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The Need for Speed: Ski Racing in EVL

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By Alicia Dziak

It’s been a ski racing season full of speed, dedication and forces to be reckoned with. As the season culminates with state-wide competition this weekend, local athletes prepare to compete with the best of the best.

If you’re not one of the elite racers heading to serious competition this March, don’t worry. You can still get the thrill of the big race right here in EVL.

NASTAR Racing

New to racing? Check out the NASTAR course for an entry level race. NASTAR made its move this year to Holiday Valley’s Foxfire (from its previous location on Cindy’s).

What exactly is NASTAR? Nature Valley’s NASTAR is the world’s largest recreational ski and snowboard race program. If you can comfortably ski Foxfire (below the headwall), you can handle this race. Register in advance at www.nastar.com or register on site at the Foxfire NASTAR start ramp. Once you get your NASTAR number, you can use it every year.

Each time you race Nature Valley NASTAR, you could win a platinum, gold, silver or bronze medal depending on the handicap you earn. Depending on the number of times you race, you will also receive a national (5 races needed), a state (2 races needed) and a resort (1 race needed) ranking in your age and gender category in your division. All this allows you to compare your race results to other competitors across the country.

NASTAR racing rates are as follows: adults $8, junior $8, unlimited day $12. Note that weather and other factors may influence the NASTAR schedule.

Holiday Valley’s NASTAR Team Racing is a great way for friends and family members to compete together during the season regardless of when and where they race. Each time a team member races at any Nature Valley NASTAR resort they score points for their team, no matter what resort! NASTAR has created three team formats for participants to join – Family/Friends Team, Resort Team and Club Team. Participants can join an existing team or create a team of their own. For all the latest information please visit NASTAR.com. For race results; click on where to race, click on HV.  Results are usually posted at 5 PM every day and all past results are archived.

Normal NASTAR operating hours are 12:30 to 4 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.

On Sunday, March 20, you can transition into competitive spring skiing with the Northwind Super-G, a race down the green-circle Northwind Trail. Register at the Training Center for $5 per racer. Training runs from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Rangers race at 11 a.m., followed by everyone else at 12:30 p.m.

Take the opportunity to cheer on amazing adaptive skiers at HoliMont on Saturday, March 5 during the annual Phoenix Rise to the Challenge Race. Read all about it in the article on page 1.

For details on past and upcoming races, be sure to check out the 2016 Race Results on page 8.

Whether you’re a participant or a spectator, ski racing is a big part of Ellicottville! Bust out your competitive side and enjoy!

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