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Hochgebirge Challenge Cup – 2020

in Announcements, Race Overview, Recent News by Matt Mitsis Leave a comment

The oldest ski club race in North America is back for its 83rd year!! WOW!

Saturday, February 22nd, NEMS is back in action at Mittersill for the 83rd Hochgebirge Cup Challenge.
Mittersill is rich in New England ski history, going back to the 1930s, and was recently re-opened and has been designated as a training site for the U.S. Ski Team.
The Race Fee gets you a lift ticket and two race runs!  The Hochgebirge Challenge is a full length Giant Slalom that will take place on the Taft trail at Mittersill. Anyone who has raced in the Hochgebirge Challenge in previous years can tell you just how much fun this course is, and it is great for all levels of racers.
Bottom line, this will be an exciting day, so don’t miss out!
Want to make this race even more fun & exciting? Create a team to compete for some legendary awards!
         Awards For the Day:
  • Fastest Team (GIANT TROPHY, see photo below: Hochgebirge Challenge Cup)
  • Fastest All-Female Team (Harding Trophy)
  • Old Person Team
  • Fastest Male (Alex Bright Award)
  • Fastest Female (Clarita Heath Bright Award)
  • Team Class Winners
  • Fastest 3 in Each Class (Individual Awards)

IMPORTANT:
  • All racers need to wear a hard-sided helmet. If you do not have a hard-sided helmet please contact Derek Griggs (R.Sports.NH@comcast.net) and we will work to find you one.
  • This will be a USSS sanctioned race, and therefore all racers will need a USSS license. If you don’t have one please contact the NEMS RA at nemastersRA@gmail.com. We will comp the license, but you still need to fill the info out online beforehand.
  • Speed suits are NOT required. If you don’t have one, or just don’t feel like wearing one, no problem! Just show up and have fun! Last year’s winning team were all in jeans!
Team Rules: Teams can be made up of any mix of age or gender, but the class awards are dedicated by the age of the youngest team member.  The trophies are displayed at the New England Ski Museum in Franconia, NH. Be a part of history!  Bring the form found at this link to registration with $20 (donation to the Hochebirge Club for hosting us).
PARTY: An epic after party at the Hochgebirge Hilton will start at 3pm. Located just up the road from Cannon, the Hochgebirge Hilton is one of the most well-known ski houses in New England. There will be lots of food, drinks and plenty of swag and prizes. You need to be there to win, so come by after the race, have a beer, grab some grub and brag about how awesome your run was.
Register today at www.skiracereg.com/
Click Here for the Sign-up Form for Your Team
Need help registering? Details can be found here.

Slalom Fest @ Gunstock

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Are you ready for some Slalom!!! Come compete in the Inaugural Slalom Fest at Gunstock Mountain Resort on Saturday, Feb. 8th. Compete alongside USSS Masters in this New England Masters Ski Racing sponsored slalom race! This open slalom race will feature USSS Masters racers, plus the general public (anyone can enter)! There will be 2 slalom races with 2 runs in the morning and 2 runs in the afternoon, followed by awards in the Stockade Lodge. There will be 2 sets of results: 1 for everyone and 1 for Masters only. Register online or the day of in the Main Lodge.

Race 1:

7:30am-8:30am– Registration in Main Lodge
8:30am– Course Inspection
9:30am-11:15am– Race 1 on Ramrod Race trail

Race 2:

11:45am– Course Inspection
12:45-2:30pm– Race 2 on Ramrod Race trail
3:30pm– Awards

Cost:
Masters Members: $55, Non-Members: $65
Season Pass Holders: $45
Masters Member/Gunstock Season Pass Holder: $35

Online Registration: https://www.skiracereg.com/secure/event.asp?id=4098

 

