This week, Winter X and Dew Tour medalist and native East Coaster Simon Dumont brings his signature pro/am contest to his home mountain. The third annual Dumont Cup at Sunday River in Newry, Maine, pits unknown locals and up-and-comers against some the world's best skiers. Dumont's contest has a way of vaulting those unknowns to pro status: Last year, newcomer Alex Schlopy won the contest -- and this winter, Schlopy went on to win Winter X 15 Big Air, the FIS Freestyle World Championships and a Dew Tour event. For this year's Dumont Cup, practice opens on Thursday, followed by the main event on Saturday. We spoke to Dumont about this year's contest and whether or not he plans to sign up for it himself.
ESPN Freeskiing: What does it mean to you to bring a contest like this back to your home mountain on the East Coast?
Simon Dumont: That was my whole purpose in doing a contest. I know there's a lot of talent on the East Coast and it's kind of hard to be discovered. There's not really that many events that give you an opportunity to show your talents and move on from there.
How involved are you with the contest on a day-to-day basis?
Logistically, I'm pretty involved -- coming up with the riders, the format, course development. I'm not really pushing papers so much, but I'm very involved. I put a lot of effort into it to make sure it's a premier event.
What's new this year for the contest?
This year I wanted three jumps, but on the trail we're doing it on, it's really tough to make the venue that I really want. We're going to do one more year there, then we're going to hopefully move up to bigger and better things. Overall, it's a good contest to begin with and now we just need to get more people, more eyes on it -- more recognition for how good the contest is.
Can you give a little preview of the course?
I can't give away too, too much. Ideally I'd love to have a quarter pipe in there, just because it shows a little versatility in people's skiing. Obviously one big jump, a good set up jump, rail features -- it's going to be up there with any other course.
So kids can come out and throw down and get judged by you and bunch of other pros?
It's really just about having a good day -- eating burgers, skiing all day, having just a big jam session. If a kid comes out and they want to come and enjoy the whole experience, they're not just going to have two runs and then it's over. Come jam, shake some hands, eat some food, we select a few that we think should move into the next heat, then the semis, and then we start bringing back the traditional criteria.
Who's on the list of pros coming this year?
Confirmations are still coming in, but so far Jossi Wells, Gus Kenworthy, Phil Casabon, Henrik Harlaut, Tom Wallisch, Alex Schlopy, Joss Christiansen, Ian Cosco, Mike Riddle, and TJ Schiller, who is actually going to sit in the booth to oversee things.
Based on his results this year, it looks like Alex Schlopy really blew up after winning at your contest last year.
Yeah, it was a good start for him. I knew he had potential, and that's why I invited him to compete at Jon's contest [Jon Olsson Invitational] with us [Dumont and Tom Wallisch]. I'm glad that the Dumont Cup was his first big win and I hope he'll keep coming back.
What's it going to take to win this thing?
If their idea is to come out and ski well and win, then they're going to have to throw down and they're going to have to do doubles. They're going to have to keep up with some of the best skiers in the world.
You didn't compete last year, so I guess the most important question is: Are you going to compete this year?
I think I'm gonna compete this year. I'm looking for some slopestyle points for the over-all win for the AFP world tour.