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NASTAR Nationals recap

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Broken tib-fib kept me from racing on skis or board at the NASTAR Nationals at Snowmass last week but I went out anyhow as a cheerleader and photographer.  Got a chance to pose with a couple of legends of ski racing - AJ Kitt and Ted Ligety.  

 

 

 

I did pencil drawings of all the pacesetters and gave them the originals.  They signed copies for me.

 

 

 

If you're interested, here's a link to my  online photo album and my diary.   If you've never participated in the NASTAR Nationals, consider it at some point.  This was my 10th trip and the experience just keeps getting better!  

post #2 of 23

How bad did Ted beat AJ?

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

I left before the Race of Champions and I haven't seen the results yet.  AJ hasn't slowed down any but Ted's speed is mindboggling.

post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post
 

How bad did Ted beat AJ?


The results are on Nastar.com.

 

Looks like they ran 6 pacesetting races. AJ's handicaps were all over the place.

 

Race 1:  Y: 3.67    G: 0.64

 

Race 2: Y: 7.27    No Green HC

 

Race 3: Y: 1.26    No Green HC

 

Race 4: Y: 0.01   (AJ beat Ted on this course. AJ's time: 25.39; Ted's time 25.49)   G: 3.03

 

Race 5: Y: 3.09    G: 1.54

 

Race 6: Y: 2.70    G 8.54

 

I wasn't there, but I'm guessing the six courses had different lengths, difficulty and/or steepness.

 

Which goes a long way in explaining why I personally don't bother with NASTAR much. Your results can be all over the place depending on the ski area and who the local pacesetters are. If they really want this handicap stuff to work, they need to include some adjustment for course/trail difficulty. That is also assuming that the local pacesetters are racing their HC obtained at time trials (many are faster than their time trial HC, a few are slower), and they are racing to the best of their ability each day (some do, some don't, and I swear, some just make up a time!). Too much variability for me, I'll take my USSA Masters results as an indication how I was racing on any given day over any NASTAR derived results. I've actually seen NASTAR races where the par time was so out of wack, that you could not even come close to it if you went straight down the hill from the start into the finish. I mean straight, no turns, in a downhill tuck, the absolute fastest way from point A to point B.


Edited by CaptainKirk - 4/6/14 at 6:29pm
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

The best test was to see how all the pacesetters did when they were on the same course.  In the Men's Race of Champions Ted wasn't able to race - he had to leave for Park City the evening before.  The remainder of the current and former US Team members put on an impressive performance.

 

post #6 of 23

Casey Puckett still thowing down!  That's pretty impressive.  I hadn't seen that whole list yet.  Pretty cool.  I'm pretty bummed that I made a big mistake on the flats in the race of champions.  I felt like I was skiing pretty well that weekend up until that point.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 

U.P.  - you didn't miss winning the trip to train with the team by much. 

 

Next year!!!

post #8 of 23

From your Nastar Diary:


 

I was able to get a shot of Insha Afsar on the course. Keep an eye on this young lady. She barely used her outriggers today and recorded a Platinum run!

Great to see Insha made it to Nationals! I was in a fund raiser race for her to make the trip.

 

btw pat, come over to this thread to shed some light on Ted's margins versus other racers:

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/127398/reboot-rethinking-psias-skills-approach/30#post_1721700

post #9 of 23
Quote:

 

 

...I've actually seen NASTAR races where the par time was so out of wack, that you could not even come close to it if you went straight down the hill from the start into the finish. I mean straight, no turns, in a downhill tuck, the absolute fastest way from point A to point B.

 

Quoting myself here. I was digging around NASTAR.com, and they actually have a name for this: the cap time. A course should be set and ran so the par time is never within 5% of the cap time. I've seen many NASTAR courses where I know this is not true. Either due to a crappy course set, OR  the pacesetter's season HC is totally wrong for that particular trail/course set OR the pacesetter is being lazy and just making up a time (I know for a fact this happens at certain NASTAR venues :rolleyes).

 

Maybe testing the cap time should be a daily requirement for NASTAR, and if found out of wack, the pacesetter(s) handicaps should be adjusted (or make them get out of the heated finish shack, and actually race a run or two).

post #10 of 23

I suggested that to Madsden at NASTAR HQ,

They don't care about much other than the fees.

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post
 

I suggested that to Madsden at NASTAR HQ,

They don't care about much other than the fees.


Exactly.

 

I know a number of people who have informed Madsen, about a certain NASTAR program (which will remain nameless :rolleyes ) concerning the games played during day NASTAR, and a certain night of the week (which just happens to be the same night the owners of the ski area race on) concerning questionable pacestter HC, claimed pacesetter result times, claimed race times for certain racers who have connections with certain people at the ski area, the sandbagging of certain teams (again from a certain night) just so they can get into the 2nd tier of the championship race and beat up and podium against the less skilled racers in the 2nd tier, etc, etc, etc.

 

The response: Nothing.

 

Seems like it is OK as long as everyone is making money, and the powers that be get the results they want for their fragile egos.

 

Which is why you can't take anything remotely associated with NASTAR seriously.

post #12 of 23

The good thing is it is a course and you can race your homies heads up.

The clocks work, the system doesn't and the Nationals are an open Masters Race.

Race your friends and enjoy, it is a cheap way to eat bamboo for fun.

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post
 

The good thing is it is a course and you can race your homies heads up.

The clocks work, the system doesn't and the Nationals are an open Masters Race.

Race your friends and enjoy, it is a cheap way to eat bamboo for fun.


That's the way I look at it. The real racing is on the weekends at Masters.

