Think you’re faster than Ted Ligety? Of course you don't. But if you want to get a sense of how much faster he is, jump in the NASTAR course at your local hill. Ted won’t be there. But he raced against a guy who raced against a guy who will be there. By comparing your time to that of your local pacesetter, you can get a pretty good feel for just how little Ted worries about you unseating him as the world’s fastest man.
And if you want to see passion for the sport of ski racing, check out the NASTAR Eastern Regional Championships at Okemo mountain, the weekend of Jan 30-Feb 1. On the eve of the Vail/Beaver Creek World Championships, Ted wannabes young and old will travel from all over the Northeast for a chance to compete at the annual NASTAR National Championships, which will again take place this year in Aspen, Colorado (Snowmass, March 19–22).
Okemo is stoked to welcome the NASTAR crowd, says spokesperson Bonnie MacPherson. “It was a big event for us last year, and it’s just so cool to see people of all ages coming out to participate. Especially the old guys—they’re so into it, and they have such a fun time.”
Competitors will race against others in their age group for the right to compete in the national championships. They’ll have a chance to participate in racing clinics with former U.S. Ski Team downhiller AJ Kitt—the middleman who raced against both Ted and your local hotshot. In addition to individual titles, there’s a team event on Sunday, as well as a handicapped Race of Champions in which kids and geezers alike have an opportunity to be crowned overall Eastern champ.
“It’s a great event for Okemo,” says Okemo competition director Peter Cornish. “We hosted about two hundred athletes last year. The Aprés Party is a lot of fun, and we hope to make this year’s event better than ever.”
And here are key details regarding the events at Okemo, courtesy of NASTAR:
Participants will compete within their age and ability group on Saturday and the top three racers in each division will win awards and qualify for the Nature Valley NASTAR National Championships. In addition, the winner in each age, gender, division and discipline will be invited to compete in the Race of Champions on Sunday. The Race of Champions is a handicapped race where young and old have an opportunity to win the Overall NASTAR Eastern Championship title based on their discounted time.
The team competition will take place after the Race of Champions on Sunday. Family teams and teams of friends can have up to six team members but only the three highest point gainers will be used to score each team. Team members will score points for their team based on the handicap they earn in their age and gender group. NASTAR Team Points are a great way to level the playing field so that young and old, male or female have an equal opportunity to contribute to their teams' success.
Adult Entry Fee $65 for two days of competition
Junior Entry Fee $45 for two days of competition (20 years and younger)
NASTAR Eastern Championships race entry
Family/Friends Team race entry
Discounted lift tickets
$10 Entry fee for Team Race only:
Competitors who would like to join a team and race only in the Family/Friends Team Race can enter Sunday morning in the Competition Center. $15 Guest credentials for Awards Reception & Live Music
Lift Ticket Prices (Friday – Sunday):
$55 Adult (19-64)
$45 Young adult (13-18) Seniors(65-69)
$35 Juniors(7-12) Super Seniors (70+)
$124 Young adult (13-18) Seniors (65-69)
$99 Juniors (7-12) Super Seniors (70+)
All Participants and Guests six (6) years of age and under shall receive a complimentary lift ticket for use during the Event. Participants are eligible to purchase lift tickets for family members and guests during the event at the discounted rate. Guests with a credential may purchase lift tickets for the discounted rate. Credentials will get you on the lift at 8 a.m. each day.
Okemo Mountain Resort is offering a 20 percent discount on two night stays and 25 percent discount on three night stays. Reservations: 800-786-5366, Ext. 1; mention "NASTAR" to receive the event discount.
(Photos by Donald Dill)