The 2013 Tom Sims Retro World Championships
Words by Bob Klein
Photos by Binky DiPasquale
The last months of 2012 dealt a crushing blow to those of us who love snowboarding with the loss of Tom Sims, the man who contributed so much to our sport and culture. We also lost a beloved Tahoe local in an avalanche, Steve “Rocker” Anderson. Steve played in some great local bands and had a huge passion for snowboarding, skateboarding and this great lifestyle we all share. He epitomized what a Tahoe snowboard legend is all about.
In memory of Tom and in honor of Steve, and on the 30th anniversary of Tom’s event, The World Snowboard Championships, the 2013 Tom Sims Retro World Snowboarding Championships where held under warm temps and sunny skies at Soda Springs on Donner Summit.
The first event on Saturday was a Super G with speeds clipping 50 MPH. The first Worlds had a downhill event consisting of a straight shot – basically no turns with a winning time of 15 seconds. This year’s had 7 gates with only 4 real turns. Tom would have loved it. Thirty racers in the Legends division (boards 1989 and earlier) battled it out with Jeff Krebill and Dennis Nazari tying for first place. Times were tight; first and third were a mere .16 seconds apart while legendary style master, Chris Roach, took a respectable 5th.
In the Open class (any year board) legendary cliff dropper, Shawn Farmer, took it home and Chris Roach came in a respectable 4th while Christie Elder ripped a fast run for the overall Ladies’ win.
More than competing, the event was about the spirit of Tom Sims, and everyone showed it with huge smiles all weekend. There were tons of legendary snowboarders present including: Chuck Barfoot, Terry Kidwell, Tina Basich, Kevin Delaney, Chris Roach, Roan Rogers, Heather Mills, Keith “Slasher” Kimmel, Evan Feen, Eddie and Cary Hargraves, Scott Starr, Bud Fawcett, Kevin Kinnear, David Alden, Dino Bonelli, Jeff Fulton, Scott Clum, Andy Berensen, Ishi, Scott “Upside” Downey, Shalia Buxton, Dennis Nazari, Tom Routh, Christie Elder, Jeff Grell, Jack Coghlan and so many more.
The halfpipe was a classic ditch that was surprisingly quick to shovel and pack out. Everyone had a couple of days to practice, so by contest day most people seemed to have their lines dialed.
Chris Roach and Silver Serino were practice standouts, but unfortunately Silver slammed hard and didn’t come back. Kevin Delaney said it was his first day of the year and he borrowed an old Sims 1500 FE. Within minutes, he was boosting airs bigger than anyone. Once again, Tom would have been so stoked. I could hear Tom’s classic voice yelling “Yeah!” every time Delaney blasted out on the first hit.