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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › EpicSki Community › Getting Together, Gatherings and Let's Go › Epicski Academy › 2006 EpicSki Announces - The ModernSkiRacing.com “Waist Steering” Race Camp!
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2006 EpicSki Announces - The ModernSkiRacing.com “Waist Steering” Race Camp!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Race Camp for all recreational racers 10 - 100 Years young!

We’d like to warmly welcome EpicSki members to the MSR Team’s race camp at Snowbasin, Utah, November 25-27, 2005. Both EpicSki and the MSR Team’s missions are to bring skiers of all levels the highest-quality instructional and training opportunities at a great value. Like EpicSki Academy, the MSR Team’s commitment to recreational racing and cutting edge technique is supported by the best coaching staff available.

Here’s the program:

What. The MSR Team will provide world cup coaching and their unique cutting edge waist steering progression. From Masters to first time racers this camp will sharpen your racing skills, no matter what your level. Each of the three days will include coaching in small groups, demo race stock skis from Rossignol, gate drills and timed runs. We will be doing timed runs in official Nastar courses, giving you the opportunity to qualify for the Nastar Nationals. Your Pacesetter will be Gary Dranow, a 7 Handicap directly off of Daron Rhalves and 2005 Men's Expert 50-54 National Champion.

Additionally, there will be a tuning/waxing clinic provided by Holmenkol, along with the opportunity to purchase discounted product from Holmenkol/Uvex and Race-Werks.com.

Where. The 2006 “Waist Steering” racing camps are headquartered at Snowbasin, Utah. Snowbasin has committed snow-making to insure that the entire race arena will be open to handle as many racers as want to participate.

When. We’re starting with a welcoming party/registration on Thursday, November 24, 2006 6-8pm. We’ll ski, train, race NASTAR on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and close with an awards banquet, on Sunday afternoon, November 27 at 2pm. Because of the incredible availability of skiing opportunities surrounding Salt Lake City, you ought to consider tacking some time onto your stay either at the end or the beginning of the program.

Price. We are holding the line at a program cost of $825, with a $250 deposit required to hold your place by October 15th. Holding the line on the price is our commitment to keeping this program as accessible as humanly possible, while treating our coaches professionally. A portion of every EpicSki attendee’s camp fee will go to your EpicSki supporter’s account. So work on your ski racing and support EpicSki at the same time!

The enrollment fee will include:

· Lodging

· Transportation from the Best Western High Country Inn to Snowbasin and back each day

· Lift tickets

· Coaching

· Gates/timing/awards

· Video critique

· Tuning/waxing seminar

· Discounts at Race-werks.com (Sun Valley Ski Tools)

· Discount on Rossignol Race Skis

· Discount on local meals and entertainment courtesy of the Ogden Visitor Bureau


Warren Wilkinson, World Cup Coach

Gary Dranow, USSA Certified Coach

Rick “Fastman” Schnellman, USSA Certified Coach

Bob Harwood, USSA Certified Coach, Juniors

Tommy Kirchhoff, Founder of “Waist steering” technology

Jeffrey Sadis, World Cup Coach

Other coaches to be announced.

Lodging. We have made arrangements for lodging at Best Western High Country Inn. The price of lodging is included in the price of the camp.

Transportation. Salt Lake City, Utah has outstanding air service, and in years past participants have done very well on discount plane fares. It is never to early to look into fares. We will be running a bus service to Snowbasin in the morning and back to the hotel in the evening each day, (included in the camp fee).

Miscellaneous. A few odds ‘n ends. Ages 10-99 are welcome (sorry, we can’t accommodate young children at this camp), although children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. We have a menu of prices if you wish to stay elsewhere, provide your own transportation, arrange your own lodging, etc. If you have any questions, please contact any of us with a PM to Gary Dranow or an email to gary@modernskiracing.com You can also call our event coordinator Elizabeth Dranow at (888)776-6912.

Again we want to express our gratitude to EpicSki.com for this fabulous opportunity to be of service!
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Discounts for EpicSki Members and Supporters

Okay, if you really want to get a jump on this season we have decided to offer our MSRT Level 1 Progression to all EpicSki.com members for 20% Discount.

Our DVD has been re-edited and I am personally very happy with the information we have included in it. It's got my seal of approval and that isn't easy to come by

If you want to order it e-mail Tommy Kirchhoff at tommy@paracreative.com

Also, for any EpicSki Member who wishes to attend our Thanksgiving Race Camp at Snowbasin we are offering a $25 Discount for members and a $50 Discount for supporters! Doing our bit for our favorite Message Board - EpicSki.com

To sign up e-mail Gary Dranow at gary@modernskiracing.com or Call Elizabeth Dranow at (888)776-6912
post #3 of 9
In case sharp-eyed readers notice, we asked the MSRT folks to make our marketing fee a member and supporter discount rather than a direct donation to EpicSki. We hope members and supporters will enjoy the benefits of membership to date:

1. The Lounge and Premium Articles Section for Supporters
2. ESA Snowbird $25 cash rebate for Supporters
3. MSRT Camp discount of $25 per member and $50 per Supporter
4. Weems's special download of Brilliant Skiing, Every Day for EpicSki members
5. A free copy of Brilliant Skiing, Every Day to ESA attendees

You can be a Supporter for as little as $20 per year and ramp up your benefits too!
post #4 of 9
I'm glad your rocky introduction here has blossomed into a, hopefully, lucrative venture for MSR, EpicSki and all our members. Good luck.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Springhill Crazie
I'm glad your rocky introduction here has blossomed into a, hopefully, lucrative venture for MSR, EpicSki and all our members. Good luck.
THANK YOU and but for you we might not have had the opportunity, you can attend any of our camps at COST for your goodwill effort! HUGELY appreciated!

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Discount on our Level 1 DVD for Bears

MSRT Level 1 DVD

If you any of you want to get a good jump on the season we are offering our DVD at a discount to all EpicSki members.

20% Discount to Members

25% Discount to Supporters

Contact Tommy Kirchhoff at tommy@paracreative.com

Since BioWolf saw it we have completely re-edited the product and I am now satisfied with it, ask BioWolf about the content. Rick has seen the new version, he can give his opinion as well. If you can't make it to our clinic the DVD is a must have to start this season, it will open some doors.

We have 'em and they are ready to ship now.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Camp Postponed to early December

Due to unforseen difficulties with snowmaking we are delaying our Race Camp to the first week in December. As of right now we are still planning on Snowbasin but we may be moving the location to another Ski Area. We will keep everyone posted in the coming weeks. Thanks for your patience.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

A not so brief History of NASTAR - Recreational Racing

A History of NASTAR

Founded in 1968, the National Standard Race program approaches its 35th anniversary.


In the beginning, there was the vision of John Fry.

He was the youthful editor-in-chief of SKI Magazine during the 1960s. The United States ski industry was young in the 1960s - and growing fast.

Fry saw some things that disturbed him about American ski instruction and ski area management, including:
  • Ski schools concentrated on teaching "style" with no definite scoring system to measure a student's progress or a skier's general proficiency.
  • There was no organized national competition for the recreational skier when, all research indicated, the recreational skier comprised 95 per cent of the total skiing population.
  • Certain areas refused even to allow the setting of gates for race practice.
In the October, 1967 edition of SKI, Fry wrote a strongly-worded editorial deploring the "sorry state of affairs" of skiing at that time.

"We have forgotten that skiing is a sport, sport is competition, and that is what the fun and excitement is all about." He went on to say that the forbidding of practice in gates "is a policy that surpasses imbecility."

"Somewhere along the line, skiing has lost touch with competition. When it happened, we snuffed out a flame that should light our sport. It is sorely in need of re-ignition."

Fifteen years later, John described the tone of his words as "somewhat irascible." Maybe so, but his opinion of those ski industry practices was right on the mark. And that editorial carried in it the seed of the idea for Nastar.

