Local skiers sweep big air contest

Buck takes first, Thomas second at annual contest on Haines' Three Guardsmen

Posted: Friday, April 17, 2009

Juneau's own Sam Buck took first place at Haines' annual big air skiing contest on the Three Guardsmen last weekend, topping the field with an overall score of 69.5.

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Courtesy Of Herb Law
Courtesy Of Herb Law

Buck narrowly edged out friend and fellow Juneau resident Jarrett Thomas for the title by a half point in the overall scoring.

The pair topped a field of a dozen skiers in the contest, including two French participants and plenty of Haines locals.

"I pulled off the tricks I wanted to but Sam definitely stepped up and pulled out some new stuff," Thomas said. "He's definitely got some new stuff coming out and he's got it on lock."

Thomas landed a new trick of his own - a 900-degree corkscrew - that he had been working on leading up to the competition.

"It's just kind of an iffy trick to bring around land with the fast rotation," Thomas said. "I think Sam's stuff was a lot more technical than mine in a way, and I give him props for getting first."

Buck came away with a free day's worth of helicopter-aided skiing in Haines for his victory, while Thomas was awarded a $50 gift certificate to a Haines board shop for his finish.

The competition was held far from a groomed ski hill, though organizers were able to hand-build a roughly six-foot-high jump that sent competitors approximately 30 feet through the air on each run.

Thomas and Buck were loaned snowmachines by locals to make the trek to the contest site and said that the informal feel will be a main draw that brings them back in 2010.

"We just had a blast the whole time we were up there," Thomas said. "We were able to blast around on some snowmachines, and we ended up staying at a place called the Funny Farm that houses all the pros who ride up there. It was a good trip all-and-all. The competition went great - they really threw it together well and it made for a great event with a lot of good people."

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