Mountain Mayhem: The 2020 Audi Ajax Cup, AVSC’s ski racing fundraiser
The 11th Annual Audi Ajax Cup benefiting Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club (AVSC) took place on December 30, though was moved from its previous home on Aspen Mountain to Aspen Highlands at the Stapleton Training Center.
“While things looked different from years past (everyone wearing masks, teams separated, no indoor space, no party), the ski racing and spectating were as lively as ever!” said Katie Houser, AVSC’s director of communications and marketing.
As the largest and most impactful fundraiser of the year, Ajax Cup enables AVSC to provide more than 2,400 local kids the opportunity to excel as athletes and as people through participation in winter sports, playing a major role in their ability to raise funds and fulfill their mission.
Ten teams participated in a round-robin format race. Instead of a central tent for socializing during and after the race, individual team tents were set up so teams could rest between laps. La Adelita Tequila provided “Palomaritas,” which were complemented by delicious bites from the Highlands Alehouse. DJ Naka G provided the beats to keep the energy high as the action unfolded on course.
The final two teams who went head to head at the end were Team Go Fast or Go Home (led by team captains Jacolyn and John Bucksbaum with pro Katie Ryan, an AVSC and US Ski Team alumna) and Team Independiente (a group of individual racers led by pro Kristina Koznick Landa, US Ski Team Alumna).
In the end, Team Independiente clinched the win with teammates Eric Mangelsen, Phil Sirianni, Shannon Slade, Mazza Pitt, Michael Payne and Kristina Koznick Landa proudly representing.
The 2020 Audi Ajax Cup line up of fabulous pros included Daron Rahlves, Erik Schlopy, TJ Lanning, Kristina Koznick Landa, Alex Ferreira, Katie Ryan, Jake Zamansky, Wiley Maple, Nolan Kasper, and Jake Fiala.
“We feel incredibly grateful to have been able to host the Audi Ajax Cup this year!”added Hauser. And, “for the first year ever, we had a livestream thanks to ChukkerTV, They had just wrapped up filming Snow Polo in Aspen so spectators were able to tune in around the world to watch the Ajax Cup!”