Events Photography Vail

2008 Bacardi World Pond Skimming Championships

Let me be frank: the event was a splash! Joking aside I had fun last weekend up at Vail. Bacardi invited both myself and Rachel to attend the Bacardi World Pond Skimming Championships. If you’re not clear on what this event is: a bunch of people ski and snowboard down a hill, one at a time, towards a 100 foot long pool filled with almost-freezing water. The goal is to skim across the pool to the other side (but most people do a half-flip and fall on their asses).

A few highlights and our thoughts:

  • The Jumbotron: It was nice having a big screen to replay all the crashes and splashes. There were so many people at the event and the positioning of the run on the hill meant it would be difficult to see what was going on otherwise.
  • The announcers: Like any good event the commentary from the booths was obnoxious at best. A few fun jabs and jokes but generally annoying. We could’ve done with less of them.
  • The costumes: Really, the costumes were the highlight. A lot of creative (and ridiculous) people showed up and they brought their Sunday best! Everyone from Duff Man (Simpsons) to Borat showed up. Even a cowboy with his assless chaps and the Oompa Loompas.
  • The flips: The ramp right before the pool was perfect for competitors buzzed (on Bacardi “Snowjitos”) individuals to hit and flip sideways and backwards. Of course, they probably don’t enjoy the crashes as much as we do.
  • The flow: After about an hour we had only seen a dozen competitors go down the hill. A lack of organization at the top (people sneaking in and going down the hill) and inability to be entertaining at the bottom (see: The announcers) meant a semi-frustrating and slow afternoon.

One of the best performances was easily Duff Man as he was the first to successfully skim the pond. He casually side stepped out of the pool and headed to the hot tub. Shortly thereafter, one of the snowboarders came down and proposed in front of the entire crowd. Of course, she said yes.

While we’re not entirely convinced we would make a separate trip up to the mountains for this again, overall the event was fun. Our tips for fully enjoying the day: 1) arrive early to see people milling around in costumes before the event, 2) wear snow pants and good shoes (it will really allow you to get to a position to see better – otherwise you’re fairly limited on where you can watch from), and 3) be prepared (in whatever way you choose to prepare…) for the event to be slowly paced


Visit the Colorado Snow pool on flickr for more photos and videos from the event.

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