NEWRY, Maine ??вЂќ The Jeep?В® King of the Mountain Series, now in its 13th season as professional snow sports most prestigious event, recently announced Sunday River as the only eastern site for the 2005-2006 Series. The Sunday River stop is the only snowboard event in the Series.
The event will begin with a National Open Qualifier on Friday, Feb. 3, allowing top-notch amateur and professional snowboard racers to earn a spot against the world’s best for a shot at the title of World Professional Champion. National Open Qualifier registration information can be found at www.jeepsports.com. Then on Saturday, Feb. 4, Sunday River will serve host to the men’s and women’s snowboard portion of the Professional Skiing & Snowboarding World Championships.
The Jeep King of the Mountain Series, which offers the richest cash purse in snow racing, will feature 32 of the world’s top skiers and snowboarders competing head-to-head to capture the coveted title of World Professional Champion as well as a share of the record prize payout topping $450,000 (U.S.) plus $20,000 (U.S.) in additional bonuses from John Paul Mitchell Systems. Adding to the allure of the event, this year the keys to four new 2006 Jeep Commanders will be presented to the men’s and women’s ski and snowboard champions.
Carved from the mountains of Maine, Sunday River offers diverse terrain spread across 128 trails on eight interconnecting mountain peaks. This lively resort evokes the spirit, raw beauty and lively soul of the state, while offering guests stunning views of the Mahoosuc Mountain Range and Mount Washington and the Presidentials from atop the peaks. The terrain offers a variety of steeps, glades, and wide-open corduroy cruisers as well as an expansive learning area. There are four terrain parks for varying ability levels, as well as a rail park and Zaugg-cut Superpipe. Its award-winning network of 18 lifts includes four high-speed quads.
“We are thrilled to bring the most prestigious event in professional snow sports to a resort with the substantial amenities and impressive reputation of Sunday River,” said David Potovsky, Vice President of Events for Eclipse Television & Sports Marketing.
Running from December 2005 through February 2006, the Jeep King of the Mountain Series stops at some of the most spectacular outdoor havens in the U.S. and Canada, each offering world-class recreational facilities and breathtaking scenic backdrops. In addition to Sunday River, this year’s race line-up includes:
Race 1: December 3-4
Crested Butte Mountain Resort // Crested Butte, Colo.
Race 2: January 7-8
Sunshine Village Resort // Sunshine Village, Canada
Race 3: February 3-4
Sunday River Ski Resort // Newry, Maine
Race 4: February 25-26
Squaw Valley Ski Resort // Squaw Valley, Calif.
A national audience will be able to view each Jeep King of the Mountain Series event on CBS Sports and through national syndication for a total of six hours of coverage between January and April 2006. The Sunday River event is scheduled to be broadcast at @:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 on CBS Sports. In addition to broadcast coverage, skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts can now view the Jeep King of the Mountain Series online. Through a special partnership with Ski Press Magazine, the website www.skipresstv.com will allow race fans to follow their favorite ski and snowboard athletes during each race of the 2005-2006 Professional Skiing & Snowboarding World Championships. The site will also carry archived footage and highlights from some of the best races in the 13-year-old events’ storied history.
Formerly a pure downhill series, the Jeep King of the Mountain Series has established a reputation for drawing the most elite skiers and snowboarders of the sport, and carries with it a rich history of past Olympic champions, such as Jean-Luc Cretier (’98 Nagano), Tommy Moe (’94 Lillehammer), Josef Polig (’92 Albertville), Pirmin Zurbriggen (’88 Calgary), Bill Johnson (’84 Sarajevo), Leonard Stock (’80 Lake Placid), and Franz Klammer (’76 Innsbruck). The 2005-2006 Series will maintain that legacy, with a line-up that has produced Olympic medals, world championship titles, national titles and numerous world cup victories between them.
The Jeep King of the Mountain Series implements an innovative racecourse known as “The Y,” which delivers high-speed excitement in a format that combines the technical skill of Parallel Giant Slalom with the cutting edge drama of skiercross and boardercross. The Y has proved ideal for skiers and snowboarders alike, and the Jeep King of the Mountain Series is the only series to combine the racing elements of these two sports into one event. Racers begin on separate courses and must maneuver Parallel Giant Slalom turns. Midway through the course, racers meet at the Y, the point where the two parallel courses merge into one. There, skiers and snowboarders must race side-by-side on a single course while negotiating banked turns and single and double rollers leading to an exciting finish.
As a spectator friendly event, Sunday River is offering guests Ski and Stay Packages during the Jeep King of the Mountain weekend from $59.95 per night. More information is available at www.sundayriver.com.