Craftsbury Eastern Cup Opener: Part II

by Johanna and Sara – with thanks to Gary Solow for the race pictures!

Saturday: 1.3km Sprint Race

[email readers: view this post on the web to see all the photos and slideshow]

After sleeping in to the luxurious hour of 6:00 am, we departed from chateau #2 to join the others for breakfast. Adam and Tim, clearly having gotten more than a good night’s worth of sleep, rose to the challenge of running the whopping .8 miles to chateau #1. We were fed the classic JNT feast, led by the hardworking and skillful chef, Dennis. We scrambled to pack our lunches and finally staggered out the door only a “few” minutes behind schedule.

Excitement brewed as Gertruuude and her sister ship neared the .6 kilometers of freshly fallen snow that had been prepared for our race. Our procession neared the crest of the last hill before we were stopped by an ill-prepared Massachusetts car that began slipping down the road and halted our momentum. I guess the lack of winter has made us New Englanders lax about putting our snow tires on. With traffic building behind us, we waited for the road crew to arrive. Gertruuude’s sister ship was stranded halfway up the hill, straddled across the road, dangerously close to being hit by the Mass car.

Minutes passed and worry began spreading through the van. Would we make it to our race in time? Finally, our brave savior arrived in the form of Pat O’Brien, enthusiastic and ready to save the van. As he jumped in the pilot’s seat, the sister ship charged backwards down hill. Suddenly the back wheels jerked to the right, leaving her passengers yelping in fear, hoping that the van wouldn’t slide off the edge of the road. To our surprise, and relief, at the last moment, the front of the van swung around and continued down the road with the passengers safely inside.

At long last everyone arrived at the venue, safe and sound, with skis in tow. As we prepared to go for an easy ski to see what the course held in store, we realized it had stopped snowing. Although a bit sad, the little snow we had got led to terrific conditions for the men’s race. As the men started off one by one, going all out sprint pace, we cheered for them all, and were in awe. Man, they can go fast!

At long last, it was the girls turn to race, and what do you know, as soon as we have to warm up, the snow starts coming down again. This time it didn’t stop, it got thicker and thicker, making it so that we could barely see. Finally, we begin our racing, the five of us girls doing our best, hoping not to fall in the tricky conditions and trying to see anything past the blur of snow that has taken over the sky. As we finish our races, one by one, our lungs burning from the effort, we cheered on those behind us, hoping that they had excellent first races of the season. In the end, the races were done, but the cheer went on as it continued to snow, and it finally started to look a bit like winter!

erik poolAlthough we didn’t get anyone in the heats, we all had fun races, and were happy to be able to go back to the chateaus and get some quality relax time… in the form of homework and games. Of course, we also went to the famous Willy’s general store to explore the never ending building, stacked with an assortment of goodies, hoping to find a hit for a Christmas gift. At long last, the day came to an end as we had our dinner, video analysis of an absolutely spectacular fall by Greta during her race (she got up very quickly), and team meeting. In the end, the girls, Tim, and Adam packed up in the sister van and headed back to Chateau #2 where we were able to finally pass out. ‘Night!

 Gary Solow captured Tim’s fall on chip hill in a series of shots that illustrate his quick recovery (and how distracting it was to the Gould skier!). Check it out in this slideshow:

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