During the 1967-68 winter, he pressed forward with his idea about establishing a program for recreational skiers with a national standard. "Wherever I went - to ski areas or meetings of ski industry people - I asked people if they had any ideas about how skiers could measure their speed, ability or performance on some kind of a common basis."

The French Connection

On a trip to Vermont, Fry was told by Bob Gratton, the ski school director at Mt. Snow, that he might gain some valuable insight by studying the French Chamois Races.

The Chamois event brought all French ski instructors together at one site for a competition used to rate them on a racing proficiency scale. The teachers raced and were given a mathematical rating expressed as a percentage that their time lagged behind the time recorded by the fastest skier.

When these French instructors returned to their home areas, skiers who raced against them had the opportunity to earn a Chamois pin. If you won a pin at Chamonix, for instance, your performance was equal to another racer who won one at Megeve or Val d'Isere.

Modern-day Nastar participants will have no difficulty in recognizing this format. Fry copied the basic principle for his embryonic American program in the late 1960s, and the system has been used by Nastar ever since.

However, there was one major difference. The Chamois races were designed for expert skiers only. The courses were tough, intricate slaloms on steep, challenging terrain.

Fry envisioned another possibility. "It didn't take long for the dim bulb in my cerebrum to light up and see that simple, open-gate giant slalom races on intermediate slopes could attract hundreds of thousands of people to measure their skiing ability."

The idea for the new program had now crystallized in John's mind.

First, top racers and instructors nationwide would come together at the beginning of the season to rate their performance against the best U.S. racer of the time. Then they would return to their home resorts as pacesetters.

The times recorded by these local pacesetters, adjusted by the amount of their percentage ratings, would create a national standard. And that standard could be used to compare the performances of recreational racers throughout the country.

If pacesetter Roger at Steamboat was originally 6 per cent slower than the nation's fastest racer, and a Steamboat guest was 20 per cent slower than Roger, then he or she was about 26 per cent slower than America's fastest skier would have been if he'd skied the Steamboat course that day. The guest had a 26 handicap.

In addition to comparing skiers around the nation, handicaps would be used as the basis for awarding pins (gold, silver, bronze) according to a racer's level of proficiency.

Naming the Program

Top management at SKI Magazine was very supportive of Fry and his idea, which he wanted to call the National Standard Race, with the acronym "Nastar." Together, they decided to organize a pilot program for the 1968-69 season.

Of primary importance was finding a sponsor capable and willing to fund a national program. "We found out that the advertising agency for the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. was interested in sponsoring some kind of ski program," recalled Fry. "I flew to Chicago and we presented it to them."

The ad agency people were very interested, but they absolutely insisted on calling the program "the Schlitz Open." When John returned to New York and told his German-speaking wife about the negotiations, she burst into laughter. "What's so funny?," he asked. She informed him that Schlitz is the German word for the fly on a man's pants.

Armed with his new linguistic expertise, Fry telephoned the ad agency to re-open negotiations. "Ski areas employ many German-speaking instructors," he told them. "You guys would be laughed off the mountain."

Schlitz finally decided to support the program with the name "Nastar." They also would sponsor an invitational final event, named "The Schlitz Giant Slalom," to which the best Nastar ski racers of the winter would be invited - at no cost to the competitors.

The Original Eight

The program really began to take shape in the fall of 1968 when eight ski areas signed on to take part in the inaugural season. They represented a geographical cross section of American ski country: Alpental, Washington; Boyne Country, Michigan: Heavenly Valley, California; Mt. Snow, Vermont; Mt. Telemark, Wisconsin; Song Mountain, New York; Vail, Colorado; and Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. Jimmie Heuga, an American hero since winning a medal in the 1964 Olympics, signed on as the first national pacesetter. Gloria Chadwick, who had just left the USSA, took on the job of secretary/coordinator of Nastar.

