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Rail Jam to Feature Both Skiing and Snowboarding
NEW YORK — August 12, 2008 — The AST Dew Tour, the world’s premier season-long action sports tour, today announced that the Wendy’s Invitational in Portland, Ore., will host a Nike 6.0 Snowboard and Ski Rail Jam specialty competition Saturday, Aug. 23. Nearly 44,000 pounds of ice are used to create the snow for the Rail Jam. The third stop of the AST Dew Tour, the Wendy’s Invitational, will take place Aug. 21-24 at Portland’s Rose Quarter.
“Some of the best snowboarders and skiers competing in a Rail Jam in the middle of the summer at Portland’s Rose Quarter, sounds like fun to me,” said Wade Martin, AST President. “This is the fourth year of the Rail Jam in Portland, but this is the first year we will have both a Snowboard and Ski Rail Jam. This will be a great precursor to the much-anticipated AST Winter Dew Tour, which kicks off in December and includes both snowboarding and freeskiing disciplines.”
Snowboarder Jonas Michilot, 20, of Bloomington, Minn., is the reigning Rail Jam champion and has hopes to repeat in 2008. He will have tough competition from Mike Casanova of Hudson, Wis., Alaskan Travis Kennedy of Ninilchik, Chris Rotax of Munkton, Vt., Trevor Jacob of Mammoth Lakes, Calif. and Lucas Magoon of Rutland, Vt. Local Portland, Ore. professional snowboarder Nirk Dirks, 21, will compete as well.
Matt Walker, 19, of Boulder, Colo., is the favorite in the Ski Rail Jam having captured first place in the ski slopestyle event at this year’s Aspen/Snowmass Open. He will face some stiff competition as he takes on Peter Olenick of Aspen, Colo., Tom Wallisch of Pittsburgh, and Canadians Ian Cosco, Frank Raymond and Joe Schuster.
Riders will begin each run perched atop a 30-foot snow-covered platform and then ride down the course to perform tricks on a handrail with ledges on either side. Each rider will be allowed one introductory run, followed by a 30-minute jam session that includes all the athletes. Fans can catch the Snowboard Rail Jam from 8:30 to 9 p.m. outside the Rose Quarter followed by the Ski Rail Jam from 9:45 to 10:15 p.m.
Three judges will rank the competitors based on overall impression of the following: variety, difficulty, technical ability and the use of course obstacles. At stake is a prize purse of nearly $14,000.
The inaugural season of the Winter Dew Tour kicks off at Breckenridge Ski Resort in Breckenridge, Colo., Dec. 18-21, 2008, continues at Mount Snow Resort in West Dover, Vt., Jan. 8-11 and concludes at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort in Lake Tahoe, Calif., Feb. 19-22.
Currently in its fourth year, the AST Dew Tour is the most watched and attended action sports property in the world. Attendance for the 2007 AST Dew Tour totaled 280,000 and an average of 41 million viewers tuned in via NBC and USA each year. The top athletes in the world will take part in this year’s Tour, all competing for the highly coveted Dew Cup that will be awarded in Orlando at season’s end to champions in each of the six disciplines. The 2007 Dew Cup winners include Nate Adams (Freestyle Motocross), Jamie Bestwick (BMX Vert), Ryan Nyquist (BMX Dirt), Daniel Dhers (BMX Park), Shaun White (Skateboard Vert) and Ryan Sheckler (Skateboard Park).
The complete 2008 AST Dew Tour schedule is as follows:
Event Date Location
Panasonic Open June 19-22 Baltimore, Md.–Camden Yards Sports Complex
Right Guard Open July 17-20 Cleveland, OH–North Coast Harbor
Wendy’s Invitational Aug. 21-24 Portland, Ore.–Rose Quarter
Toyota Challenge Sept. 11-14 Salt Lake City, UT–EnergySolutions Arena
PlayStationÂ® Pro Oct. 16-19 Orlando, Fla.–Amway Arena