In what’s being celebrated as the most spring-like conditions of the 2017 season so far, The Fourth Annual Transfer Banked Slalom took place under clear skies on Sunday at Thredbo Resort.
The tribe assembled in droves to partake and watch on as the Australia’s fastest and slowest riders went edge-to-edge with the world’s best, and we mean the world’s best – including the almighty Terje Håkonsen, who hadn’t been back in Oz since the Thredbo Coca-Cola comp in 1994 and secured the 1st place position in Open Men’s. Alongside ‘The Cat’ was Pat Moore, who jumped on the grid and went up against the likes of 2nd Place Opens Winner Ryan Tiene and Jye Kearney, who finished in 3rd.
The third time proved lucky for the event, having succumbed to a string of conditions which hindered attempts to construct the course in its previous location off Conrods Straight. Thanks to the resilience and dedication of Thredbo’s Park Crew, the gang went hammer and tongs to construct a tight and technical to fast flowing course down through Cruiser. Don’t be fooled, there wasn’t a single competitor doing any ‘cruising’ come Sunday, and the heavy-hitting opens weren’t the only crew to put down a blistering time.
Aussie Kid prodigy Valentino Guseli, who is en-route to snowboard stardom clocked a run in Grom Men’s of 00:48:27s, just a fraction behind men’s open podium times. Leading the charge for Veterans Men, and wearing the ultimate piece of racewear – a fireproof jumpsuit was the most excitable man in Transfer Banked Slalom history, Mark Cowley. An appropriate outfit considering mad-man Timmy Vlandis was coming in hot behind him to secure 2nd place.
Cowley didn’t take out the ‘spirit’ awards, rather it was the appropriately clad racewear wearing wife of Thredbo’s own Matt Galina – Jordan Keeth, whose outfit and racing effort is taking her on a trip to Mammoth Mountain. Taking out the ticket to the legendary Mt Baker Banked Slalom was local junior Zephyr Ashe, one of the most prestigious accolades one can receive in Snowboarding. Race-wise, junior men’s would be won over by the ever-impressive Josh Vagne with junior women’s being won by Josie Baff.
Wiki Jones continued her campaign to dominate the TBS, year after year taking 1st place in Open Women’s and putting down an impressive time of 00:54:57s in her 2 seamless runs. Wearing the white winner’s jacket for Grom Women in the ultimate display of stoke is another mighty promising local snowboarder Chelsea Kelley who proved she’ll be a one to watch in the coming seasons.
With what might be considered the best Transfer Banked Slalom yet now run and won, competitors and the hordes of spectators gathered outside the Bistro deck to be crowned in the winner’s wear. A special moment for all, as they were handed what’s set to be the first wave of ‘Winners Jackets’ for the years ahead. Alongside this, a bag stacked full of wears from the likes of Quiksilver, Lib Technologies, Oyuki and Red Bull.
The winners weren’t the only ones to go home with some goods. Thanks to the crew at Amy’s Kitchen, everyone left toting a killer thermos and some delicious soups.
Huge thanks to the aforementioned efforts of Thredbo’s Park Crew and Events Team. This event would not have been possible without the ongoing support of Lib Technologies and Quiksilver along with Oyuki, Red Bull, Anon and Boost Mobile – who provided free lightning-fast Wi-Fi all day.
The Fourth Annual Transfer Banked Slalom was and is an undiluted celebration of snowboarding and thank you to all who partook in this year’s tournament of turns. We’ll see you back on the grid next year!