Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Honda Ski Tour makes splash at Squaw Valley

Final TV show Sunday

Sunday at sunny Squaw Valley, Ca. was the final stop of the inaugural The Honda Ski Tour (THST) and television viewers will be tuning in Sunday, March 25 to see a 60-minute program about the 2007 finale.

Check local ABC Television listings for 12 noon on local cable channel 8 to see the one-hour program focusing on the finale of the elite, $500,000 four-stop mountain festival and skiing competition.

Czech-born and Canadian citizen Stanley Hayer, 33, made Ski Cross history at Squaw Valley. He beat out Casey Puckett to win the overall THST Ski Cross championship and a brand-new Honda Element car.

Sunday's Ski Cross winner for $25,000 was Enak Gavaggio of France, who finished ahead of runner-up Hayer ($15,000) and third-place Tomas Kraus of the Czech Republic. Puckett ended up fourth.

Hayer's finish was enough to give him the overall title with 340 points and $70,000. Puckett (300 points, $60,000) and Gavaggio (249 points, $40,500) rounded out the overall tour podium. Ketchum's Zach Crist (116, $4,000) placed sixth, Carl Rixon Jr. (50, $5,000) was 15th and Biche Rudigoz (26 for $500) 21st.

"We started and ended with a bang," said THST co-founder Steve Brown about the tour that began Jan. 11-15 in Sun Valley and also stopped Feb. 1-4 at Breckenridge, Colo. and Feb. 22-25 at Aspen, Colo.

He added, "We accomplished what we set out to do by creating buzz and an impact on skiing. The final week in Squaw Valley was great with the weather and spectacular competition. We're definitely coming back next year, bigger and better."

Winning the THST halfpipe overall title and the Squaw Valley event for $25,000 was Simon Dumont, 20, of Maine. Dumont ended up with $80,000 in earnings plus a new Honda Element car.

Dumont dropped in for his first run and wowed spectators and himself by soaring higher than the 20-foot Honda tower marker with a cork 540 lead mute grab followed by a rightside 540 mute to a huge 1260 to an alley-oop flatspin 900. He increased his amplitude on the second run and scored the high run of 93.50.

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