News: Daron Rahlves’ Banzai Race Tour 2011

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(Lake Tahoe, CA) – Daron Rahlves, four-time Olympian, World Champion and current Sugar Bowl Ski Ambassador, has announced plans for a new multi-resort race series this winter, with stops at Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood and Sugar Bowl. Mixing disciplines of big mountain freeriding, downhill racing and ski & boarder cross strategy, the “Banzai” format, with roots stemming from the original Silver Belt Banzai at Sugar Bowl, puts four racers at a time blasting out of a ski-cross start gate feature, maneuvering through strategically-placed gates on an all-natural big-mountain course, navigating natural terrain features as well as fellow racers, with the limited rules to finish fast enough to place in the top two slots and advance to the next round. A grass-roots flashback to the days of simply racing your friends to the bottom of the hill, Rahlves, the most decorated men’s downhiller in U.S. history, says that while the racing is real, the focus of the Banzai is on having fun. “With so many competitions in skiing being of such a serious nature, the Banzai Tour invites skiers and riders to come out, get in the gate and point it, still maintaining a high level of racing of course, but also having a great time and enjoying the festive atmosphere that the Banzai is really all about.” Open to anyone 18 years or older willing to race, historically the Silver Belt Banzai at Sugar Bowl has seen a mix of high-level athletes, racing enthusiasts and average-Joe and average-Jill’s just looking to come out for a good time on the mountain. With reasonable entry fees of $100 that includes a lift ticket, and a $50,000 overall prize purse, the Rahlves Banzai Tour should see over 100 athletes racing at each tour stop. And complemented nicely with vendor village exhibit areas, numerous spectator viewing spots, finish line BBQ’s and post-race parties complete with live music and dj’s, the event draws more than just competitors.

The three Tahoe mountains involved are perfect venues for a race of this style, offering big mountain terrain with impressive steeps, compelling routes to navigate and big snowfall totals every season. Each race boasts a $10,000 purse, inviting Men and Women Ski and Snow Board divisions to compete, with an additional $10,000 given out to the overall Tour winners. And while Rahlves will act as the Banzai tour ambassador, in a compelling twist to the overall series, Rahlves himself will not race in any of the three tour stops. Rather, all three Men’s Skier division winners from each event will earn the right to race Rahlves in a final day, one-shot, winner-take-all, $10,000 mad-dash “Banzai Super Final”, sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Rahlves Bonzai Tour

Dates for the 2011 Rahlves’ Banzai Tour are:

Alpine Meadows January 22nd and 23rd

Kirkwood Mountain Resort February 5th and 6th

Sugar Bowl Resort March 12th and 13th

Registration is just $100 and includes a lift ticket for Saturday’s time trials, as well as Sunday’s Banzai format racing, should the racer advance out of Saturday’s round. Skiers, snowboarders, men and women 18 years and older are welcome to register at

In addition to the Rahlves’ Banzai Tour headlining sponsor Spyder, other Banzai backers include Red Bull, Bud Light, Contour HD, Giro, Sierra Avalanche Center, Atomic, Suunto, Snowbomb, Backcountry Access, 101.5FM, TahoeTV, Powder Magazine, Wend Snow Wax, Zinka SPF, and Crux Events.

For more information on the Rahlves Banzai Tour visit For more information on the three host resorts, visit,, and

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