words: Blake Paul
photos: T. Bird and Aaron Blatt
captions: Mary Walsh

Drink Water, alongside High Cascade Snowboard Camp, hosted the third annual Rat Race this past Saturday. Invited riders flocked in from around the globe for the premier summer slalom, all for a good cause. Austin Smith, Bryan Fox and other boarders have continued to grow Drink Water’s message in snowboarding, and back it up more than ever with one hundred percent of the proceeds from the event going to Water.org, an organization that helps bring clean water to less fortunate countries around the world. This year, $20,000 dollars was raised.

It’s the events like Dirksen Derby, Mt. Baker Banked Slalom, and Lib Tech Holy Bowly that help bring all the rad personalities of snowboarding together. This race has done more than add itself to this list, but also evolve in its own way. The course is nothing like a traditional banked slalom, complete with a set of whoops, a spine line, tight turns, wide turns, hips, a BMX jump, and even a ring of fire? I think most racers had the mentality to stay on their feet and survive, rather than push their speed. And nothing can get more in your head before you drop than the classic chatter about certain sketchy sections of the course. At the end of the day, Nicholas Mueller took top honors, followed by Curtis Ciszek in second and Harry Kearney in third.

Award winning performances included:

The Bubba Scrubs award went to Java Fernandez for eating shit in the whoops. I think this is the second time he’s claimed this trophy, after a terrible fall in 2012 when he was first to drop and fell in front of the entire crowd. He has continued to kick off the race every year now.

I took home The Rat award, which decorated me for starting rumors and cutting the line. Which I didn’t do, but I’m honored to receive.

The Mahalo award went to Ben Ferguson for tossing out that back rudder arm and flowing through the course with effortless, surfy style.

Dylan Alito performed some freestyle moves in his run, including a backflip through the ring of fire and 180’s across the spine. He was presented with The Hot Dogger award.

Rube Goldburg collected the Fastest Canadian award for our friends from the north.

The Tom Burt and Victoria Jelouse awards recognized the best guy/girl that navigated the spine line fast and fluently. Scott Blum and Kelly Clark took the cake.

Danny Davis took a spill and slid out on his stomach, and received the Belly Dancer.

ASS Industries and Pat Moore presented a brand new category this year, The Biggest Name with the Biggest Time, calling out to the biggest pro with the longest time. Pat called Devun Walsh to the stage.

At the end of the night, Harry Kearney took home the Cascade Downhill Champion trophy for his top finishes in the Dirksen Derby, Baker Banked, and his third place at Rat Race. The entire crowd cheered and sang happy birthday, for he turned twenty-one that night.

The Drink Water Rat Race is part of SNOWBOARDER Summer Games. Stay tuned for more photo and video coverage from each of the rest Summer Games events. Nexen Tires is the official tire sponsor of the SNOWBOARDER Summer Games.