The Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club (AVSC) hosted the 3rd annual Ajax Cup Ski Race and Apres' Ski Party yesterday in Aspen. Ajax Cup has already become a signature event in Aspen and probably the best apres ski party of all time. The Ajax Cup is the most important fund-raising event of the year for AVSC. It's a one-of-a-kind ski race down Aspen Mountain featuring famous ski athletes, celebrities and some of the most competitive racing you'll find outside the FIS. A record 14 teams were vying for the Ajax Cup this year which raised over $300,000 for AVSC. AVSC reaches 2,200 kids throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. 99% of the participants in AVSC's programs pay a subsidized fee and many are on full scholarship. The skills learned...and bonds formed by AVSC's programming last a life-time for the children. AVSC's core values of COMMITMENT, TEAMWORK and INTEGRITY are evident in everything AVSC does, including Ajax Cup.
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For the second year in a row, The Ajax Cup was hosted by Antonio Banderas. Antonio has proven that he can ski and that he can party with the best of them. At the top of the race course, prior to his first run, Antonio could be heard shouting..."Puss in Ski Boots" in homage to one of his popular movie roles. Antonio along with event Co-Chairs Katy Frisch, Marc Ganzi and Jackie & John Bucksbaum pulled out all the stops for this year's Ajax Cup.
As well documented on the pages of AspenSpin...athletes in Aspen are extremely competitive. There really is no "recreational" division in Aspen. Everybody's a pro...and as Ajax Cup grows in popularity and status...the race for "bragging rights" is pretty intense. With ski pros like Chris Davenport, Casey Puckett, Jake Zamansky, Wendy Fisher, Kristina Koznick, Kim Reichhelm and Wiley Maple leading the charge...the racing got very serious ...very quickly. Good natured accusations of "sand bagging" during the time trials and team stacking were flying all over Aspen Mountain
You might think that a celebrity ski race might be all fun and games...and it is...but it's became very clear that winning the ski race, taking home the Ajax Cup trophy and the status that goes with winning was very important to everyone involved.
After a full day of racing it game down to a super-competitive final heat between returning champs, Team Ganzi led by pro Jake Zamansky...and Team Potamkin fronted by pro Kristina Koznick. After 9 head-to-head races Team Ganzi was ahead by one point. The Ganzi squad was stacked with big strong guys like Garrett Fisher, Grant Ganzi and Jeremy Oates while the Potamkin team was mostly teen-aged ladies. It came down to Zamansky vs. Koznick for all the marbles. In the final race...Koz nipped Jake by a 700th of a second to tie the overall score. After a judges delay...which seemed like a life-time...Team Potamkin erupted in joy as they appeared to have won the competition based on a series of complex tie breakers. Celebration ensued. An "un-official" announcement was made crowning team Potamkin the 2012 Ajax Cup Champs. But wait...upon closer inspection of the rules...and the application of the Pythagorean theory...it turned out that Team Ganzi had actually prevailed...by one 1000th of a second.
The ladies of Team Potamkin were stunned. Team Ganzi celebrated wildly..as the official word came down from the judges... TEAM GANZI...repeat champs.
LET THE PARTY BEGIN.
Many thanks to AVSC and AJAX CUP event sponsors; GORSUCH, KJUS, St. REGIS, CARIBOU CLUB, ROWLAND + BROUGHTON and EKS Events.
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