The sun was bright, but the wind was bitter cold for snowboarders as they bared the coldest weekend temperatures of the year (so far) on Saturday, Jan. 10 for the first ever Rails Competition hosted at Bear Creek Ski and Recreation Area in Macungie, Pa.

The event was sponsored by Lowe Riders Action Sports of Downingtown. For the first time, Lowe Riders Action Sport and Bear Creek have paired up to assemble a series of three snowboarding competitions in rails, half-pipe, and big air.

"In the past we have put on events for skateboarding, BMX biking, and aggressive in-line skating. It was about time for us to do some events for snowboarding," said Andy Lowe, from Lowe Riders Action Sports.

In the past, Bear Creek in the past has held snowboarding competitions on the half-pipe and big air, but this is the first time it has hosted a rails competition.

"We just built a new terrain park for this winter season, and the rail competition was a great way to highlight our parks features," said Mary Bortz, one of Bear Creek's public relations and marketing department.

The rails competition on Saturday was the first of the three competitions scheduled. It involved three rail configurations: the first was a forty-foot straight rail, followed by a kinked rail, and finishing with a c-box. Those who entered the event were judged on style, amplitude, ability to hit all rails, and difficulty of tricks.

There were five divisions: 12 and under, Beginner, Intermediate, Expert, and Women's. The women's division had to be cancelled because only one girl signed up. "She was entered into the beginners division, and we substituted a skier's division in its place. We are really hoping some more girls will enter the next competition," said Lowe.

The event brought 35 competitors that bared the cold for their shot at being number one. The winners were: Expert Division: First, Chris Fredette (age 15); Second, Todd Alleges: Third, Brendan Welsh. Intermediate Division: First, Brett Mullen (age 14); Second, Trevor Costa; Third, Nathan Lobb. Beginner Division: First, Robby Toney (age 15); Second, Matthew Nudy; Third, David Filippo. 12 and under Division: First, Colin Casciato (age 12); Second, Evan Casciato; Third, Mike Berger. Skier Division: First, Pat Singer (age 17); Second, Tim McFarland; Third, Gregory Gaudreu.

The top three places in all divisions won medals, flex-fit hats, t-shirts and a gift certificates to Lowe Riders Action Sports. "Overall the event went well, with the expectation of the freezing cold temperatures," said Bortz.

Second place winner of the Beginner Division, Matthew Nudy was the first one to sign up for the competition.

"We live only 20 minutes away, and he [Matthew] comes here everyday after school with his friends to snowboard," said D.J. Nudy, Matthew's father. "He was very excited to be in the competition."

Nudy started out skateboarding, then turned to snowboarding three years ago. He plans to compete in the two other competitions at Bear Creek as well.

The half-pipe competion will be held on Feb. 7 at 1 p.m., and the big air competition will take place on March 6 at 5 p.m. Both competitions will be visible from the base area. WMMR will be broadcasting live during the half-pipe competition.

To sign up in advance, stop by Lowe Riders Action Sports or you can sign up the day of the event at Bear Creek. For more information on Lowe Riders Action Sports visit www.loweridersgobig.com. For Bear Creek information you can call 1-866-SKI-AT-BC or log onto www.skibearcreek.com.

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