Truckee, Calif. (Sept 11, 2013) – Rahlves’ Banzai Tour presented by Bank of the West is back. The 2014 Rahlves’ Banzai Tour stops at four Lake Tahoe resorts next winter—Feb. 8 through Mar. 16 at Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, and finishing with the Finals and Super Final at Sugar Bowl Resort.
“There is no other race like this in the world,” says Daron Rahlves, former World Champion, X-Games Champ, 4-time Olympian, Sugar Bowl Resort ambassador, and tour founder. “What’s so unique about the Banzai is that everyday rippers line up against pro-level athletes to find out what they’re made of, battle for Rahlves’ Banzai titles, and an $80,000 purse. When the gate drops, it’s on as four competitors go head-to-head in a top to bottom race over natural terrain.”
The 2013 Banzai tour was filled with many highlights and challenges in the Banzai races. The tour kicked off with an amazing start that dropped into the Wall at Kirkwood, followed by a men’s ski final win by inches at Alpine Meadows. The Squaw Valley tour stop tested the Banzai spirit when the Sunday finals were eliminated by weather, but rebounded strong with new snow and bluebird conditions at Sugar Bowl, culminating in a spirited weekend of competition on a technically challenging course. Chelone “Chilly” Miller* from Franconia, NH won the Overall Men’s Snowboard title as spectators witnessed his “live free and send it” approach producing an exciting wrap up to his notorious come from behind wins on the 2013 tour. This year Rahlves has chosen to honor the competitive spirit of Miller by introducing the “Live Free and Send It” award.
“The award will go to the competitor who embodies the free-spirit, skill, and love of competition Chilly brought to the Banzai,” says Rahlves. “It will be a yearly tribute passed on at the finals of the RBT.”
This year’s tour promises to be one of the most exciting thus far. Last year’s champs Johnny Bochenek, Shannon Rahlves, Casey Lucas, and Kyle Coxon will have tough competition in defending their titles. From everyday rippers representing their home resorts, to skiers/boarders of all levels coming out for a fun and competitive experience, to competitors making a name for themselves on other tours in racing, ski cross and big mountain—all will converge for the high-speed action at each 2014 RBT stop.
Squaw Valley, February 15-16
Alpine Meadows, March 8-9
Sugar Bowl Resort, March 15-19
Rahlves’ Banzai Tour presented by Bank of the West is proud to be associated with Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sugar Bowl Resort, Red Bull, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., CEP Compression, Wend Wax, Lake Tahoe North, Tahoe Center for Orthopedics, Jagermeister and our newest partner Alaska Airlines, who will award four round-trip flights to any Alaska Airlines destination to each of the four overall Tour winners and offer the “Alaska Airlines Long Flight Award” of $100 Alaska Airlines bucks during the Sunday finals at each Tour stop.
The 2014 Tour will once again be broadcast live on Truckee and Lake Tahoe’s own 101.5FM, who have also partnered with Alaska Airlines to send two lucky winners with round-trip airfare to Cordova as part of station’s annual Points North Heli Ski Giveaway.
If you’re wondering about the tour’s name, Banzai is a Japanese term expressed as an exuberant cheer meaning, “Long Life!” or “Hurray!” An apt name for a high-spirited downhill ski and snowboard competition, the Silver Belt Race first took place in the 1940s at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, ran strong through the 1970s, and was re-introduced with the head-to-head action by Daron Rahlves and Sugar Bowl in 2009. The race continued with one event for another year, and then Rahlves decided to take the show on the road, officially launching Rahlves’ Banzai Tour and expanding to stops at four of Lake Tahoe’s premier resorts, finishing the tour where it all began at Sugar Bowl.
For more information, check out previous race results, videos and register for events, at RahlvesBanzai.com.
Learn More about Chelone Miller: