Glen & Kimberly Plake boss the Boss des Bosses in Chamonix

16 March 2006 00:00


Glenn Plake and Jamie Strachan

Glenn Plake & Jamie Stachan

It was a freesliding festival of trans-generational, pan-resort, multi-platform, mogul-stomping organised mayhem; it brought a global ski legend and his gelatin-impregnated mohican to a moguls course on Grands Montets; there were bikinis, beers, beats and brillian bumps-bashing - what else could it be but the Boss des Bosses in Chamonix?

Now in it's 16th year, the iconic snowbum's bash is still the ultimate in inter-resort rivalry and revelry. Teams are invited from 6 of the Europe's finest and funkiest resorts to the Grand Montets in Chamonix to compete head to head to see which team can claim the title for their home resort of the Boss des Bosses [Ed: French for moguls]

Massive on-slope party
With coaches bringing over highly-partisan supporters as well as copious quantities of alcohol, it always makes for the loudest on-slope party day in the Alps. 2006 was no exception. As event partners, such as your very own Natives.co.uk, Dynamic Lives and Ibiza Sound Systems, set up banners and flags, barbecues and sound systems, the fans started the party and the teams slid the steep and rugged bumps course.

BdB crowds

BdB teams & supporters

The resorts and their teams
Zermatt's fans are as dedicated as their team. Their coach arrived before the lift opened and there were rumours that their squad hiked up Grand Montets to scope out the course before the opposition could. Val Thorens has the smallest supply of season workers, but makes up for lack of quantity with quality. Courchevel teams tend to vary in quality year to year, but they are a stalwart of the day. Meribel have become increasingly serious over the last couple of years and now field a team of dedicated ski instructor bump specialists - plus two giant furry mice!

Val d'Isere were one of the original challengees and always field a strong team. Finally there's the home team - Chamonix. This year they'd combined old school with new school, integrating ski icon Glenn Plake with freestyler Corey Zilla with British legend Jamie Stachan staging a comeback too.

Early clash was decisive

Glenn Plake Old School Style

Old School Style from Glenn Plake

A closely fought first round clash between Meribel and Chamonix decided the order of the day. It all came down to Glen Plake's leg against Alan from Meribel. It was so even that it was only Plake's Lincoln Loop off the end of race kicker versus his opponent's 180 that secured him victory. This carried Chamonix to a 7-6 victory and secured them their route to the final.

In the other league, Zermatt dominated from the start and eased their way to another final. Again rumours that there is now a concrete bumps run in Zermatt, where the squad are forced to train all summer in order to retain their work permits, has been denied by local goverment Boss des Bosses strategy officer, Mark 'Pocket' Harris. For whatever reason their squad is exceptionally talented and again showed their skills throughout the day.

Val Thorens celebrating

Team Val Thorens celebrate losing wooden spoon

Val Thorens lose Wooden Spoon
One of the highlights of the day was Val Thorens successfully fending off the victory in the Wooden Spoon competition by beating COurchevel in the 5th v 6th ride-off. Admittedly, it did look like Alex, who was coordinating things for Courchevel, had successfully organised coach-loads of spectators, but forgotten to bring a team along. There were a number of riders who were genuinely on their first day in the bumps. Still it was in the spirit of the day and the slowest often got a bigger cheer than the fastest.

Meribel take third
Val d'Isere lost out to a very strong Meribel team for third place and that included a giant mouse securing Meribel a point with an enormous backflip off the final kicker. Magic-in-Motion's furry rodent was then mobbed by adoring Meribel fans as the team celebrated their podium position.

Chamonix versus Zermatt in the final

Kimberly Plake

Kimberly Plake shows her tangerine Steeze

That left the final between Chamonix and Zermatt. Things kept very close till the men's legs. This was despite Kimberly Plake ripping the course in just a day-glo tangerine bikini and pulling a massive full spread off the kicker. Zermatt may have got the point, but Mrs Plake won raucous cheers and camera-clicks from the crowd.

In the end the Chamonix team pulled away with Jamie Strachan and Glenn Plake both securing their points. He may be an elder statesman of the sport these days, but Glenn Plake can still ski bumps phenomenally well. The technique is as masterful as the mohican is majestic. His presence just added to the atmosphere on what may have been a home-team victory, but was really just a massively successful bumps bash and party day in the Alps.

[Ed: More Pics to follow later today - Sat 18 March]

Here is a sample of the day's action:

Chamonix team victory pose

Kimberly Plake

bdb groups

Mr Tom Banfield

Team Val

...and she can rip down moguls too

Old School Steeze from Mrs Plake

Mr and Mrs Plake

Terasse Party

Zermatt Hill

 

[Source: Phil Martin, Natives]

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