Any snowboarders out there who like volcanoes, going really fast, and bamboo gates should rally on over to Mt. Bachelor, Ore. this weekend for the 4th annual Dirksen Derby. Online registration is now closed but you can still sign up in person for the now two-day event. Entry fees are $25 per category or $50 including your lift ticket, making it a bargain. Mt. Bachelor is like a motocross track for snowboarders, with berms, banks, gaps and chicanes all over the place.
Spearheaded by Bend's favorite son and longtime pro, Josh Dirksen, and known for its fun, jock-free vibe, the DD emphasizes those skills you develop every day freeriding: carrying your speed; clean lines through technical banked turns; holding on through drops and a bit of air time etc. All proceeds go to seriously injured friend and snowboarder Tyler Eklund.
Saturday, Dec 11's races are for: Women's Snowboard, Groms (13 and under), Older & Wiser (50-ish), Sit-Ski and Splitboard.
Sunday, Dec 12's are: Men's (14+) and a "Derby Elite" class for racers who've placed top four in the DD any time in the last three years. Oh, and the Token Skier division, too.
Splitboarders must skin up to the start as part of their event and race with their backpacks on, perhaps reflecting all the up and down time Dirksen put in over the last few seasons filming for Jeremy Jones' "Deeper."
Dirksen describes the racing and course as follows: "Parallel Slalom! Each racer will get one run down each of the two Derby courses for a combined time. Fastest combined time wins. To compete for the top spots in the race, racers must complete runs down each of the two courses. If you are just coming up to have fun, you can choose to go down wherever you like. As always, we are building the two courses to be low angle, with big tight banks and about 30 seconds long. Boards with tight sidecuts are recommended."
And, whether you're a banked slalom veteran or a first time racer, the Dirksen Derby has an impressive prize stack divided 50/50 for both winners and giveaway: Five boards from Salomon, 15 cameras from GoPro, 50+ headphones from Skullcandy, and soft, waterproof stuff from Bonfire and Dakine. Splitboarders will be stoked to hear that there are rumors of a pair of Dirksen Derby Spark R&D bindings making it into the mix, too.
Registration starts at 8:30 on both Saturday and Sunday in the lower level of the West Village Lodge, and "get there early" is good advice for any event involving waivers and wait times. Practice both mornings will be 9-10 am.
Watch the following short video for a bit of motivation and load up the Subaru for some real Oregon fun this weekend. "Remember: some plans could change -- it is a pretty loose and easygoing race," says Dirksen. "The one sure thing is the Derby is going down..."