Tom Corcoran organized and hosted the first Pacesetter Trials, which were held at Waterville Valley in early December. The eight areas sent their top pros to earn a pacesetter rating. At those trials, Manfred Krings of Mt. Snow equalled Heuga's zero handicap.

Computer specialist Charlie Gibson programmed the original Nastar handicap tables used by ski areas to determine gold, silver and bronze pin winners.

Bob Beattie

Only 2,297 persons took part in Nastar that first season. However, by the time of the March Finals at Heavenly Valley, word-of-mouth praise was attracting the interest of many more recreational skiers. For the second year of operation, plans called for expansion to 35 participating ski areas. This would mean increased costs, and thus a need for more sponsors to share the greater financial load. Nastar needed a salesman who could move easily in the atmosphere of top-level management.

Bob Beattie, who had recently resigned as head coach of the U.S. Alpine Team, was just such a man. He became Nastar commissioner, a position he would hold for 30 years.

By the start of the 1969-70 season, Beattie had sponsorship agreements with TWA, Bonne Bell and Hertz to ease the financial load on Schlitz and SKI Magazine (owner of Nastar). He and Gloria Chadwick had signed up 39 areas, and the program was really rolling.

Then and Now: Different Practices

The basic Nastar system has remained the same for 35 years. But a few practices in the early seasons may be surprising to modern racers, including:

No age divisions. Although the percentages needed to earn pins varied slightly from men to women, there were no age divisions whatsoever the first year.

That meant a 70-year-old racer had to ski just as fast as one who was 25 years old in order to win any kind of pin.

Nastar leaders discovered this was not very practical, and the format was soon changed. Adults were split into ten-year age divisions with varying handicaps needed to earn pins. The ten-year brackets would continue until 1999, when adult divisions started being split every five years.

A program for junior racers (originally sponsored by Pepsi Cola) was started in the early 1970s. Like the adults, there were several age divisions with varying handicaps needed to win pins.

Presentation of pins. In modern times, most ski areas give pins to winners at the bottom of the course at the time of the race. A much bigger production was made of the Nastar pin presentation process in the early years.

Racers were allowed to earn only one pin per year in each of the three (gold, silver, bronze) categories. Those pins were mailed to the winners at the end of the season, and their names were published in SKI Magazine.

In the program's second season (1969-70), SKI reported that 664 gold pins were awarded. The number grew to nearly 3,000 by 1972-73.

Changing Role

With Beattie and his World Wide Ski Corp. staff on board to manage the administration of the program, the role of Fry and SKI Magazine changed to one of editorial support.

And SKI has given plenty of publicity, running stories about Nastar very regularly.

"I have always believed that a special interest magazine like SKI should not only report journalistically," Fry said, "but should get actively involved in advancing programs which are good for the sport. I think that Nastar has more than fulfilled that role." The editorial support helped propel participation in the program to an even higher level than was dreamed by its pioneering founders in the 1960s.
By the end of the 1970s, Nastar would become the largest ski racing program in the world.

Editorial Note by Dranow

In 1998 NASTAR launches its online results website. Since then NASTAR has experienced a re-birth the surpasses its 1980's popularity with over 400,000 racers and millions of starts since 1999.

Join in the fun! Its out there
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Where's the SNOW!!!!

Well folks as I write this we are bone dry and the long range forcast is not very exciting. This year at this time we had already had 2 big storms and Solitude and Brighton were getting ready to open.

I am sorry to report that we have to put a hold on any camps for an undetermined amount of time until the snow issue is NOT an issue. We have a meeting in December to try and get some venues going but it is a tough road to hoe.

We've even secured the liability insurance to run our "Indie" Camps for a year anywhere in the US. It wasn't cheap.

That said, we will continue doing R & D and working on our DVD's until we can present some on-snow clinics. Most importantly both Tommy and I will be out racing NASTAR and MASTERS and using what we have both developed and learned over the past year. Should be interesting for all to see what kind of results we can muster on both circuits.

That's it for now from MSR Team - we will return, perhaps to the chagrin of a few
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