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Nashoba Valley Adult racing?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I'm a 24 YO ex-racer (8 years USSA, 4 years college--USCSA), and was wondering if any of you know how the competition is at Nashoba's adult racing leagues? I heard Wachusett's competitiveness varies by the night, but Nashoba is right by my work, so I want to go there. Any suggestions?

This may be pressing my luck a bit, but I'm hoping to get onto a sponsored team...anyone know of shops who sponsor Nashoba beer league teams?

Thanks!
post #2 of 17
This will be 4th season racing at Nashoba, although I qualify that by saying that my racing skills leave something to be desired.

Anyway. I always race Tuesday nights, which I've heard are the "worst" of the three nights. i.e., the Monday night and Wednesday night crowds are far more competitive (suppossedly) then the Tuesday night crowd. That said, there are ex-US ski team members there on Tuesday nights. There was a guy who "wasn't good enough" at the age of 18 to continue being on the Norwegian ski team, so they kicked him off -- and he'd usually finish 2nd or 3rd. All said, I'd say there are probably about a dozen (out of about 150) on Tuesday night who have some serious credentials behind their name, and probably at least a dozen or so more who raced collegiately.

Then there's the rest of us!

Sponsors? Nashoba? I have never seen or heard anything about sponsored teams.
post #3 of 17
I have not raced in the Nashoba night league, though I used to coach a college ski team there that would train right next to the night league course. I saw plenty of top-notch racers, but the courses (at least back in the early 90s) were utterly absurd: the hill can support only a tight sl course, but the night league is a “modified gs” (a la NASTAR), which on that terrain is just kind of worthless from a real competitive racing perspective.

Anyway, since I stopped coaching full-time, I now race Thursday nights at Wachusett. The course is pretty flat (especially in the middle), but it’s reasonably long (typically half a minute puts you in the low teens for a NASTAR handicap), and is more or less how a USSA masters gs course would be set on that terrain. Lots of top racers (e.g., over the past few years, two former USST members, plus a former Olympian for an eastern European nation), with several handicaps in the *low* single digits (sometimes even negative when the pacesetter has a slow night).

Once you take your two race runs, you can head over to the upper “mountain” for laps (well, later on in February the crowds usually aren’t too bad) on almost 1000 vert served by a high-speed quad. Alternatively, once most racers have finished their two runs, you can return for as many timed practice runs as you wish. (Great for experimenting with difference tactics and finding out what really is fast as opposed to what feels fast.) Midweek season pass (plus weekend nights starting at 4pm) is $189 and race league fee (nine nights) is something like $89.

One big drawback though is that there’s no start order, so for the first several weeks, the line toward the beginning of the evening can be pretty long. And you as noted, Nashoba is right next to your office.
post #4 of 17
This will be my third year at Nashoba. No racing experience at all prior to this. My friends and I have formed a few teams, and we mainly look to be competitive with each other. We've been in the Wednesday night league the past two years and are looking to move to an easier night. I've heard that the competitiveness increases each night - Monday is the "easiest", and Wednesday is the most competitive. To my uneducated eye, it seems like there are about 30 guys at the top on Wednesday night who are able to win on any given night.

Don't think there are any sponsored teams, but I could be wrong. Some of the guys I've spoken to in the league say that the Wachusett race league is located on a very flat slope - and for that reason they prefer Nashoba's. Take it for what it's worth.
post #5 of 17
Yep, as Jonathan mentioned, the Nashoba course is really tight, and there are two courses set up side by side. Nashoba is all of 250 vertical feet, and they pack about 20 gates into two side-by-side courses. The only resemblance it has to a "real" GS course is that they use two-pole flags. Short cross skis or long-ish slalom boards are pretty popular. The first three or four gates are dead flat -- top racers are in full skate mode through there, and then it drops at a pretty good clip for about a dozen gates, and then the last three or four are usually dead flat again.

You race on both courses each night. By the time you take your second run, the course resembles a rutted hockey rink, so it definitely gets "interesting".

I'm not sure how Nashoba handles individuals signing up; I do know you have to be part of a team to race though. I always sign up through the Boston Ski & Sports Club (http://www.bssc.com/index.cfm); start looking on their website in October for sign-up info if you want to get in with them.
post #6 of 17

Finding Good Teams

Welcome to EpicSki. It's always good to see more racers posting on the board.

What is your NASTAR handicap? What was your points level in USSA in what division? best USSA finishes at the major races - divisional championships? JO's? Regional FIS? US Nationals? US NorAms? Which USCSA team did you race for? what were your finishes at USCSA Nationals GS SL?

You may have to prove yourself in the first year by getting on a good team and finishing well at the Championship Finals in the Nashoba Valley Adult Team Racing League or at the Great Race in the Wachusett Mountain Corporate Night League. With good results in hand, you may be able to attract a potential sponsor with some initiative on your part.

From the Nashoba Valley Racing webpage http://www.skinashoba.com/index.php?...l tRaceLeague

Eligibility:
Team members cannot have been named to any national ski team, A, B or C squads.

Running Order:
Running order will be generated according to the previous week's finish, taking the best % first and working down through the field

Cost:
Prices include an evening lift ticket.
Mon, Tue, Wed: $788 per team ($197 per person)


There was a good article in Ski Magazine about the experience of a former Olympian (Carrie Sheinberg 8 year U.S. Ski Team member) in the Wachusett Mountain Corporate Night League http://www.skimag.com/skimag/feature...767561,00.html

FINDING GOOD TEAMS:

You may be able to use the NASTAR results to identify the top individuals/competition level/most competitive night. Once you click on an individual's name, you will be able to see the Club Team name and click on that name for details on the other team members.