4th Annual Lobstah Cup- Feb. 1, 2020

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The 4th Annual Lobstah Cup

Shawnee Peak, ME

Saturday, Feb. 2nd

The New England Masters are heading back to Shawnee Peak for the 4th Annual Lobstah Cup! Come join racers from around New England as they square off in not 1 BUT 2 Giant Slalom races down Headwall & East Slope. That’s right, 2 races in 1 day! If you’ve never done a Masters race this is a great opportunity to  try it out on a “masters friendly” course with some really fun people. Make sure to stick around for the post-race party filled food, prizes and lots of stories. There will also be a cash bar available.
Additional Details:
Cost:
** Cost includes a full day lift ticket AND access to the after-party. 
Trail: Shawnee Peak’s The Headwall / East Slope
Time: Register 8:00-9:15 am
Race 1: 9:30 am start
Race 2: 1:00 pm start
**Start times are approximate and can vary. Race Officials will communicate start times for all runs.
Format: 2 runs per race (regardless if you finish the 1st run), organized by age class, World Cup points system
U.S. Ski & Snowboard License (USSS):
  • This is a USSS sanctioned race and racers are required to have a USSS “Masters” license.
  • If you do not have a USSS license, NEMS can you provide you with a complementary Short-Term License.  Yes- FREE!
    • Please contact our Race Admin, Lucy Blake, at nemastersRA@gmail.com so we can get you set up. It will take just a couple of minutes.
  • If you have a USSS “Competitor” license, a “Masters” license can be added for FREE by calling USSS at (435) 647-2666

 

**IMPORTANT**
  • A hard-sided helmet is required. The helmet does NOT need to be a FIS helmet. It just needs to be hard-sided. 

  • If you need to borrow a hard-sided helmet please contact Matt Mitsis (Matthew.Mitsis@gmail.com)

Common Questions with Answers:

Q1. Do I have to be a New England Masters racer to participate?
A1.  No, but we encourage all racers after the first year to join NEMS. If you haven’t been a member for a few years you are welcome to give it a try again before joining, but only members are eligible for the grand prizes at the end of year banquet and discounts from our sponsors.

Q2. What skill level do I need to have?
A2.  We have racers of all ability levels, from brand new racers to former U.S. Ski team members and everything in between (beer league, past high school race team, NASTAR, USSA, FIS, etc.)

Q3. How old do I need to be to participate?
A3.  Racers must be 18 years old to race.

Q4. If I have a seasons pass, do I still have to pay the full amount?
A4.  Yes. Unfortunately we are unable to offer a discount on the race fee for season pass holders.

Q8. How do I register?
A8. Registrations can be completed online ahead of time at www.skiracereg.comClick here for detailed instructions.

Q9. Can I register on the day of the race?
A9. Yes, however we encourage racers to pre-register since onsite registration takes longer to complete.

Q10. How am I changed for this race? 

A10. Racers are not changed until after the race. If you register online and are unable to make it to the race, you will only be changed a $5 Did Not Start (DNS) Fee.

Still have questions?
Contact the Race Administrator Lucy Blake at nemastersra@gmail.com

2020 (Preliminary) Schedule Released

in Announcements by Matt Mitsis Leave a comment
Greetings racers-
NEMS is excited to release the preliminary schedule for the upcoming 2020 race season! I want to emphasize that this is just a “preliminary” schedule. While most of the events are locked in, we are still working on finalizing a handful of the event details. So please keep an eye out for updates! 

A couple of things to note:

  • Suicide 6 – There will be gate training before the race. There will be a delayed start that day to allow racers to get in some gate time. We will have more info on this.
  • Shawnee Peak – We are expecting to hold two (2) races in one day.
  • Gunstock – Welcome back!! It’s been awhile old friend. This will be a non-sanctioned USSS race. Expect this to be more than just your “normal” slalom race.
  • West Mountain – Valentines Day Weekend. Start earning those brownie points now!
  • Stoneham – Not a typo! There will be FIS Masters races in Canada this year. It will be a great event with racers from across the U.S. and the world in attendance. The races won’t count towards Sise Cup. Unfortunately it will conflict with the Hoch Race. We tried to move the race but couldn’t. FIS races are run a bit different then NEMS and require a FIS license, so we will have a lot more info on this.
  • Finals – We are still working out the final details for our finals weekend. Stay tuned!
  • Nationals – Expect an announcement on where the Eastern Division will be defending the National Championship very soon.

 

Training Opportunities:

Masters Camp @ Copper Mountain (Nov. 16-22, 2019)
Looking to get a jump start on your training? Check out this well-known Masters Camp at Copper Mountain (IKON Pass) run by Dave Edry (Stratton) and U.S. Elite Camps. For more info click HERE.

Masters Training Clinic @ Mount Snow (Jan. 14-17, 2020)

Back by popular demand! Lisa Densmore Ballard will again be running a Masters Training Clinic at Mt. Snow (now on Epic Pass). For more info click HERE.

Additional Clinics and Training Opportunities:
Make sure to check out the NEMS Training/Clinics page for the updates and other opportunities. We are always updating this page as we hear about camps/clinics/training, so make sure to check in if you are looking to see what’s available.

 

Middlebury-Suicide 6 Race Recap

in Race Overview by Matt Mitsis Leave a comment

This past weekend the NEMS Express rolled into the Green Mountain State (that’s Vermont) for a GS at the Middlebury Snow Bowl on Saturday and a SL at Suicide 6 on Sunday. We were a few days removed from a mid-week snowstorm which dropped about 7 inches of much needed new snow, and smack dab in the middle of a brutal cold front which brought in temps beginning with a dreaded minus sign (-) at the front of it. Needless to say folks were spending a little bit of extra time indoors this weekend. The one saving grace, besides hot chocolate and toe warmers, was the perfect blue bird sky which left the sun on full display and created some absolutely amazing views. We’re talking postcard worthy stuff folks!

Any weekend I have the chance to get out of the city and hit the slopes for some racing is exciting for me. This weekend was exciting for another reason. In all of the years I have been racing for NEMS, this was my first trip to the Snow Bowl! [Insert happy dance here.] It’s hard to imagine that I had never been there before. I had planned on attending last year but the race was canceled due to a lack of snow, so this was a weekend I had been looking forward to for well over a year. After all, everyone always talks about Middlebury and how it might be small, but its race trail, Allen, is really awesome. While I didn’t get a chance to experience a race down the full trail, I can certainly understand why people talk so passionately about it. It definitely looks like it would be an amazing GS course and I can only hope that I have the opportunity race down it one day in the future.

Saturday began with the temps hovering around -6 degrees and with everyone huddled up in the lodge trying to reassess why they still enjoy ski racing and what the right layering strategy would be. I always say it takes a special person to willfully throw themselves down a mountain on skis at high speeds in nothing but a thin layer of spandex. It takes a total badass to do it in artic temperatures. Nostril freezing temps aside it actually turned out to be an amazing day. The trees were covered in snow and frosted over which led to some really great views from the chairlift. The temps gradually warmed up to a balmy 12 degrees, oh and we did some ski racing as well. While I know there was some disappointment that we did not have a full-length GS down Allen, running a shortened three-run GS was actually a lot of fun. The joke around the group was that if you blinked you would miss your own run. It was definitely a shorter course than we are used to at around 30 seconds with a mostly tuckable top section, a couple of key gates on the pitch followed by a sprint to the finish. But as we saw at the Sunapee SL, even a short course can cause some issues. A unique aspect of this race was that the group ran the same course for the first two runs, and since there was a small field for the race and the snow held up really well, it was a good test to see if you could improve on your time having run the course already. At the end of the day and after three runs, the difference between the top two times was separated by a mere 0.03 seconds!! Congratulations to the men’s and women’s overall winners, Chris Beadon & Cinthia Audet, and thank you for everyone who made the trip up to the Snow Bowl and battled through the cold temps. To see the results from the race click here.

On Sunday everyone headed over to Suicide 6 for the annual Bunny Bertram Memorial race. Now before we get into all of the action I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention the real excitement that took place on Friday. To get a jump start on the competition a few NEMS racers were up at S6 doing some SL training. What they also got some practice in was how to get evacuated off a chairlift. Yikes! Kidding aside that is a situation you never want to be in, especially in the frigid temps they were fighting though. While I’m happy the paparazzi was there to capture it all, I’m happy that everyone was able to get off safely and get warmed up. Hopefully the mountain bought them a burger and a beer for their troubles! Ok, maybe two beers. Fast forward to Sunday, with the cold temps still lingering and the chairlift up and running, the NEMS racers attacked what is often referred to as one of the better SL hills on the schedule. With some great snow conditions and a couple of great courses to work with, the field made quick work of the day’s challenge producing some exciting runs, and of course a few defeats. Congratulations to the men’s and women’s overall winners on the day, Matt Dodge & Cinthia Audet, and to the winners of this year’s Bunny Bertram Memorial!!

NEMS is off next week for the holiday weekend. I hope everyone who is attending the race camp at Mt. Snow this week has a great time and picks up lots of tips along with some valuable gate time. Next up are the Eastern Regional races at Stratton! It’s going to be an amazing few days of racing with some great after parties as well. I hope to see you all up there!

Thanks,

Matt Mitsis

NEMS Goes to The Boston Ski Expo!

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If you have ever attended a ski expo, whether in Boston, Denver, New York or elsewhere, you know that it is essentially a sensory overload of all things related to the ski & snowboard industry. In other words, it’s complete chaos, but in a fun and exciting kind of way! You literally have hundreds of vendors, representing anything closely connected to the industry, spread across a massive floor space and they are all trying to get your attention (and your money). Now, when I say anything, I mean anything! For example, I found it ironic that T-Mobile was at the Boston expo this year. Not because they are a cell phone company, but rather because everyone I know that has T-Mobile always complains about how terrible their service is on the mountain when they are trying to check Live-Timing! That’s just one example, but there are usually a few more that can leave you scratching your head in confusion when you walk by. Kidding aside, there are a ton of great companies at the expo each year that give attendees a glimpse into what is happening across the industry. From capital improvements at resorts, to the newest fashion trends, and even the newest technology, it’s all there under one giant roof.

In the middle of it all was the hottest booth at the expo this year…the NEMS booth! This year NEMS had the pleasure of being located in the Maine section next to Sunday River, Sugarloaf and our friends at Shawnee Peak. So if anyone says that NEMS doesn’t spend enough time in Maine, I would just refer them to the four crazy days we spent there in November, plus the one day at Shawnee Peak we have scheduled in February of course! Anyways, the expo, in many respects, is a competition between the Marketing departments of every company in attendance. As an attendee I absolutely love it, but as a vendor it gives me heartburn. Thankfully, over the last three years NEMS has been investing in our booth for the expo and this year our booth looked great! We even sold some NEMS merchandise. Go figure!

Overall it was a really good showing at the expo for NEMS this year. Not only did our booth look great, but we continued to build our brand awareness within the ski community. We even signed up a few new members! More on that in just a moment though. Being able to promote the NEMS brand to such a broad and diverse group of people at the Boston expo is such a huge advantage for us. In addition to some key players in the industry, many of the venues we race at, and the business partners we are connected with, are also in attendance. Layer on the over ten thousand people (yes, that’s 10,000+ people) that visit the expo during the course of four days and you could not ask for a better platform to showcase NEMS. While we have made great progress here we still have a lot of work to do, but I am excited about where we are headed. You must be doing something right when a penguin stops by, right?

Now, remember those new members I mentioned? In addition to brand promotion, we also use the expo to try and sign up new racers. This year we signed up eight individuals, a few even have some pretty solid racing experience. I am always excited to introduce new people into our NEMS community and I am very much looking forward to seeing them out on the hill this season. So welcome to the family! We hope you are as excited about the upcoming season as we are.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to give special thanks all of the volunteers who helped out at the NEMS booth this year. Our success at the expo does not happen without you being there.

