Monster Enemy Lines: Recap

It’s an invite-only race fea­tur­ing the top skiers in the world. The rules are sim­ple:  first per­son down the hill before every­one else, wins.  What do they win?  Glad you asked.  It’s a cool $20,000 to the win­ner, and a not-so-cool $0 for every­one else.

The Chi­nese Down­hill, as far as research allows, has nev­er been offered as a pro­fes­sion­al event. In all the years of ski­ing it has been often talked about, but until now, no spon­sor want­ed to under­write the car­nage that would ensue. Mon­ster Ener­gy seems to be up to the chal­lenge, and the 20 thou­sand bones they are back­ing it up with has made this event one of the hottest tick­ets for any skier.

For those who are not ini­ti­at­ed to the ruckus of a Chi­nese Down­hill, per­haps it could best be explained through one of the best ski scenes of all time, in the 1984 cult clas­sic Hot Dog:

It’s actu­al­ly sur­pris­ing that it has tak­en 30 years for this style of race to make it as a pro event.  But as always, bet­ter late than never!

The entire event hap­pened this week­end in Fer­nie, BC.  Qual­i­fiers took place on Fri­day, and the main event was Sat­ur­day, April 6.  Due to vari­able avalanche con­di­tions the course was changed, as well as the for­mat.  Instead of start­ing at the peak, skiers had to begin a few hun­dred meters down.  Since this meant less time to spread out, it meant the qual­i­fiers would be much more of a decid­ing factor.

Orga­niz­ers also decid­ed to change the cash pay­out.  The win­ner would now receive $5,000, and the remain­ing $15,000 would be paid out amongst the rest of the field.  It was still plen­ty of incen­tive for every­one to go all-out, to come on top with over $4,000 more than any­one else.

After a tough qual­i­fi­er that saw the pole posi­tion shift with near­ly every run, the stage was set for the Sat­ur­day final.  Mod­er­ate weath­er and spring con­di­tions made the course all the more challenging.

In the end the win­ner was Stan Rey, for­mer Cana­di­an Nation­al Ski Team mem­ber and Whistler local.

Judg­ing by the inter­est in the event, it is prob­a­bly safe to say that this event will be a reg­u­lar for years to come.

Here’s a lit­tle video recap as well: