Howelsen Hill to host Race to the Cup snowboarding events
December 7, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Jon Casson, snowboarding director for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, is hoping for sunny skies, great snow and a good vibe this week as his program prepares to host a pair of NorAm Race to the Cup events at Howelsen Hill.
"Hopefully, we will get a big local crowd to come out and cheer these racers on," Casson said Wednesday. "This is always an exciting event."
The Alpine snowboarding races will open Friday afternoon with the qualifying rounds for the parallel giant slalom beginning at 2:30 p.m. The top riders will advance to the finals, which are expected to begin under the lights at 5:30 p.m.
Racing will resume at 11 a.m. Saturday with the parallel slalom. The finals are set to start at 1 p.m. Those races also will be held at Howelsen Hill.
Casson said the events are a great opportunity for local racers to compete against a top field, which will include riders preparing for a World Cup event slated for Dec. 14 to 17 in Telluride.
"This is a chance for our riders to come out and race on their home hill," Casson said.
The event is open to eligible FIS-level racers. In past years, the local Race to the Cup competition has attracted World Cup and Olympic snowboarders. Casson said this is at least the eighth straight year Howlsen has hosted the races.
Casson isn't sure who will race in this year's field, but he said the steep-pitched slopes and Olympic spirit of Steamboat Springs always make for great competition.
"This is the first major snowboarding event of the year at Howelsen Hill, but these races are already well into the season," Casson said. "We should have a couple of days of great racing."
To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209 or email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com