So back in December I sent in my application and my money for the PSIA-E Eastern Demo Team tryout to be held in Stowe over two days this winter. As only 8 others even bothered to apply for it, they cancelled the tryout and went back to the drawing board. The mission for the Demo Team is basically to train and prepare for National Team Tryouts. After some time, they decided to have a "Tech Team Tryout" this March in Stowe. It would be a one day tryout for a different team that would train for National Team, but also be involved in Examiner training - or something like that. I sent in my money along with 37 others.
The tryout format was planned to be a little different including a part where the candidates themselves would be throwing scores in the afternoon. I'm not sure exactly what they would have done with those scores, but considering that it took two hours to score without that, I'm glad they decided not to go ahead with that.
Forecast was for a crappy rainy day, but instead we got beautiful snow on a sunny day. Sub-zero temps and rock hard super-aggressive chalk gave way to the most perfect buttery grooming you could ask for.
Selectors were - Matt ad Jeb Boyd, Mermer Blakeslee, Sue Kramer, Terry Barbour, Doug Daniels, Peter Howard, and Dave Wenn.
I started the day with Matt and Dave. Tasks for the morning were Performance Short Turns, Medium Radius Turns and then One-Footed Pain in the S turns.
Performance Shorts were on Hayride. Easy enough task, I've practiced it a lot, but kept second guessing the size of turn they wanted. I was picturing performance shorts as a much smaller radius staying in the fall line more. The turn demoed looked more like a reaching short to me. I gave it my best, I kind of thought our whole group looked pretty average on this one. We were probably all pretty nervous.
Med Radius was on Nosedive. This is my wheel house, I felt great on this one. I didn't feel like anyone did it better. That doesn't mean the selectors did, but who cares what they think anyway? ;)
Pain in the S - this felt almost impossible to me. Also done on Nosedive. One shot was enough, let's move on.... Shockingly my score here wasn't that bad despite rolling down the windows and everything. I guess that actually doing it on one foot counted for something. Either way, it was awful and I hope to never do that again.
After a turbo lunch (where I really couldn't eat anyway), my group was picked up by Doug and Sue.
Afternoon tasks were Lane Changes, Skate to Shape to Shorts to Pivot Slips, Open Parallel to Wedge Christie.
Lane Changes - simple task, just put together some great short turns with a medium. No problem, did this one on Nosedive.
Skate to Shape to Shorts to Pivot Slips - done on Sunrise and the North Slope. An interesting twist to an old classic. Starts really edgy and fast, with the trick being to blend it into a softly edged slow pivot slip. Interesting, but doable.
OP - WC - Simple enough, but I do think really good Open Parallel is harder to demo than you'd think. Luckily asa full time instructor, it's pretty much what I do ALL day every day. Another strength for me I think.
Next, everyone grouped together for a mass run in front of all the selectors down Upper National and then a free-run on Middle Liftline (from National crossing to bottom of 13 Pitch). It looked like this:
39 Candidates skiing in front of 8 selectors, No pressure there!
I was 100% happy with my skiing. Executed my skiing just as I have trained to. I can't say I was too surprised to not be picked either and that's OK, with the new team, I can't see how I'd go over very well leading examiner training and stuff like that.
13 people were selected, mostly the usual suspects but one or two that were unexpected. Three from Stowe made it, Tim Thompson, Nate Gardner and Doug Stewart.