A team comprised of Telluride Ski and Golf instructors Sarah Walls and Barbara Glanznig will compete in the women’s division, while the brother-sister duo of Annabelle and Vincent Boelema will ski in the open division. Each two-person team must ski in sync with each other while laying down perfect figure eight tracks.
Thursday will mark the first day of competition where teams will ski head-to-head against each other in an elimination bracket. It could be a tiring day, as teams must hike into Aspen’s revered Highland’s Bowl for each elimination round. If they are good enough to secure one of four spots in their respective division, they will move on to the second day of competition on Friday.
Aspen Powder Tours will provide lifts up the mountain via Snowcat on Friday for more head-to-head elimination brackets, which will be based on the scores of the previous day’s elimination runs.
“This is the first time my partner and I have competed in the Powder 8 competition,” Walls said. “We were planning on it last year but injury kept us out of it. We are being coached by Barbara’s brother, Willie, who was a champion back in 2006, and he thinks we have a pretty good chance of getting a title.”
Scoring in the competition is made up of three categories. Partners must be synchronized as they ski from start to finish with movements made in equal time as they turn. They will be judged on their dynamic skiing ability, which relates to powerful and efficient turns. (The greater the dynamics, faster and more round turns are achieved.) And finally, teams will be judged on the roundness of their turns in coordination with the line of decent. When all the criteria are put together well, teams will achieve an impressive synchronized ski run that leaves behind consistent Powder 8 tracks.
“We are hoping to at least qualify for finals and get through a couple of rounds,” Annabelle Boelema said. “We are going to get experience and hopefully improve. We have been doing a lot of video analysis and we are working on all the elements that go into a great figure eight. It’s about being very even and very consistent. So far, it’s been really good that we have skied together a lot and we know each other really well.”
“No matter what happens, it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun to go to Aspen and hang out with all these skiers,” Walls says.
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