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Masters Racing?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
so after a full year of skiing and not racing, i am feeling the need to run gates again. i used to race for both my high school and college teams, but after graduating college; i figured my racing days were over.

a year later, i stumble upon the Masters Racing web page for New England. looks like it might be for me; but i was wondering a few things...

what is the average racers' skill lever? i was slightly above average when i raced GS in college, but no where near the top times ever. and i am just not good (yet) at SL. would i be in over my head?

speaking of GS vs. SL, can you choose which events/days you race? there's no way i could make more than 3/4 of their schedule; would that be a problem?

i'm planning on watching a race this year, maybe even trying the one day race trial they offer. just wondering what experiences others might have had?
post #2 of 6
Hi riverc0il,

since that is my 4th year racing on NE Masters circuit, I think I can answer your question....
Masters racing is the top level competition you can find for the adult racing. However, it is as much of a social event as it is a racing one. It is all about doing the best YOU can do and having fun doing it. No one will tell you that you do not belong here just because you were a few seconds slower, but rather offer you an advice how to catch up.
If you are concious about being "part of the crowd", you want to wear a speed suit for the race and preferably have different skis for GS and SL.
If you want to race GS only that is fine. Nine best races are counted towards the overall season standings, so you only have to finish half the races...

... why waste time watching, just do it!!! You can get a temporary WEEKEND (not one day) license, as described on the website...
... one advice: do not do the trial on Bromley/Stratton weekned - those are about the most challenging races and they draw a bigger crowd than usual, since alot of New York masters come over to participate.... however, if you do like the challenge that is the weekend.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
VK: your post is both informative and appreciated.

regarding being "part of the crowd," i have never been one to feel the need to be "part of the crowd" in the equipment sense. i do enjoy being "part of the group" and the social atmosphere is appealing.

but back to "part of the crowd," i hardly have the money or dedication to SL to go out and buy SL skies, my GS boards will get me by fine in SL (they have before). is it looked down upon to not have different skis? i say "looked down," which probably is not the way to put it, but you know what i mean... i would probably race SL occasionally, but GS is where my passion always was.

also, i don't currently have a speed suit. but if i got seriously involved would probably get one. again, as per above questions, is not having one generally "looked down" upon? i wouldn't be the laughing stock of the race if i simply shedded the jacket and raced in a sweater and ski pants while i tried it out?

the biggest problem i face as a poor recent college grad is money. i simply don't have the money for high priced equipment and can't afford to race every weekend (or heck, even doing a weekend requires an overnight which is pricey). so that's why i was wondering if just GS was okay, or not making all the races, or not being up to par with equipment.

thanks again, i will probably give it a shot this winter.
post #4 of 6
Hi rivercOil,

If you only want to run the GS races, that is fine. I have always been better at GS/SG, so I only go to 1 or 2 of the SL events per year. If you don't have a speed suit, don't worry, no one will think any less of you. Masters Racing is all about having fun and improving your skiing/racing skills. Yes, some of the top racers at the New England Masters are brutally competitive (ex. top college racers, former U.S. team members, ex. World Cuppers, etc.), but these people are more than willing to teach others the "tricks of the trade". I have never heard one of them make a bad comment about a beginner racer, no matter how bad they did. In fact, many of them will seek out new members, and offer words of encouragement. My advice to you would be to join the Masters, and go out and have some fun.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 07, 2002 09:43 PM: Message edited 1 time, by TJ ]</font>
post #5 of 6
I raced New England Masters the last four years (this year I moved West). I consistently brought up the rear of Class 3s, usually by a wide margin. When I started I didn't have a speed suit, and I was late getting shaped skis, so the year before last I was skiing SL on 201s and pretty much everyone else was on 170s. If anybody was going to be a laughing stock, it would be me. I never experienced the slightest attitude or discouragement or heard any negative comments about any racer. It is somewhat cliqueish - it's mostly a group of reticent yankees who have been racing together in some cases for 50 years and even for generations, so you might not instantly be part of the 'inner sanctum', but don't worry about being the laughing stock; there is no such thing. In fact, more than one of the respected old-timers, even a former winner of World Cup races, went out of their way to offer encourgement. (And our own VK is very helpful - be sure to introduce yourself to him.)

Also, racing modern SL courses on GS will be a huge disadvantage, particularly because as a Class 1 male you are going to have start numbers in the 150s, maybe the 190s, depending on turnout. One drawback to Masters is that because of the age and sex based start order, you've got a good 40 years before you'll see anything close to a fresh course. IMO, you'll be better off racing GS on SL skis if you only have one pair of race skis.

If you've got the racing itch, New England Masters is the best place in the country to scratch it, at least until you retire or work some alternative lifestyle and can train with the Park City masters group every Monday through Friday.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
thanks for your input guys! sounds more and more like Masters Racing is just what i am looking for to cure the racing itch. i'll be sure to try a temp weekend race membership this winter.

jim_s: i've seen the SL vs. GS only ski issue debated both ways. this summer, i just bought a pair of Volkl P40 Plats (193) which i feel in love with after demoing last year. so that's going to be it for a while unless i can find a quality SL ski for $200 or less (unlikely even used). my two years of college racing, i raced a Rossy 9X 9.9 (198) and i did fine for myself on the SL despite the GS styled ski (and that's a less versatile ski than the P40, imo). i think i'll do fine with a GS only pair of skis at least till i have the money to start building up a quivver.

for low start order, that's all good with me! i've never skiied a 'fresh' course and am used to getting my runs on a rutty course.
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