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NASTAR Rigs the Michigan Pacesetter Trials - Page 2

post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakine View Post

If all resorts move to make their local NASTAR courses like the Nationals courses like Taos has done there won't be any more entry level folks trying it.
Lonestar at Taos is steeper and longer than ANY hill in the Midwest.

Here is my new year's prediction...
1.  NASTAR will start catering to the few hundred real ski racers that want to ski race on mini FIS courses aand compare themselves to Olympic has beens.
2.  Entry level racers will be intimidated by these courses and won't ski them.
3.  NASTAR will die for lack of participation fees and sponsership as participation declines.

Michigan is NASTAR's biggest market and I am hearing from many folks that they don't want to play this bait and switch game any longer.

Not that I really care.
My biggest ski thrills these days comes from skiing with my grandkids.

Lonestar steep? We have our J5 kids (9-10 year olds) here in New England free skiing, gate training, and competing on stuff way steeper than Lonestar. Not to mention a heck of a lot icier too. Injuries in junior race programs here are relatively rare, so I don't think a NASTAR course on Lonestar is going to be a "race of death"

I can't speak about the midwest, but I doubt any mountains in New England are going to move their NASTAR courses to anything steeper than they already are. To much trouble setting up a "real" GS for public use, with full length netting and triple netting on fall away zones. 
post #32 of 38
I hope the five didn't yuck it up and place AJ in a bad spot after you beat him, having some "sport" at his expense, well I doubt if you did something this dumb, but the question begged to be asked, then you got what you deserved.

As I indicated, I don't think you would do that sooooooo .... it sounds like someone in management needs to have more than their boots aligned.  Damned dumb waste of money and time.

NASTAR could spend more time on Quality Control and some course "ensurance standards" .... like a periodic run by the or a pacesetter as conditions change .... and the change here in the SE is like night and day ice at 8 and slush by 11 .... yech ... why bother to run ???

Not to mention that the guy who is signed off as the pacesetter doesn't even work there anymore .... and a younger and much faster college racer took his place.... or a slower high school kid on others.

My kid caught them handing out golds cause these fine fellows were allowed to skip a gate.

Overall, I would prefer NASTAR to be there ..... warts and all ..... it is, what it is ... and, it is one of the mechanisms that may save racing.  Alpine/Downhill events will be "up" there with luge pretty soon the way things are going.

It should never be allowed to frighten folks away from racing .... it should be giving them a feel and affinity for it even if they only run a set or two one sunny afternoon .... and come away with a smile and sense of accomplishment.

Don't the PSIA folks have to run at least a silver or something ????? 

Any of PSIAers need to buy a pin .... meet me behind the old shed and bring cash money.  I don't take livestock anymore.

post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post

...
Don't the PSIA folks have to run at least a silver or something ????? 

Any of PSIAers need to buy a pin .... meet me behind the old shed and bring cash money.  I don't take livestock anymore.


 

Pin? We don't need no stinking pins!
post #34 of 38
Isn't this turning into the same discussion as the Nat'ls course sets discussion over the last couple of years?  Dakine, based on your comments I've gotta ask - have you skied a Masters or FIS race?  Even coming from a mountain where the usual handicaps are closer to Nat'ls handicaps, the course is nothing close to what I've seen on Masters courses or FIS races I've worked.  I mean, I don't think you can make a comparison between NASTAR and Masters (or certainly not FIS) courses once you have been on them, right?  It makes a great sound bite and fires people up, but it's nowhere near realistic.
post #35 of 38
I think Dakine makes some excellent points, and his experience of the windsurfing boom/bust, which I share, should be a cautionary tale.

As long as NASTAR courses are routinely set on easy trails, it makes no sense at all for the trials OR the Nationals to be set on significantly more challenging terrain. Trials/nationals course should be much longer, and should feature varied terrain, rhythm and turn shape/offset, but that's as far as it makes any sense to go. It's true that Nationals/trials then become a waxing and maybe even a skating contest, but those are the guys who have those skills and that gear. On the shorter local courses the wax will be far less important, which is as it should be.
post #36 of 38
I'll reiterate and expand on what colosiker said: no course used by NASTAR, even at Nationals and the Open races, resembles a FIS course of any level.  Not a one.  Nada.  Comparing NASTAR hills to FIS hills shows a fleeting knowledge of real, honest, FIS homologated racing hills (at least those in New England and the west).  And I needn't go into the difference in course prep between higher-level USSA and FIS races via-a-vis NASTAR - it's a huge difference (e.g. hardness of snow).

I think that it's great that Michigan's NASTAR pacesetters were sized up on a hill that more closely resembles the hills used in Steamboat, Park City and Winter Park for NASTAR National Championships.  It provides a proper measurement from which to set a resort-level handicap.

I think that resorts moved their NASTAR courses to easier trails over the past two decades for two reasons: attracting more customers and liability.  As an example, Park City used to hold their NASTAR races on the NASTAR run (now the Kings Crown Terrain Park) or the Clementine run (now part of the Eagle Race Arena, the lower stretch of CB's Run), both solid blue runs on the lower mountain.  Since the construction of both venues, PCMR moved their NASTAR course to Blanche, an almost tabletop-flat green run off the Payday lift.  While they never had problems attracting participants on the old runs, the new run has almost zero barrier to entry for even the most timid, and speeds on the course are low, meaning little-to-no need to install B-netting next to the trees.

The courses at Loon, Vail and Aspen Mountain are similar: on less challenging terrain. very non-threatening.  The NASTAR course at Deer Valley (Race Course trail on Bald Mountain) doubles as their race course for celebrity pro-am events (Deer Valley's FIS race trails are Big Stick and Know You Don't on Bald Eagle Mountain, two steep pistes).  That Taos has moved toward a steeper venue is, to me, a step in the right direction.  While NASTAR is, by no means, a rookie league for any USSA racing, it should present some challenge to its participants beyond gliding skills and ski prep.

But does it serve a purpose?  Of course!  It's a wonderful, national, public racing league - and there's nothing wrong with that.  Pacesetters grousing over their handicaps are crying for all the wrong reasons.

(As an aside, I find it somewhat funny that AJ Kitt is the standard bearer for pacesetting trials.  He is now a decade removed from competitive FIS World Cup racing, and was never a great GS skier in his prime.  If he were to race against Bode, Ligety, Jitloff or Ford these days, he'd likely be well off their pace - or off the pace of Rahlves, at that, given that Daron was a great GS skier at the end of his career.)
post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by slider View Post

I ran a NASTAR course last week. It was fun,a gliding course. Beat the pace-setter by over a second.

How much time elapsed between the pace setter's run and yours?  In other words, were the course conditions a bit different?
post #38 of 38
About an hour later than the pacesetter ran. So no not much difference. Next time I'm going switch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post




How much time elapsed between the pace setter's run and yours?  In other words, were the course conditions a bit different?
 
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