My heart beats faster and butterflies flap furiously. I strap my feet into my bindings and feel the board glide towards the start gate, this wax was a good choice. A blend of Rolling Stones and the announcers voice prepare me for my first run. Breathe!
This event is in memory of Neil Edgeworth, an influential Canadian snowboarder who passed away in 1997 in an avalanche in Chamonix, France while filming a photo shoot with friends. The first banked slalom was in 1987 and was reintroduced in 1997 with an average of 245 people per year. A record 259 this year!
Once again, the Neil Edgeworth Memorial Banked Slalom was a huge success. Riders young as 9 and old as 67 who love snowboarding come to Big White, BC and enjoy the spirit of competition. Keen riders, mostly from the Okanhagan and BC area ride down a natural gully full of ruts, berms and rollers. Crashes and fast runs are equally cheered with support even coming from the Ridge Rocket chairlift which passes overhead.
Flynn Seddon, Director of Terrain Park at Big White Ski Resort “The Neil Edgeworth banked slalom has defined itself as an epic true spirit gathering for the sport of snowboarding. The gathering represents what snowboarding is all about and that is friends having fun. The industry sponsors who support the banked slalom showed just how much it means to be a part of the weekend by donating over $25,000 worth of prizing and $5000 dollars in cash.”
My best time was done on day one, 1:18:98 placing me 1st place from 54 riders in the Male 25-34 category. During the presentation Flynn shared to everyone about my Kidney donation at the beginning of the season. I think it is awesome for people to know that donors can recover quickly and get on with their passions in life, with one of mine being snowboarding with friends.
2012 Neil Edgeworth Memorial results:
Thanks to all the Events & Terrain Park crew, Cathy from BC Snowboard Association, competitors, spectators, families and friends who made all this possible.
Photo credit: Jonnie Millan