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Anybody do the Nashoba or Wachusett Adult Race League?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So every year since I have moved to MA I start wishing I had signed up for one of these. I work in a rotation for the trial court as a law clerk and I never know where I will be until a few weeks before, therefore I never get organized enough to sign up. I found out I will be on the North Shore and now I wish I had gotten involved . . . I'm only 26 and would love to keep up my racing but it is such a pain in the a$$ to organize!

I was wondering who participates on this board and what there experiences have been? Is it worth it? As much as I wish I was doing one, the rules seem so strict and they seem so expensive. Back in NY where I grew up you could just show up when you wanted and race as an individual for beer league. I was just looking at the Nashoba rules and it just seems so rigid. Plus, I can't imagine the course could be more than 20 seconds at Nashoba? What exactly is "modified GS"? haha

Does anyone know of any racing that is competitive but less structured? I would love to do some racing but finding 3 other people to drop 800 dollars and commit for the whole winter is no easy task.
post #2 of 17
I've participated in the Nashoba league the past couple years. The BSSC always reserves a 30 or so spots on Tuesday evenings. BSSC takes care of pairing up the teams, etc. They always fill up sometime in November, but you can tell them at sign-up time that you'll probably won't be making all the evenings, and they'll assign you a team accordingly.

The fastest I've ever heard of somebody making it through the Nashoba course is 22 or 23 seconds, and is surprisingly steep for a 250 foot high hill in the middle section. There are some very, very good racers who compete there.

As for the course. They race two people simultaneously; one on the red course, one on the blue course. You race each course once. Points are awarded to your team depending on whether or not you improved your handicap from the last week, whether or not you won, etc. The teams with the most points participate in a season-end playoff. The better of your two times for the week determines your starting position for the next week's race.

They use GS-style panel gates, but slalom skis rule. If you can get a real GS ski through their course, you have some serious skill. There's not a whole lot of "offset" to the gates. It's pretty much straight-down-the-hill. They just don't have the room for anything resembling a real GS course.

About 150 people participate each night; it takes about two hours to get everybody through both courses. If it's warm out, the ruts get pretty crazy. Afterwards, most people head to the base lodge restaurant, toss back some beer, watch the video of the night's racing, and try to win various stuff in the nightly raffle.

I'm a terrible racer , but I enjoy it. I've never done the Wachusett league. I know where Wachusett's course is held -- it's somewhat less pitch then Nashoba's course. Wachusett has the real estate to run a "semi-real" GS course, so apparently "real" GS skis are usefull there. Again, that's just what I've heard (second-hand knowledge); hopefully somebody else will chime in with some more details.

Hope that helps a bit!
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Kevin, that helps alot actually! Thanks for the info. Maybe I will contact BSSC and see what I can weasel my way into.

If I am lucky enough to sneak into a spot . . . I am curious about the skis. Does anyone ski on GS cheater skis. I have 180 Fischer RC's that I would normally use. I also have a beat up pair of P60 slaloms but they aren't mounted.

I would think that would get ugly with a tight straight course and double panel gates. Anyone trying to shin the double panels? I would and probably end up with my inside armed ripped off
post #4 of 17
I'm sure you could find somebody using just about every type of ski imaginable. I've seen several people on Volkl 5* type skis.

There's a number of people who will plow through each and every gate on the course. Even I've come close enough to hit the gates on occassion. Some people will hook an arm or a ski tip and go down in spectacular fashion. There's an end-of-season awards ceremony for a variety of things, but the "best crash" award is the coveted one. If you're going down, then you might as well go down in style. One individual (not me !) once managed to crash into all the timing equipment at the bottom, sending all of that stuff flying.

If you call BSSC to see if you can still weasel into a spot, then hurry up! The season theoretically begins on January 2nd (assuming there's enough snow). The guy you need to talk to is Randy Friedman at BSSC.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
I'm sure you could find somebody using just about every type of ski imaginable. I've seen several people on Volkl 5* type skis.
I'm curious about your comment about Volkl 5*s in the races. That's what I'm skiing on, and I'm beginning in the Wachusett Night League this season. Is there something inadvisable about using those skis in a tight GS course?
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
I know where Wachusett's course is held -- it's somewhat less pitch then Nashoba's course. Wachusett has the real estate to run a "semi-real" GS course, so apparently "real" GS skis are usefull there. Again, that's just what I've heard (second-hand knowledge); hopefully somebody else will chime in with some more details.

Hope that helps a bit!

I'm not sure what the Wachusset Beer League course is, but the GS course that they used for state championships a few years ago started at the top of Upper Smith Walton, and was very much a real GS course. I would not dream of using SL skis on a course like that.


Quote:
I would think that would get ugly with a tight straight course and double panel gates. Anyone trying to shin the double panels? I would and probably end up with my inside armed ripped off
I once shinned a double panel in a GS race, although I wouldn't exactly call it intentional. There's an ugly mark on my GS suit as evidence of it. As long as you get your inside arm WAAAAY across your body, you'll be fine. Your GS suit or pants won't be in great shape, though. (Not to mention the bruises)
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
I'm curious about your comment about Volkl 5*s in the races. That's what I'm skiing on, and I'm beginning in the Wachusett Night League this season. Is there something inadvisable about using those skis in a tight GS course?
I had trouble with 5*'s in Nashoba's course. I just couldn't get a good clean carve going as the gates were just too close. Too much steering / skidding. I could tighten the arc through some extreme outside ski pressure, but it was really hard to do on icy tracks. I use slalom skis now with a much tighter natural turn radius. My times still suck , but I feel I'm skiing the course a lot cleaner then I was before.

