Sun, Dec 15 2013 8:20 pm | Comments
Photos: Ben Gavelda
Words: John Poulin
Shaun Palmer came flying down the mountain at approximately Mach 10 this afternoon on a seasoned Palmer deck. Harry Kearney boarded fast as fuck. Tim Eddy completed both X- and Y-Axis 360 degree rotations during his run on the green course. Austin Smith, after completely botching his first turn on the Red Course, probably because he was thinking too much, pulled a flawless backside 180 into switch toeside turn and then completed the rest of the course in switch stance. And in other news, a dog took a huge shit, a human sized McDonalds dump, right next to the Red Course, posing biological hazard to all competitors. Big ups to the dog’s owner for kicking it further into the woods.
Riders had two courses to choose from, Green Course on the left and Red Course on the right. Finals riders rode each one once, combined times from the two runs determined the winner. That’s the science.
The elite division of the Dirksen Derby is reserved for the universe’s fastest riders who not only know how to turn a board but also possess a blatant disregard for their personal health and the well-being of their fellow chowder heads (thanks to Parilla in Bend for hooking up the best friggin’ clam chowder.) What separates the Elites from the rest of the Men’s division, besides a top 3 finish in a past derby or a $100 entry fee, is the drop in. For the infamous Red Course the Elites dropped in off a platform raised about 8 feet off the ground, shot into the air and down onto the course. This sent them catapulting into the forest like a rock being slung from a catapult. But what gave everyone the most trouble throughout the weekend, Elites included, was a hairpin section at the bottom of the Red Course. Some thought the layout of the hairpins was easier on the goofy footers overall, but many riders regardless of stance lost their momentum on this series of turns. And the Elite winner was a regular footer, so go figure. Which brings us to the winners of the esteemed Elite division. Harry Kearney is a ripper. He won with the fastest times of the weekend on both courses. He’s won the Baker Banked too, so it really comes as no surprise that he was able to take this year’s Derby.
Nils Mindnich (as well as his brother Hans) is a young boarder who is quickly proving himself as a god damn maniac on the shred sled. There is seemingly nothing this kid can’t do and no arena in which he is out of place. Be it a halfpipe (as seen in Disney’s upcoming block luster release Cloud 9 in which Nils is the main stunt double), a hip, a big ol’ booter, or a tight, banked snake track through the trees (as seen in this year’s Derby). He won the men’s division, followed by Kyle “The Killer” Miller in second and Bend’s finest rapper Logan Beaulieu in third place. Those guys can board.
If you think Marie France-Roy is a hot one, you’re right. She was on a tear today, taking third in the women’s splitboard race and first in the Derby. She was followed by Colleen Quigley in second and Desiree Melancon in third. Shreddy babes. New this year was a Gentleman’s division to complement the open Men’s field and Older & Wiser division. Some serious boarding went down in that division, with Slyvain Duclos taking first, followed by Jason McCalister in second and Ami Voutilainen rounding out the podium in third. For that Older & Wiser division, Ruben Valdiva won, followed by John Devenere and Gerry Lopez.
With the majority of eyes watching Shaun White shit his britches on national television at the Dew Tour this weekend, it goes without saying that it was great to be at the Dirksen Derby. Grassroots events like this are what should define snowboarding. A breath of fresh air in a competitive landscape otherwise polluted with turd burgling corporate interests. A gathering of the tribe, a community board party, whatever you want to call it, at the end of the day, the Dirksen Derby is just what’s really good.
Here are the complete results. Click on the image to see it big. Thanks to Josh Dirksen, Tyler Eklund, the events staff at Mt Bachelor, all the sponsors, and everyone who makes this event what it is. Get that collarbone patched up Jake Price, get well soon.