After a gap year, the Dirksen Derby returned in 2017 for DD#10. This year it seemed bigger than ever and people were hungry for some turning and burning even with low snowpack in the NW. Tokyo helped kick off the festivities Thursday night with our Ambassador Max Warbington and the magic that is Shorts and Shades at the Volcanic pub. After an amazing night of snowboarding stoke celebrating the last 10 years of the Shorts and Shades videos, Friday’s early morning practice was calling.
Friday morning was met with a mix of who’s who of snowboarding’s up and coming stars, outright legends and industry heavyweights. The stoke factor was at an all-time high with warm sky’s, fast snow and great vibes. After an early arrival, competitors were greeted with their first looks at the Green and Red courses and let’s just say it made stomachs sink a little. Minds instantly began spinning a story of fear mixed with board choice anxiety as competitors got their first runs down the course. After surviving a day of some insanely fast runs a lot side bets and strategies upped the ante for the days to come. Friday night was the Derby film and photo fest contest held at the historic Tower Theater. A packed house was treated to some of the most awe inspiring outdoor videos and photos from some of the best local and international photographers and filmmakers who battled head to head for bragging rights.
Saturday was qualifying day and with only one chance to lay down a fast run the pressure was on. Most of the people playing the odds went for the fast, open, and slightly safer Green course. The Red course on the other hand was filled with what one would call the rowdy reds. It’s the ultimate pissing match for top riders to qualify on Reds tight technical and weekend ending corners. After Saturday’s hard qualifying our famed Tokyo crew was cut from 5 down to 2 moving into the finales. Saturday night brought with it the famed Dirksen Derby Broken Board art auction and dinner party. Another packed house of riders and fans filled the venue for drinks, dinner, more side bets and bidding on broken snowboard art created by legendary artists from throughout the industry.
Sunday was the main event and a much more intense feeling filled the air as people went for broke to set their fastest times. For every clean run, it seemed like there was two or three that ended in the fences leaving riders feeling defeated after a well fought weekend. All-in-all, an amazing time was had by everyone who entered and even those that just came out to support the event. In the end The Tokyo crew had an amazing time and just missed the podium with a 4th place Gentlemen’s finish.
Thank you to Josh Dirksen and crew for raising the bar on what a contest can look and feel like. Thank you to Tyler Eklund for always being an amazing inspiration for all riders
About the Dirksen Derby
Our mission at Dirksen Derby is to use our participants and proceeds to raise awareness and/or financial donations for selected Non-profits and our long-time inspiration Tyler Eklund, all while bringing the snowboard, splitboard and Sit-ski communities together for a fun weekend of competition and comradery.
Fundraising and Awareness at the Dirksen Derby 10 will include:
-The Patagonia event on Thursday Night event raising money for Protect our Winters
-Kick-Off Party raising money and awareness for Protect our Winters
-Derby Dinner raising money and awareness for Oregon Adaptive Sports
-Broken Board Art Auction raising money and awareness for Tyler Eklund
-Dirksen Derby 10 Lottery raised money and awareness for Central Oregon Avalanche Association