Winter Park hosts Vans Mini Cup rail jam, Surefoot Cup ski competitions this weekend | SkyHiNews.com

Winter Park hosts Vans Mini Cup rail jam, Surefoot Cup ski competitions this weekend

Will Bublitz
wbublitz@grandcountynews.com
Grand County, Colorado

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News file photo

Snowboarders will be showing off their skills at Winter Park Resort on Sunday, Dec. 14, in the first of three rail jam competitions to take place across the nation this winter.

The inaugural event of the Vans Mini Cup will be held Sunday afternoon at the resort’s Lower Village Way. The public is invited to watch the action.

The format of Sunday’s contest, which is presented by Satellite Boardshop, will be an open jam session. As the competition progresses, it will narrow down to a 10-man final judged by Vans Snow team riders.

The Winter Park will be followed by rail jams at New Hampshire’s Loon Mountain on Jan. 10 and California’s Bear Mountain on Feb. 14.

The winner of each of these three rail jam competitions scores an all-expense paid trip to the 5th Annual Vans Cup to be held at California’s Mammoth Mountain from Feb. 27 through March 1. It is considered the most important professional snowboarding competition on the West Coast with nearly $200,000 in prizes.

For Mini Cup registration and additional contest information, visit vanssnow.com/minicup or http://www.skiwinterpark.com. Registration on Sunday will be located on Level 6 of the West Portal Building. Registration is free of charge to competitors.

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Locals compete in Surefoot Cup ski races

Ski racers will be flashing down Winter Park’s slopes this weekend in the first races of the Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup Series.

The Rocky Mountain region’s top male and female skiers will race slalom on the resort’s Hughes and Norwegian trails on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 13-14. Competition begins both days at 9:30 a.m.

The Surefoot is Colorado’s elite alpine ski race series for competitors 15 and older. It is a qualifier for the U.S. Alpine National Championships.

Last winter, it attracted skiers representing 10 nations, as well as athletes from some of the top colleges in the country.

Among the skiers racing in this weekend’s Surefoot Colorado Ski Cup slalom will be several from the Winter Park Competition Center’s ski team.

“Among our male skiers, Chris Acosta, Spencer Nelson and Max Lamb will be battling for spots in the top 10 of this talented and deep field,” said Jon Nolting, Winter Park Competition Center director. “They are among the region’s most elite racers.”

Also competing for the Winter Park team will be Sean Horner, Nick Stenicka, and Jimmy Hostetler.

“These three are also skiing fast and should make strong moves up through the field,” Nolting said. “In fact, our whole men’s team this season is the most competitive one that we’ve had in a decade.”

Nolting also has high expectations for Winter Park’s women skiers.

“Khyla Burrows heads the team in her first race since an injury-shortened last season,” Nolting said. “She has traditionally done well on her home hill. Also coming back from an injury-plagued season is Tracie Kroneberger who has high hopes for the season.”

Two other Winter Park women skiers also have a good chance to do well during the Surefoot.

“Rylee Burrows is skiing fast in training and should surprise a lot of girls this weekend,” Nolting said. “And a new racer to our team, Kristina Krone, will be in the mix with the other girls this weekend.”

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