radical Dude|
Moguls are serious business. In the Olympics, there are seven judges that watch tight-kneed dudes flail down hill, ACLs flapping like windsocks in their wake. Five of these seven judges watch turns, marking down demerits for things like straying from the fall line, not absorbing or 'utilizing' the bump, wack body position, erratic pole planting and lack of control. The other two judges score difficulty and sickness of the Spraffies and Dinner Buns or what not.
But that's only 75 percent of a bump skier's score. After an air score is added to the turn points, the remaining 25 percent of the score comes from speed and involves -- not a stopwatch -- but equations, based on slope distance and pace time.
Thursday's Grenade Games 6 Dual Slalom Mogul race, though on par with events like the Olympics as far as prestige worldwide goes, was a little more lax when it came to criteria, judging and format.
|Non-FIS sanctioned everything.|
Format: Forty qualified riders and many an unqualified riders had a three-hour window, beginning at 12:30, or whenever they woke up, to take as many laps as they could on Davie's Dervish, the mogul field above Glacier Creek Lodge on Blackcomb, while trying to clock the fastest time and best crowd response off the mandatory kicker mid-field. When all the hot dogs and beer ran out, the four riders with the fastest times raced head-to-head, in pairs, for the win, and a sweet custom GG6 Lib Tech Skate Banana snowboard and a trophy. The Most Radical Dude race consisted of two riders, nominated by Danny Kass at the end of the jam session and timed finals, who were radder than the rest.
Criteria: Riders had to make it to the top of the run before the jam session ended. Then they had to take a run. Mandatory spinning was added about halfway through the jam session, but mandatory didn't really mean mandatory. Miss a gate? A-OK.
Judging: A clock.
Strategy: It varied. Kass took a serious approach. "You really have to keep your eyes forward a few bumps, plan your line, nail your turns in the right spot. The more inverted you got, the more you spin, the better your run. Last year I lost every race, this year I challenged two people and I beat them both, so I won."
Most Radical Dude Award winner Mark Sollars took a more carefree approach. "On my first run I tried to straightline the whole thing [he made it about two thirds of the way before he blew up ... at speed] and it didn't work. They tried to disqualify me because I didn't hit any gates. So this [the Most Radical race, against David Fortin, who took the first run of the day, backflipped off the kicker, broke the nose of his board and came up bloody] was redemption. I went down and tried to knock down every single gate to get back at them. The medical staff said my finger's totally broken, and I have ugly fingers to begin with."
Winners: 1. Pablo Aristeguieta. 2. Travis Williams. 3. Dennis Bannock. 4. Defending champion Myrosha Daley. Most radical dude: Mark Sollars.