Alpine ski teams are signing up for the 2008 Sun Valley Town Series of Wednesday races co-sponsored by Sun Valley Company and Watkins Distributing. It starts Jan. 23.
Sun Valley Race Department supervisor Mike Wrobel is excited about the seven-week series of midweek races. He encourages teams to register anytime before or on Jan. 23—and the sooner, the better.
Races start each Wednesday at 11 a.m. on Baldy's Cozy run. Wrobel said there was a record number of first-time racers in last year's 124-skier, 32-team Town Series field.
Telemarkers, snowboarders and downhillers are welcome. Town Series racing takes place each Wednesday morning through March 19, except for the Feb. 20 and March 12 dates.
The teams consist of four racers. And consistency is the key to Town Series success.
The first week, teams are seeded. From then on, the system works as a Bell curve with the middle-of-the-road racers becoming the "rabbits." If you're faster than the "rabbit" time, your team gets negative points. If you're slower, you're team gets positive points.
Keep in mind, you don't want positive points.
For point calculations, the three best times on each four-person team are considered. For five of the seven Wednesdays, your fastest single run is counted. Only on Feb. 13 and March 19 does the format shift to the combined two runs.
The names of 20 racers from the top five teams in the season series are entered into a drawing for the grand prize of four Sun Valley 2008-09 season ski passes. That drawing takes place March 19 at Apple's Bar & Grill, Warm Springs, Ketchum.
Register between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily at the Warm Springs Lodge Race Desk. Team fees are the same as last year—$340 if paid by Jan. 23 and $360 afterward. Call 622-6356 for more information.
The annual series of dual modified giant slalom races started in 1992 on Baldy and has been extremely popular with hundreds of local skiers.
Here are the locations of the post-race parties, starting at 5 p.m. each Wednesday during the 2008 Town Series:
Jan. 23—Roosevelt Tavern in Ketchum. Jan. 30—The Casino in Ketchum. Feb. 6—Mahoney's in Bellevue. Feb. 13—Whiskey Jacques in Ketchum. Feb. 27—Wise Guy Pizza Pie in Hailey. March 5—Lefty's Bar & Grill in Ketchum. And March 19—Apple's Bar & Grill.