The first Eastern Cup is in the books! As the first installment of four Eastern Cup weekends, the competition was fierce and margins were narrow. This race series serves as the qualifiers for the New England Junior National team, among other things, and most eastern high school skiers mark these races as the ones to focus on. We are so proud of how our athletes prepared for and executed throughout the trip to Maine; also, there’s a ton of work that makes these weekends possible, so read on for a thorough accounting of all the help we’re grateful for.
Here’s Hilary’s recap of the weekend, with photos courtesy of Flying Point Road.
Thanks to Jon Chipman (Program Head) and Margaret Rightmire, we were able to secure familiar and comfortable lodging in Waterville almost immediately after the races were moved from Sugarloaf. The owner, Billy was delighted to welcome the group again and remarked at how tidy and respectful the kids have been and were! He even let us use his heated garage for waxing, which let me tell you, was a Godsend on Friday and Saturday nights!
Thanks also to the Rightmire’s and May’s for loaning your EZPasses for the trip and being at the ready with air mattresses. We took a slightly different approach with our transportation this time around and rented a UHaul cargo van that was comparable in price and unmatched in storage capacity! Thanks to the Bolingers for helping with the pick-up of that!
Quarry Road delivered with both excellent skiing and a well-executed race! Our athletes were well-practiced for Saturday’s sprint race, having done two complete King’s Court skate sprints the last two weekends. And it showed! Notable highlights include some huge jumps up the results sheets from last year’s EC skate sprint opener, including 83 places by Dirk in the skate sprint, four athletes skiing sprint rounds, and two JNT alums in the mix for the weekend.
Due to the unpredictable early winter weather, Sunday was the first day in classic tracks for many of our JNT skiers, not to mention their first day on classic race skis. But from the way they skied, you hardly would have guessed it. In fact, both the GMVS coach and the NENSA High Performance Director remarked at how strong the Ford Sayre crew looked out there. Many great efforts and happy (albeit, exhausted) faces at the end of the day. Each and every one of them should be proud of their efforts and remember that the ‘finesse’ will come! Classic skiing is an art form. Zoe and I were tremendously impressed with the professionalism that the athletes had both around the pre-race process and the ski testing and feedback. We were a bit short-staffed on the wax bench for the day because our substitute wax tech came down with a stomach bug Saturday night. Luckily, we got away with a hardwax binder rather than klister! And the generator lumbered to life so we could run some irons, another blessing. And thanks to Mark and Matt who trepidatiously jumped in the deep end, we were able to produce some competitive skis!