Ahmet does his best Christ impression. Words and photos by Julie Weinberger
Killington was packed with twin-tippers on Sunday, Nov. 21 for the Loaded Turkey Rail Jam 2 1/2. The event took place on the Reason mini-terrain park and was laced with thrills for both competitors and spectators. In typical East Coast fashion, the weather was foggy and rainy but that certainly did not deter competitors from coming out for the event. After all, frozen turkeys were at stake!
The competition consisted of a qualifying session where each competitor took two runs, with the highest scorers moving onto the jam final. The top three skiers moved on in both the 16-and-under and open divisions. In the qualifying runs competitors had a choice of a 15-foot flat rail or a 10-foot flat box at the top of the course. Almost everyone hit the rail. On the bottom, they could choose either the downkink or a 20-foot slightly downhill single rail. The jam final was then held on the downkink.
The judging was a bit sketchy at the beginning of the competition. Judges could not understand the difference between spinning natural and unnatural and in general had difficulty scoring some tricks. But, that was quickly cleared up once a few skiers told them what was going on.
Nick Lyons spins on.
The qualifying was a little long and lackluster. Competitors were standing around in the damp weather for over two hours waiting for their bib numbers to be called. No one really threw down until the 30 minute final jam.
Once it came jam time, however, "Everyone really went all out," said Andy Parry, who won the over 16 event for skiers. "It was the best part." Andy threw 360 switch-ups and 450s on in the jam final. AJ Dakoulis threw a sweet switch 270 disaster for third overall. The Dadali brothers, Giray and Ahmet, took first and second places in the 16-and-under. Ahmet threw some 360 switch-ups, while Giray pulled an unnatural blindside switch-up for second place. Giray pulled some smooth unnatural blindside switch-ups and a switch butter on, blindside 270 switch-up, 360 out. But, these four weren't the only ones throwing down: "Everyone was fun to watch," said Andy. "So many people were trying new things. It was cool."
Andy Parry brings home the, uh, bacon.
The jam seemed to be everyone's favorite. But, according to Giray, "it was kind of hard to get runs in because there was no order or line. You just budged around." Also, the landing on the downkink was a huge rut. "The hole right after the flat down killed a lot of people," said Andy. Competitors would land and immediately blow up on the rut. "That landing was by far worse than the rain," said Giray. "It's good that the judges looked beyond that for some things."
Winners received a frozen turkey along with some schwag donated by local shops. Prizes were also given to second and third place finishers which included goggles, back-packs, hoodies, tee-shirts, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
In the end, Andy and the Dadali boys provided the most entertainment. And, with their wins, Ahmet and Giray took home a Thanksgiving feast, and even a back-pack to carry their turkey and stuffing down the mountain in. "I won stuffing," said Giray. "That's pretty cool."