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Palmer and Pilavakis Power to Podium
Big Bear Mountain, California
February 5-7, 1999

Index: Beware the Big Bear
Audio: Hear What They Got to Say

Nillard Pilavakis stepped up to the Big Bear Boardercross Swatch stop for the third time in as many years today with two Big Bear second spots already under her belt.

Swatch World Boardercross
[Palmer power]
Nillard won every single heat she ran today. She held every hole shot, remained upright throughout and pulled out her first win under the melting California sky.

For the men, team leader, Señor Palmer proved his prowess not far from home and declared he was going to Hollywood fresh off his fourth straight win here at the now re-named Palmer BX Tour. He didn't say what for...(I wonder what Puck's doing now?)

"Music was pumpin' early here and all weekend in the Bear with some SoCal silicon impressing some of the European riders who were looking for that kind of action..."

Austrian Catherine Poetzl found herself following Nillard in the finals after Canuck Maelle Ricker slid out and compatriot Mayumi Fakuda splattered up top after clearing the landing ramp. Kiwi Rene Hollis stole her first podium far from home after edging out Marguerite Cosettini for third. She confessed to "feeling like a thief on the podium" showing enough stoke to share with everyone.

Swatch World Boardercross
[The ladies]
The Swedes, who had looked so strong in yesterday's qualifiers, had trouble hanging on against the sticking snow and the six-on-six format. The young and squirrely Mark Schulz, who passed the newfound French freestyler Conte brothers in the finals, found himself in unfamiliar territory with his first podium (2nd place) beside these world class rulers.

The Conte brothers, who had cooperated during the semi-final heats, fought hard for the third place podium with Philippe's board preparation pulling him through for third in the end.

Swatch World Boardercross
The Palmer Team had the secret sauce in the morning and the scratch in the afternoon. "It's all about wax today" were the words heard in the morning, but by afternoon it was about the texture of your base letting you flow over the forever sticking snow.

Teams armed with that knowledge pulled no punches and were scraping the new wax off their boards and scratching in texture to help channel the snow off their bases. This technique obviously proved proper for Team Palmer with three BX engineers on the podium.

Music was pumpin' early here and all weekend in the Bear with some SoCal silicon impressing some of the European riders who were looking for that kind of action. Palmer's groupies were on the mountain looking cheap, but cute in a cheap, nasty kind a way. The bands played all day on the deck while everyone tried to even out their goggle face tans.

The word on the street was surfing. Apparently the sun has burnt a surf beat into the minds of all riders today. The Swedes had surfed all week before the races and now it was on everyone's minds. Philippe and Nicolas Conte are headed to Baja, Nillard and her Palmerite playmate are headed to Long Beach to free their feet in the Pacific break. The rest of Palmer's American division is headed to Fresno and Palm himself to Hollywood.

Next stop Copper Mt., Colorado, where we'll be hearing from "Goat Boy" again, but this time I may have to bring a tranquilizing gun because I think he's immune to the electric cattle prod. Either that or he just likes it. He always sports a helmet so maybe he can be convinced to step up into the ring to challenge the Palmer reign. Just don't leave your bib in front of his mouth or anything for that matter. Until then...stay tuned, stay upright and surf on.

Hans Prosl, gone surfing for The Mountain Zone

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