 

Needless to say we will be back at the expo next year, but for now we’re on to 2019 and the start of what should be a terrific race season! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and holiday season. Just remember the speed suit you need to fit into when reaching for that second slice of pie! 🙂

All the best,

Matt Mitsis

NEMS 2018-19 Schedule Released

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The wait in finally over! It might be mid-summer, and months away from anything that closely resembles snow, but we’re so excited about next year’s schedule that we just had to share it with the world. Ok, the world might be a bit much but we are really pumped about the schedule and we know just how much our racers anticipate its arrival…..so here it is!!
As you can clearly see, this is one jam packed season with potentially 21 races across 5 states. Just let that sink in for a minute. Now, given its August and we are still working on many of the details that will go into making this season a success, there aren’t a whole lot of specifics we can get into just yet. But stay turned! We’ll have more updates as we head into the fall.

 

Artech Challenge 2018 – Whaleback

in Announcements, Race Overview, Recent News by Katie Green Leave a comment

Win race skis from our Sponsor Artech at the 2018 Artech Challenge Cup!  Every racer at the Whaleback SL race is eligible to win.  The Challenge:  The racer with the closest second run time to their first run time wins the skis!!  The Prize:  Gift Certificate for a pair of Artech race skis!!  Are you up to the Artech Challenge?

 

Nationals Registration is Now OPEN!!!

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Online registration for the Phillips 66 Masters National Championships is officially open! To register, racers will need to log in to skiracereg.com, select the race series: “USSS Masters Alpine National Championships” and then select each event you will be participating in. Don’t forget about the banquet on Saturday night! It’s going to be a really fun time. The deadline to register without the $10 late fee is Jan. 31, 2018 and the hard deadline is Feb. 4, 2018.

If you think this will be your typical race weekend at Okemo (which is already pretty great), you are in for a big surprise! We have been working tirelessly to make this Nationals event one that is talked about for years to come. We are pulling out all the stops to give our racers something that is so unique, so much fun, so… Vermont, that future Nationals will just seem meh. Stay tuned for more details on these special events and sponsors.

To help with any questions we have created a Nationals Page on the NEMS website with lots of useful info. There is also a Nationals Event page on the NEMS Facebook page. Both the website and Facebook page will be updated as new info becomes available so make sure to check the website and follow the event page so that you are in the know on all things Nationals!!

Oh, in case you forgot, opening weekend at Sunapee is 31 days away! So think snow, try to get some gate training in and we’ll see ya out there!

-NEMS Board of Directors

2018 Kick-Off Letter

in Announcements, Race Overview, Recent News, uncategorized by Katie Green Leave a comment

Greeting NEMS Racers!

Labor Day has officially come and gone, the temperature has started its initial decent to zero (and beyond) and football season is fully underway. For most this simply means that fall is right around the corner, but for ski racers it means it’s time to start preparing for the upcoming season. In the NEMS Summer Newsletter I said to expect a different but truly epic schedule. Well, the wait it finally over!

This season’s schedule is a mix of new and old with some twists along the way. But before we get into the exciting details, I want to take a moment to thank Bill McCollom for working tirelessly over the summer to put this schedule together. The schedule is never easy and this year’s was especially challenging with Nationals being in the East this year. Great job Bill! Now on to the good stuff.

The battle for The Sise Cup begins at Mt. Sunapee this season with a GS/SL opening weekend. The GS course is well-known as a thigh burner and will put that off-seasoning conditioning to the test right out of the gate. From here we’ll head up to the Middlebury Snow Bowl for the 2nd Annual Kelly Brush Challenge. With a slightly different race format and a number of racers coming from outside of NEMS, this race is sure to keep things interesting.

Speaking of interesting, the very next day NEMS will be taking the show down Rt. 89 to Whaleback! Yes that pitch you always see from the interstate and dreamed of dropping is new to NEMS schedule!  NEMS will be holding its first ever race at Whaleback this season. Whaleback is a great place for a Masters slalom race and Masters have been training slalom there for years thanks to George Merrill. The varying terrain of the race trail will certainly make for a very exciting race.

