Race series begin in Vail and Beaver Creek
“Nothing else but winning is expected,” said Fuchsberger, known world-wide for his multiple Powder-8 championships. “We’ll be shooting for our fifth in a row. It’s going to be very hard to touch us.”
Thus, the spirit of the town race series lives on.
While Vail’s series begins Jan. 8 with a giant slalom on Golden Peak, the Beaver Creek Resort Race Series will start its 10th season Jan. 6, on the Bear Trap course. The Beaver Creek series promotes itself as “the local’s World Cup,” and, while that may be a bit of a stretch, plenty of money is still up for grabs.
The series is offering more than $35,000 in gear for the apres-party raffles that follow each race. Skis, boots, kayaks and other gear will be offered. As a bonus, the first 50 to register on opening day will receive a free pair of Smartwool socks. Last season, says race organizer Jim Brown, a woman from New Zealand was vacationing, thought it’d be fun to race, and won a $1,000 pair of skis.
“The big thing is, yes, there are skilled athletes and prizes for those athletes,” Brown said. “But the bulk of the prizes are for the raffle. Anyone can win.”
The Vail series also offers plenty of schwag, courtesy of a new beer sponsor, Coors, this season. Race coordinator Brian Rooney said, besides drink specials, gift certificates and gear will also be available.
Rooney is also trying to bring the two race series together for a end-all competition between the winning teams from each series.
“We’re all for it, but Beaver Creek’s been a little slow,” he said. “We’d love to have one champion in the valley.”
Brown said though, that the move wouldn’t make any sense. Too many racers do both competitions, meaning that the winners could end up facing themselves.
“That wouldn’t even be a possibility,” he said.
For information on the Vail series, contact Rooney at 476-5119 ext. 116. The registration deadline is Jan. 1, with the money going to Ski Club Vail, a youth ski-racing program.
For information on the Beaver Creek series, call 845-6207. Team registrations cost $350 and are due Jan. 3. Athletes can register the day of a race for $12 between 9-9:45 a.m. at the race course.
Ryan Slabaugh is a sports writer for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555 ext. 608 or at email@example.com.