Again, from what I've heard, the Wachusett and Nashoba course sets are much different. The "ideal ski" for the two are probably different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doublediamond223 View Post
I'm not sure what the Wachusset Beer League course is, but the GS course that they used for state championships a few years ago started at the top of Upper Smith Walton, and was very much a real GS course. I would not dream of using SL skis on a course like that.
I think the Smith Walton trail is used for Wachusett's "real" races and for their annual "Great Race". I've heard that the night-league races are held where the NASTAR course is, on the lower portion of Challenger. I can't imagine beer league races down Smith Walton. That would be some serious carnage.
post #8 of 17
Nashoba:
- I used to coach a college team that would train SL at No-snow-ba one slope over from the beer league.
- As others have already described it, basically an open SL course with little offset, but set with GS panels.
- Top is stunningly flat, then upper-intermediate pitch, and flat again.
- Total vertical for the ski area is something like 240' and the course runs pretty much the entire hill.
- Rules are very complicated, and have something-or-other to do with improving over the course of the year.

Wachusett:
- This is my 6th year in the beer league (i.e., ever since I quit coaching).
- Course is true GS set with true GS speeds (although on the moderate side).
- Course starts out with a pretty decent start ramp to gain speed, then flat, then moderate pitch, then truly flat, then moderate pitch.
- Typical time for a decent racer is around 30 seconds.
- Results system is essentially geared to NASTAR medals.
- Can sign up for Mo, Tu, We, or Th nights.
- Each night can take your two runs (one of each course) anytime between around 6:00 and 8:00.
- Although the two courses run against each other simultaneously, there's actually no head-to-head element of the results.
- Season pass is $189 (any nights plus weekday days) and race fee is something like $89.
- They can usually find a team for you that has an extra spot.
- Top 30 teams qualify for the "Great Race" in March that is on the full mtn (i.e., almost 1k vert). The Ralph Crowley Classic on a March Friday is another chance to race a gs course on the full mtn (open to anyone).
post #9 of 17
This is my second season @ Wa. I never raced before, but I love this stuff. Got talked into it by friends who have never raced either. Of the six of us, one is a ski academy grad...the rest of us are novices.

I race on Volkl Superstar Supersports. I almost cracked a Silver medal last year...came within hundredths. So I figure for a no-skills wanna-be racer like me...I'm doing well.

Racing has made a huge difference in my skiing.
post #10 of 17
I'm doing Wednesday nights at WaWa this year for the first time. It's fun, very low pressure, and the apres ski provides great commaraderie. The course is truly non-scary. It's too too flat in the middle to provide any fear of flying. I even won a Tshirt in the after-racde give-aways (which I gave away.)

My main purpose for doing this is to learn to ski better, and meet people who love to ski. Racing will do the trick. Love the lodge, too. Wachusett has a great set-up for eating and liquifying after you are off the slopes.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback guys. I emailed BSSC about Nashoba and I guess I am on a wait list, who knows. I don't I will ever get to join a team but with this weather I can't image a place like Nashoba can even hold the races? Is there any snow at all there?
post #12 of 17
One more thing at Wa. Normally on Saturday they have a public NASTAR course set up from about 9 AM or so til about 1:30 PM. Single skier instead of dual but the same type of course as JS describes. You show up, pay $5, give them your number (or sign up) and you can race two runs. I think additional runs can also be added for less than $2.50 a run.

This year, they haven't done it yet as they just haven't had the snow. Maybe later in the season. It's a good opportunity for someone who isn't on a team to try some gates, get a time, and maybe a medal.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kestner9 View Post
Thanks for the feedback guys. I emailed BSSC about Nashoba and I guess I am on a wait list, who knows. I don't I will ever get to join a team but with this weather I can't image a place like Nashoba can even hold the races? Is there any snow at all there?
Nashoba is currently closed, so the start of race season has been pushed to at least January 16th. Adult Team Racing at Nashoba takes nine weeks to complete (seven regular races, the BSSC-only week and the playoff week), so I don't know how they're going to actually hold all of them, as the full schedule would have them going until mid / late March at this rate.
post #14 of 17
Just a very minor clarification: I think [though admittedly am not absolutely sure] that when Wachusett runs public NASTAR, they use a lower start shack than for the night league.
This drastically decreases the speed heading into the first pitch, which actually makes it even more well-suited to first-timers. (However, for experienced racers, it makes the course less interesting/challenging.)
post #15 of 17
That wachusett nastar course is awful, I'm sorry. It is flat, and at one point they actually have a GS flush, which is bizarre. Racing on a course like that will not teach you anything about real racing.
post #16 of 17
It is a really easy course, but I think it is nevertheless a real race course, as all the best racers use full-on GS race gear (i.e., plug boots and FIS-legal skis), with their differentials over slower racers not all that much less than on a USSA Master's gs course.
post #17 of 17
For anybody near the border of NH, Crotched Mtn. is starting a Thursday league. It starts this coming Thursday, the 18th.

You need to get a team together.

ST
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