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Racing Club kicks off season in grand style

Great conditions and an almost bluebird sky, as it is said locally, greeted the fifty-six racers who ran the dual giant slalom courses set by Chad Koenig and Danielle Hampton of the Sugarbush Race Department. The first of a series of eight races planned by the Sugarbush Racing Club drew “ski bums” of all abilities and categories. Don Simonini promises to capture the snowboard crown while Mark Haberle remains the undisputed “telly” champion.
Reigning champion of the female racers, Petra Park, handily defended her title while lamenting the fact that Elizabeth Walker was not able to challenge her this week. Cyndee Button, Lauri Landau, Cheryl Brayman and Anne Halvorsen were close contenders while youngster Colleen Winchester encountered some ice and slipped to sixth. Carole Moore, back from a two year hiatus, challenged Caryl Hurwitz and Louise Messner.
Rick Duckworth sits atop the men’s division with a win over Bob Kogut by only hundreds of a second. Stan Button picked up third place while Dave Seymour narrowly beat out “the great elderly hope”, John Lussier, as they placed fourth and fifth respectively. Newcomer George Seward bested Brook Weston while Dave Ellison, Mark Haberle and Peter Wicklund rounded out the top ten. Oldsters Al Hobart, Philippe Marielle and Rich Jones gave Jim deFau a lesson in racing technique while Bob Stevens and Mike Ware did the same for the rest of the field. Doug Shick always impresses with his telemark skills while both John Wilson and Gil Edwards demonstrated their ability to crash spectacularly! Proving that age is no handicap, Bernie Pistilli, Stan Needleman, Henri Borel and Steve Cohen earned NASTAR medals. Welcomed back to the fold were Chet Monroe and Jim Albanese!
The club’s first apres race party was hosted by the Big Picture Cafe where eighty-seven club members were treated to delightful light hors d”oeuvres and a cash bar. The video of the day’s race highlighted by John Wilson’s crash and recovery was shown in living color on the large movie screen. Prizes, a gift basket and a Big Picture gift certificate were raffled and a 50 – 50 raffle benefited the Vermont Adaptive Ski School. The club now has a membership of over 130 members who are looking forward to next week’s race and the party at the Mad River Grille. Come join the fun!