Here is the link to the 3/6/05 Great Race results from Wachusett Mountain http://www.nastar.com/index.jsp?page...roup&year=2005

Here is the link to all of the Wachusett Mountain Races http://www.nastar.com/index.jsp?page...28&year=200 5 where you can pick out the Night League races and then sort by age & gender category to find the most competitive night.


WEBSITE FOR NASHOBA VALLEY ADULT TEAM RACE LEAGUE RESULTS?

Perhaps some of the Nashoba Valley competitors could post the address of website(s) that have the results from the Nashoba Valley Adult Team Race League. I would think that the ski area and/or some of the teams may post these results somewhere.
post #7 of 17
A guy friend of mine was a college racer (tele boards) and he used to do night leagues at Nashoba to "meet chicks". Then he hooked a gate with his ski, broke his leg and the girl he met there dumped him. WHOA.

The skiing is definitely a bit bigger and better at Wachusett, but that's a very popular site for night skiing and the place gets mighty crowded.

Nashoba has turned out damn good racers (kids) for years, so they must do something right!
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
I never guessed I'd get so much info! Ski03, I never raced Nastar, so no clue about handicap...when I stopped USSA, I was a 115-120 pt. sl skier, and 140-150 pt gs skier. Keep in mind this is 1998, when a sub-100 actually meant something. That was before my college 'career'. Never raced FIS, but I stopped trying at 18... Anyway, I'll check out the info you've all provided. Thanks much for the words of advice!
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
oh yeah, by the way klkaye, chicks are a huge motivation for this!!!
post #10 of 17
mhkung,

I never underestimate the appeal of a skier chick! nothing turns a guy's head like a chick who can rip.

happy hunting!
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by klkaye
mhkung,

I never underestimate the appeal of a skier chick! nothing turns a guy's head like a chick who can rip.

happy hunting!
No doubt!

Thanks for all the advice...got onto a team on Wednesday nights. Now I gotta dig out the ol' GS suit!
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhkung
Thanks for all the advice...got onto a team on Wednesday nights. Now I gotta dig out the ol' GS suit!
Good deal getting onto a team.

A bit of advice with the "ol' GS suit". Part of your points (and therefore your teams' standing; the teams with the most points get to compete in the playoffs on the final night) is determined by your improvement from week to week. i.e., the more you lower your time from the previous week, the more points you get your team -- up to a certain level. i.e., lowering your time by more then X% doesn't do any good as there's a maximum number of points you can earn each week.

I forget what the magic cutoff percentage is, but I think it's about 10% (i.e., lowering your time by 20% gives you the same number of points as if you lowered it by 10%). So what this means is that sandbagging is taken to an art form over the first couple weeks. It's usually not until the third or fourth week that people are racing "all out". Don't tip your hand (i.e., that you're really good) by showing up in a GS suit on night#1.

Nashoba started cracking down on "beyond obvious" sand-bagging a year or two ago. Racers were literally coming to a complete stop on the course (so they'd have an awful time for week#1, and get big improvement points for week#2), snowplowing the whole way down, sideslipping, having really suspicious falls, etc. So don't be too blatant about it!
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks KevinF for the advice. Funny!

It's been 3 years since my last run through a course, so 'sandbagging' should be a great excuse for my poor performance early on!
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhkung
Thanks KevinF for the advice. Funny!

It's been 3 years since my last run through a course, so 'sandbagging' should be a great excuse for my poor performance early on!
The course on race nights is only set up long enough for everybody to take their two runs (one on each side). i.e., there's no time afterwards to take "fun runs" through the course. Thursday nights though is "practice night" where they setup the course and the timers and you can take unlimited runs for the cost of a lift ticket. My understanding (I've never been there on a Thursday) is that the kids' coaches are there to give pointers as well. So if you're looking to get the old "groove" thing going again, show up on a few Thursday's and get some practice in.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Shefftz
I have not raced in the Nashoba night league, though I used to coach a college ski team there that would train right next to the night league course. I saw plenty of top-notch racers, but the courses (at least back in the early 90s) were utterly absurd: the hill can support only a tight sl course, but the night league is a “modified gs” (a la NASTAR), which on that terrain is just kind of worthless from a real competitive racing perspective.
jonathan nails the description of the nashoba race courses. i ran practice gates at nashoba mid-week when racing in college, and while our coaches were setting up crazy unders and tough turns utilizing every bit of nashobas vertical to push us, i looked over and saw the beer league guys practically straight lining it. if you do it, don't do it for the racing itself since you have real race experience... it will be a huge let down. do it for fun and for meeting new people. it didn't even look as challenging as a typical nastar course, pretty much a straight line with some edging back and forth. i can't remember any one showing up in a gs suit, but maybe i didn't see the night that was really competitive. most guys had those tight shirts with the arm pads though.
post #16 of 17

Good morning mhKung,  I just happened to see your post about Nashoba and Wachusett.

 

Nashoba is very competitive, and I have been racing there for 4 years. If you are looking for a team, my #2 racer has gone to Florida and I am looking to replace him.

 

We have been racing on Wednesday nights and I find it very competitive.

 

I'm sure you know that after the race you are able to go up stairs, at the restaurant, receive the nights results,  and view the nights racing.

 

If you would like any more infomation you may email me at alpinedon@hotmail.com

 

 

Don Smith

post #17 of 17

Hi Don, Welcome to EpicSki! I don't know if you noticed, but the last post before yours was written in 2005. I hope the OP responds, but eight years would be some kind of record around here. You might check to see if there is a Nashoba Valley group here (see header menu) and if not, start one. I'm sure there are plenty of interested people here who might miss this thread. 

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