Conway Cup a classic in Vail |

Conway Cup a classic in Vail

CVR Ski Classic KA 3-23-11

VAIL – The Conway Cup is one of those springtime ski races where hundreds of people share thousands of laughs, and everyone is sure the beer is on their side.

The Conway kicked off this year’s Korbel American Ski Classic.

The race is named and run in memory of local Dan Conway, a great friend to ski racing at all levels throughout the Vail Valley. The winning team gets a spot in the Korbel Ford Cup celebrity races Friday and Saturday.

Organizers launched the event last year and it was so successful they brought it back this year. The stated goal is to raise a little money for some great local causes. And while they’re at it they can involve dozens of locals in the annual American Ski Classic.

The event was originally supposed to field four dozen four-member teams, but people kept skiing over and asking if they could play, too.

“A lot of people came to Vail just to ski today and decided to race,” said Vincent Conway. “One couple said they hadn’t run gates in 10 years, but they did just fine.”

Vincent Conway is Dan’s dad. He was out there, enjoying the sunshine and meeting the racers.

“It’s a great event. I appreciate the tribute to my son and I appreciate that it supports his two daughters, Keely and Danielle,” Vincent said. “And they’re excited that the event honors their dad.”

Kate Korbet races for Team Millennium. They specialize in fundraising and fun-having. They were doing both Wednesday, as good times and Chamber of Commerce weather lightened the crowd.

Local Realtor Andy Forstl’s wife was also part of the Millennium Team. She raced unscathed. He was last seen sipping a cold glass of a general anesthetic and icing a wrist he cracked on a gate.

John Dakin has worked with the Vail Valley Foundation almost since the invention of valleys. The VVF hosts the American Ski Classic and untold numbers of other events and causes through the course of a year.

Dakin was out there making some turns and crashing some gates as part of the Vail Valley Foundation’s team. He might have crossed that thin line between the status of long-timer and legend – but he’s sticking with legend.

“The Vail Valley Foundation put a team together and they needed a legend,” Dakin wisecracked.

Speaking of legends

Up next on the race schedule will be the Volvo Legends Giant Slalom on Thursday evening, a head-to-head competition, featuring some of the greatest names in ski racing history. Past Olympians and World Champions will rekindle old rivalries on the racecourse as five generations of skiing legends square off for the right to once again stand on the top step of the podium.

Among the names and faces you’re recognize is Kiki Cutter, Pam Fletcher, Billy Kidd, Chad Fleischer, Dave Gorsuch, Franz Klammer, Hillary Lindh, Phil Mahre, Steve Mahre, Cindy Nelson, Daron Rahlves and many, many others.

“The Korbel American Ski Classic is a true celebration of the sport of skiing,” said Michael Imhof, vice president of sales and operations for the Vail Valley Foundation. “At the end of the day, it’s all about having fun, which is the true essence of skiing.”

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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