 

However, it is very amusing to what lengths some people will go to manipulate amateur racing (the lowest level racing at that!) just to stoke their fragile egos. The NASTAR system makes it pretty easy to game things to get exactly the results certain people want to see.  The funny thing is the people running it there actually think nobody else knows about it, but in fact it is common knowledge that it is happening. Besides, the whole idea behind NASTAR and Beer League Racing at this particular venue is not racing, but getting people to spend money thinking they are racing...then getting them up the the bar to wait for the always delayed "results" to spend even more money on over priced drinks. That doesn't mean I don't have fun with my buddys. We actually make bets on how manipulated the results are going to be for the week, which usually results in a lot of laughs and a few drinks going down the hatch,  but you can't take anything to do with NASTAR as being remotely related to any type of real ski racing.

post #14 of 23

There may indeed be programs that intentionally manipulate results, and don't properly use the incredibly good tools that Nastar provides.  When the program is taken seriously, and implemented properly, it works remarkably well, and is very consistent.  The "Team Scoring" option is the absolute best way possible for a ski area to run an adult race league in a way that is fair and competitive to men and women of all ages. 

 

If things are going on at individual ski areas that are not ethical, and aren't up to the standards of Nastar, then the problem is with the individual ski area.  Not Nastar.

 

I am a volunteer pacesetter and adult league coordinator and I take great pride in running the program the right way, both on weekends and on league night.  This season, in December, I attended pacesetter trials and earned a 5.24 handicap with AJ Kitt pacesetting.  I just attended my first Nastar Nationals, and earned a 5.19 handicap with Ted Ligety pacesetting.  That's pretty damn close.  My 9 year old son also attended nationals with me....  His national average handicap was 23.95 for the season (mostly with me as pacesetter).  At Nationals, his best handicap was 24.32.  Again, with Ted Ligety pacesetting.

 

It doesn't get any better than that. Fair and consistent, and the best opportunity for anyone and everyone to participate in racing.

post #15 of 23

I had no idea there was a whole culture of graft and corruption at some hills regarding Nastar. Pathetic.

 

What does the handicap actually represent? Percentage?

And....how much faster is Ted than AJ?

post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

I had no idea there was a whole culture of graft and corruption at some hills regarding Nastar. Pathetic.

 

What does the handicap actually represent? Percentage?

And....how much faster is Ted than AJ?


I really don't think there is....  at least to the degree that some people think.  Dakine knows for a fact that there is some secret society out there that exists solely to screw the average recreational racer and will stop at nothing to accomplish their evil plan.

 

Handicap is a percentage, yes.  Ted is a zero handicap.  AJ at the beginning of the season was a 1.09, meaning (on a fairly typical Nastar course) he is 1.09 percent slower than Ted.

post #17 of 23

Right up front here I want to say that I have really enjoyed NASTAR over quite a few years,  There have been days where things didn't work out to my satisfaction, but that can happen anywhere.   A couple of you posting here seem to really dislike NASTAR.  If it's that bad for you maybe you ought to get away from it.  That approach has worked for me with brussels sprouts.

 

My problem with NASTAR?  My home area doesn't have it any more.

post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
 

 

 

If things are going on at individual ski areas that are not ethical, and aren't up to the standards of Nastar, then the problem is with the individual ski area.  Not Nastar.

 

I am a volunteer pacesetter and adult league coordinator and I take great pride in running the program the right way, both on weekends and on league night.    

You are absolutely right. It is the culture and ethics of the management at this particular ski area.

 

If you are doing it right, everyday, then I think that is outstanding. Keep up the great example!

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
 

Handicap is a percentage, yes.  Ted is a zero handicap.  AJ at the beginning of the season was a 1.09, meaning (on a fairly typical Nastar course) he is 1.09 percent slower than Ted.

 

So you have a 5 handicap. That means you're 95% as good as Ted! :)

Or is there a translational age group factor also?

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTNSKIS View Post
 

Right up front here I want to say that I have really enjoyed NASTAR over quite a few years,  There have been days where things didn't work out to my satisfaction, but that can happen anywhere.   A couple of you posting here seem to really dislike NASTAR.  If it's that bad for you maybe you ought to get away from it.  That approach has worked for me with brussels sprouts.

 

My problem with NASTAR?  My home area doesn't have it any more.

Well, I can't get completely away from it. Our race league uses their own "modified" version of NASTAR scoring for the league. Which, you could argue they don't have too. Out of the 500 - 600 racers involved, there are only 5 or 6 on snowboards, maybe 1 or 2 on telemark. The are a number of race leagues in the region who don't use NASTAR scoring, for good reason, but they would be impossible for me to get to. Besides, I have been racing with my friends for over 20 years or more, some as far back as when we were USSA juniors. Our weekly get together outweighs the cheating in the league, so we just laugh and put up with it.

 

NASTAR could be a GREAT system, with a few modifications at the national level, AND the commitment from ALL ski areas to do it fair and right.

post #21 of 23

Heh...  on a 23 second straight course, on a relatively flat hill, yes.  95%! 

 

On a World Cup GS course....  maybe not so close.  :)

post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by U.P. Racer View Post
 


I really don't think there is....  at least to the degree that some people think.  Dakine knows for a fact that there is some secret society out there that exists solely to screw the average recreational racer and will stop at nothing to accomplish their evil plan.

 

 

No "secret society" in our case. The people involved in this simply don't care about what others think of them. The have the power to do what they want, coupled with fragile egos and vindictive personalities. If you work for them, don't give them exactly what they want, you will find yourself out of a job very quickly. So it gets done, no questions asked. It's an example of the Golden Rule: "Those who have the gold, rule" :D

post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

 

So you have a 5 handicap. That means you're 95% as good as Ted or 95.2% as good as Michael Rogan..! :)

Or is there a translational age group factor also?

 FIFY....:popcorn

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