Next up on the schedule will be long-time NEMS favorite, Stratton, for a weekend of white-knuckle speed racing. This will be the first opportunity for NEMS racers to bust out the big sticks and test your nerves on the always exciting Super G course. Of course we encourage everyone to attend the Super G training the day before. It’s a great way to dust off the speed cobwebs as well as an opportunity to get some extra training in before nationals. Oh, and don’t forget about the GS race the following day. Helpful hint: make sure your edges are very sharp!

From speed skis to speedy feet, we’ll be getting a bit more technical the following weekend as NEMS descends on Suicide Six for what is considered to be one of the better slalom hills around. The timing couldn’t be better since it’s the last slalom race before nationals and Suicide Six is considered to be the most challenging slalom course we race on. Dreams have been made and crushed here. Are you up for the challenge?

Did someone say “challenge”?! You must be talking about the Annual Beer League Challenge at Ragged Mountain. That’s right! The only race in New England where beer league teams go head-to-head to settle the always contentious question of whose beer league is better. As one of the few team scoring races of the season, the Beer League Challenge takes both strategy and skill to prevail. Bragging rights (and free beer) are on the line, so make sure to get your team on board and represent! Don’t have a team? Don’t worry! Teams are always in need of an extra racer or two, so you’ll be in high demand.

OK, so here is where things are going to get a little weird. I did warn you that this was coming, so bear with me.

We’re at the halfway point of the season so you know what that means…Nationals!! Alright, so unless you ignored the Summer Newsletter (I forgive you. Maybe.), you know that the USSA Phillips 66 Alpine Masters National Championships are taking place at Okemo this year. However, because we are greedy and want all of the best races possible, we decided to move the Nationals races to Feb. to accommodate the FIS Masters World Championships taking place at Big Sky in March. So the timing will seem a little weird but we’re still going to have the same amazing races and kick-ass parties! The schedule for Nationals is all set but we are still working on many of the other events and details that make this such a great experience. Lots of info is on the way, so stay tuned…

Nationals might be over but don’t put those skis away just yet! We still have lots of racing ahead. Following what is sure to be an insane week at Okemo, NEMS is heading over to the Empire State where we’ll be teaming up with the Mid-Atlantic Masters, our newest Masters division, for some friendly competition at West Mountain. This GS/SL weekend will count towards Sise Cup points.

It’s Hochgebirge Time! The oldest ski race in America is back and we hope you’ll join us. Last year brought this storied race back to Mittersill where we were greeted with amazing weather and a fun and exciting slalom course. Mittersill is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the premiere ski race venues around, serving as host to not only the NCAA National Championships last year but as a training site for the U.S. Ski Team. No big deal. Believe me, you won’t want to miss this race! Oh yeah, there is also that wild after-party at the Hoch House afterwards. Derek and I are still in contract negotiations to MC the event again, and things are looking promising. Stay tuned…

A race that has been 2 years in the making…the Masters are coming to Wachusett Mountain!! This will not only be the first time NEMS will be racing at Wachusett, but the first time NEMS has ever held a race in Massachusetts. Many of NEMS current racers and alumni have ties to Wachusett, which just so happens to have the largest adult ski racing program in the country. The race will be a top-to-bottom GS course on Smith Walton where races can expect to be challenged from start to finish. We will have more details on this race soon, so for now just make sure this one is circled on the calendar.

To close out the season NEMS will be heading back to an old favorite, Sugarbush. Nope this isn’t a dream, we’re back baby! I can’t think of a better way to cap off what should be an incredible season than with races at a mountain in which NEMS has such an amazing history. As with previous years, this will be a Fri/Sat weekend with the Finals Banquet to follow. Details are still being finalized for the banquet but we will make those available as soon as possible.

Needless to say we have a busy and exciting season ahead so we hope you are as eager for the snow to start falling as we are. We are always looking for opportunities to provide the best possible schedule so it is possible that additional races and/or clinics might be added. Keep an eye out for updates as well as training opportunities. As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out.

All the best,

Matthew Mitsis
NEMS – Board of Directors

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