After a week without a race due to snow and weather related issues, fifty very anxious and determined Sugarbush Ski Racing Club members navigated their way through the fantastic moonscape upper Snowball had become created by the snow makers. Waiting below this montage of huge whales and curious bumps was an outstanding dual slalom course set by Chad Koenig on nicely groomed snow. Former Saint Lawrence University standout, Bridget Gilroy, set a blistering example as pacesetter which only the two top male racers could surpass! The club is fortunate to have Chad, Bridget and race director, Danielle Hampton, overseeing the weekly races and also to have Harwood Union Sophomore, Parker Herlihy, chronicling the races in film even in the cold temperatures we have been experiencing. Parker, a top racer himself for his Harwood team, is earning extra credit in a course designed to further his experience in an avocation and sport in which he obviously excels.
Elizabeth Walker apparently was able to scrape the sea salt rust off her skis as she came in first in the Ladies’ division. Her three year hiatus from skiing while sailing sunny seas didn’t seem to slow her down a bit. Cyndee Button was a close second, however, and Anne Halvorsen on new racing skis was right behind in third place. Lauri Landau, after training on the ice at Cochran’s, showed Caryl Hurwitz that Aspen powder is not the same as New England “hardpack”! Louise Messner, Janella Pennington and Barbara Brady rounded out the women’s field.
Rick Duckworth wore his lycra suit to advantage as he bested Bob Kogut by hundredths of a second. Bob, it should be noted, has the dedication to hurry from his job and uses his lunch break to don his boots and skis, get his two runs and rush back to work! The only other racer hardy enough to sport a “suit” in the cold, Dave Seymour, shivered his way to third place. Ageless John Lussier handily defeated Brook Weston and George Seward while newcomer Doug Day edged out telemark national team member Mark Haberle, Peter Wicklund and another oldster, Philippe Marielle, the Flying Frenchman. Another Cochran’s success story, Dave Ellison, came in right behind Gary Duncan while Mike Ware proved himself to be a surprising contender high atop the leader board. Win Smith demonstrated that he has not lost a step from his Amherst College racing days and octogenarian Bob Stevens gave Peter Menkes and Peter Koch a lesson or two. Mike Strojni, Dave Gould on telly’s, John Wilson, Richard Brady and Ray Bollerud came in with almost identical times while other octogenarians Bernie Pistilli, Henri Borel and Stan Needleman negotiated the course in fine fashion. Don Simonini, the lone snowboarder this week had to be awarded first in his class but he also garnered the coveted last place trophy!
Seventy-three members attended the apres race party hosted by Bongiorno’s where delicious pizzas of all flavors were devoured, prizes were awarded including a gift basket artfully designed by Kate Jones and the day’s video was shown displaying Jim Winchester’s awe inspiring crash!
Several members donated lunch as the club sponsored the 10th Mountain Division wounded warriors gathering at Mount Ellen on Saturday which was orchestrated by the club’s chosen charity, Vermont Adaptive. Come join the fun at www.sugarbushracingclub.com