Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Alpine Spring Series arrives on Baldy

Super G races begin today on Warm Springs side


    Spring break means big-time alpine racing at Sun Valley Resort.
    The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation is hosting the International Ski Federation (FIS) Western Region Spring Series of alpine racing on Baldy today through Monday, March 26-31. The race sponsor is Bentley Motors.
    SVSEF’s Alpine Director and Chief of Race Ruben Macaya said he expects a top-flight international field, including U.S. Ski Teamers.
    The six-race series begins with two super giant slaloms for men and women on Baldy’s Warm Springs ski run March 26-27.
    Set for Friday and Saturday, March 28-29, are men’s giant slalom on Hemingway ski run and women’s slalom on Cozy.
    Winding up the six-day series on Sunday and Monday, March 30-31, are men’s slalom on Cozy and women’s giant slalom on Hemingway.
    “It is a huge event in the West, but because of the super high-caliber racers we have it is a national event,” Macaya said. “It is basically the last chance of the year for people to show how good they are. I was told most of the U.S. men’s ski team will be here and a lot of the women.”
    Men expected include Olympic super G silver medalist Andrew Weibrecht of Lake Placid, N.Y., and newly-crowned U.S. national slalom champ David Chodounsky of Crested Butte, Colo.
    Other top U.S. men due are Erik Fisher of Middleton, Travis Ganong, Jared Goldberg, Steven Nyman, Tim Jitloff, Tanner Farrow and Marco Sullivan. Women include Resi Stiegler and Megan McJames.
    “They will really help lower the points,” Macaya said about the FIS-point implications. The men’s field should consist of about 140 racers and the women’s field about 100.
    SVSEF Gold Team members Kipling Weisel and KJ Savaria will compete on their home hill as will SVSEF FIS team members Ben Kanellitsas, Taylor Cooper, Tanner Josey and Jay Fitzgerald.
    Other SVSEF men racing will be Payton Anderson, Griffin Curtis, Trenor Gould, Montana Kurahara, Austin Savaria, Emmett Say, Stockton Troyer and Hunter Kern.
    SVSEF women in the field include Mackenzie Bachmeier, Linnea Baysinger, Sam Busby, Jordan Fitzgerald, Karina Schwartznau, and Amanda Stelling from the FIS team, plus Haley Cutler, Madi Milgard, and Olivia Wentzell from the U-18 squad.
    Alumni of the SVSEF helping round out the field include Harlan Collins and Teagen Palmer.
    Sun Valley Co. will stage a post-race party Saturday, March 29, on Warm Springs Plaza. Live music will start at 2:30 p.m. followed by an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Each race will be announced and broadcast live on the plaza. Post-race awards will also be staged on Monday, March 31, at 2:30 p.m. at Warm Springs Plaza.
    To stage a competition of this level a pool of roughly 40 volunteers is needed each day for on- and off-course positions. Race volunteers will receive two lift tickets for their service, one for the day of work and another for use at their discretion during the rest of the 2013-14 season.
    Contact Mimi Crocker, SVSEF office manager, at 726-4129, ext. 101, or for additional information or to volunteer for the series.
Best vantage points for spectators
    The two-day super G event begins today, Wednesday, at the juncture of International and Warm Springs, with the finish on Lower Warm Springs. The women take off at 10 a.m. and the men start at 11:15 a.m.
    Mike Lloyd, head of Sun Valley Ski Patrol, said crews are busy setting up safety nets as well as sight corridors for spectators.
    “For the super G, it will be the bottom of Limelight to the bottom of Warm Springs,” Lloyd said. “You will be behind the net, but you will be able to see the whole race course from mid-Warm Springs down.”
    For the technical events, Lloyd said, “You will be able to watch the giant slalom from three spots on Greyhawk.”
    “For the slalom there will be a ‘ribbon line’ on Cozy for spectators,” he said.
    The first runs of giant slalom and slalom begin at 9:30 a.m. and the second runs at about noon.
    Lloyd added that there will be signage directing spectators to proper positions. Race viewing will be accessible by foot, as well as by skis.
    Macaya said the Spring Series should be a fantastic event for all involved, including the racers.
    “We should have what I would call World Cup conditions—hard and fast—it should be a smooth surface for everyone,” Macaya said. “The snow density is optimal right now and there is so much moisture in it that it makes for a great surface. Everything is in place for a great race series.”

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