Ford Ranger Vans Triple Crown Finals Underway

The Ford Ranger North American Championships, the final leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding is officially underway at Sierra at Tahoe in California. With more than 300 riders competing in Big Air and Superpipe, the weekend is shaping up to be the perfect conclusion to the 2001 Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding.

Qualifying for the Men’s Big Air competition took place this afternoon, with Jessie Burtner leading the way with a best run of 27.3. Rahm Klampert and Louie Fountain were close behind him in qualifying second and third respectively. Sam Dayton and Justin Dega rounded out the top-five. The top 30 riders from today’s competition will meet 20 pre-qualified riders in the finals on Sunday. The 20 pre-qualified riders are composed of the top-fifteen from Snow Summit and the top-five from Breckenridge.

Over the next four days, riders from around the world will compete for $80,000 in prize money in the Superpipe and Big Air competitions. Today, riders took practice runs on the monster Superpipe, which was in perfect conditions under the sunny skies and ideal weather conditions of South Lake Tahoe.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday, March 30
* Superpipe
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. – Women’s Practice
8:40 a.m. – 9:40 p.m. – Women’s Qualifying
11:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. – Men’s Practice

* Big Air
9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. – Men’s Practice
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Men’s Qualifying
12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. – Women’s Training
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Women’s Qualifying

Saturday, March 31
* Superpipe
8:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m – Men’s Warm-up
9:00 a.m – 9:30 a.m – Men’s Heat 1
9:40 a.m – 10:10 a.m – Men’s Heat 2
10:20 a.m – 10:50 a.m – Men’s Heat 3
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Men’s Warm-up
12:40 a.m. – 1:10 p.m. – Men’s Heat 4
1:20 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. – Men’s Heat 5

Sunday, April 1
* Superpipe
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. – Men’s Semi Finals Warm-up
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. – Men’s Semi Finals
9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. – Women’s Finals Warm-up
10:25 a.m. – 11:05 a.m. – Women’s Finals
11:05 a.m. – 11:35 a.m. – Men’s Finals Warm-up
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Men’s Finals

* Big Air
12: 40 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. – Men’s & Women’s Warm-up
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Men’s & Women’s Finals
2:45 p.m. – Vans Final Awards
3:00 p.m. – Motorola/ISF Final Superpipe Award

WHO TO WATCH

The Ford Ranger North American Championships entry list reads like a “Who’s Who” of Snowboarding, including world renowned Snowboarders from across the globe. Shaun White will attempt to earn his first Vans Triple of Snowboarding title. In order to win the title he must win the Superpipe competition. Joining him as the ones to watch in the Men’s competition are Ross Powers and Todd Richards in Superpipe and Josh Dirksen and Marc Frank-Montoya will look to dominate the Big Air competition.

In the women’s division, Line Oestvold has already clinched the 2001 Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding, but there will be plenty of competition for the first place prize money in the Superpipe and Big Air competitions. Natasza Zurek, who won the Superpipe competition at Snow Summit, and Stine Brun Kjeldaas are the favorites here at Sierra at Tahoe. While Tara Dakides, Dresden Howell and Lindsay Pugh are expected to be the women to beat in the Big Air competition.