Details for Loon GS

Sunday January 22, 2017

First off our goal for this weekend is to have fun!  This is a great opportunity for the kids to experience a different mountain and a participate in a what is always a well run race.  As parents our job on race days is to stay relaxed and focus on the experience and not the result.  So avoid major pep talks on line and tactics during the ride over and just encourage your child to have fun and ski fast!  Most importantly arrive earlier than you think to give yourself plenty of time to get ready and relax.  Ski racing is the ultimate hurry up and wait sport.

DETAILS: You are responsible for getting your child to and from the race and for picking up their bib at registration.  Coaches will take the kids up for course inspection and will get them to the start (no parent helpers please).  Coaches will remain at the start until all our racers have gone and then will bring coats and pants down if kids stripped to GS suits.  U10 Girls go first followed by U10 boys.  After your child completes their run encourage them to stay near the finish and cheer on their teammates.  Once the U10’s are done we will grab some quick food and head out for a couple free runs and then head up for course inspection and the start of the 2nd run.  After the 2nd run we will grab food and then free ski a bit, however you are welcome to leave anytime after the 2nd run.

If your child plans on racing in a GS suit please write your name inside coat and pants and on skis and poles if you have not done so already.  Looks like it will be warmish but they should still start out with coat and pants over their suit.  No GS suit? no problem, it is really just for looks at this age.

Registration/Bib Pickup: 7:30am – 8:30am in the Phillip T Gravnick Competition Center. Racers will be required to show to show a valid USSA Competitors  Membership Card.

Race Course: Upper Rumrunner/Coolidge Street


8:15am Meet coaches on snow ready to ski in front of Gov. Adams Lodge

8:35-9:10am Course Inspection with coaches

9:30am First Woman Racer

Inspection time and start time for second run to be announced prior to the conclusion of the second run. Second run start order: Reverse order within class (this may change)

Awards: Awards for top 5 girls and boys of each class. U10, U12, and U14. Ceremony begins 30 minutes after the conclusion of the race.

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Race Day 101

The kids really looked good the past two weekends in training and I am sure everyone is fired up about our first race at Loon this.  Before I share the details for this weekends races I wanted to share the following Race Day summary that Mark Schiffman put together a few years ago.  Please take five minutes to read as it is full of very useful information and advice.

A Test Against the Clock

By the numbers the time actually spent racing is less than 2/10ths of 1% of the time spent skiing and training, yet is one of the most memorable parts of the season. The focus of the Ford Sayre Program is on having fun and developing skiing fundamentals. Races are great learning tool as they provide challenges, opportunities to test oneself, and encouragement to improve.

Getting There

Parents (or someone designated by the parent) are responsible for transportation to the ski area and back home after the awards at the end of the day. Plan on arriving by 8 a.m. for a 10am start and 7:30am for 9:30 start. When in doubt, get there a little earlier. It will save some stress all around.


When you arrive at the ski area you will need to pick up your racers bib at registration (ask a coach or a parent whose kid has a bib if you cant find it). Always bring a copy of your USSA (print off from website) to pick up the race bib.

Meet the Coaches

Racers should next meet their coaches at the appointed time (usually 8, or 8:30) for warm-up and course inspection.  Coaches will be responsible for supervision of the racers during course inspections and until completion of the racer’s run. Though depending on the start time we may encourage racers to take some free runs on their own. Coaches will be at the start, and when possible along the course and at the finish.

Two Race Runs

Typically, there will be one race run in the morning and one in the afternoon. In most cases the course will be reset between runs. Once the racer has finished his or her first race run the parent (or designee) is responsible for the racer until course inspection for the second run. Grab a snack or lunch, then find some friends, go ski and explore the mountain. The second run starts roughly an hour after the last racer completes the first run, usually at 12:30 or 1 p.m.  We will try to get on the lift for inspection at least 45 minutes before the start of the second run.  This means parents will have to make sure kids eat lunch soon after their first run, and keep an eye on them during this time. A smart, simple rule is to never take the race bib off from around your neck. That way it can’t get left on a table or in the bathroom.

Relax and Ski

For coaches, the focus on race day is mostly on getting the racers to relax and transfer the skills they have practiced day-after-day to a more challenging arena. Almost all kids are nervous on race days. They turn to parents for encouragement and support. Be positive, and try to emphasize the effort, not the outcome.  By seeing you demonstrate a positive, low anxiety, relaxed approach to ski racing, your child will be encouraged to keep learning and improving. Even though well intentioned, there is nothing more counter-productive than having parents coach their child during a race.  It is a sure way to distract the racer, and make him or her more nervous than they already are.  A simple “good luck, go fast and have fun,” proves to be the most effective approach.

Keeping track of clothing and equipment

If you have not yet written your name on ALL of your child’s equipment and clothing, DO IT NOW! It is really easy to grab the wrong skis at a race. If your skis have your name written in large letters close to the tip, this will cut down on the likelihood of mistakes.

Most racers will shed clothing at the start of a race for aerodynamic or at least psychological advantage. First, it’s important that kids don’t do this until just before the start. Staying warm is more important than aerodynamics when it comes to performance. Whenever possible coaches or parents will take these coats and warm-ups down to the finish or into the lodge. To make sure your child finishes the day with everything she started with, follow these simple rules. 1) Write your child’s name, phone number and Ford Sayre on everything. 2) Tell your child to make sure he/she puts anything he/ she takes off in the team bag, or hands it to a coach. 3) Make sure your racer claims all of his/her clothes promptly once the bag or gear comes down.

End of the Day

At the completion of the second run, the parent is again responsible for the child. Turn in race bib(s) and get back USSA or bib deposit. This is a great time to go take a few runs and explore the ski area before the awards, which are typically held one (1) hour after the conclusion of the race. We encourage everyone to attend the awards ceremonies, to show good sportsmanship, as well as support for the team and event organizers.

When it comes to racing, the coaches emphasize that you can control your effort, but not the results. In most ski races at least 95% of all participants at a race do not win, but by giving their all, every race becomes an accomplishment. After a run coaches ask the skiers how they skied, not what their time or place was. However understanding that most of the time they will not win the race is one of the most important lessons of ski racing for kids to learn. To be successful kids rely on their parents to let them know the world is still okay if they don’t reach their goals for a specific day, and on their coaches to remind them that that every race is a new opportunity to succeed.

Congratulate Your Racer

No matter what happened, no matter the result, the coaches always see something that each child has accomplished that day, don’t forget to let your child know all the good things that you saw. Even if they don’t acknowledge it, they’ll appreciate it . . . greatly!

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Race Schedule Update

Hi All, we have decided to make a change to our race schedule for this season.  We had originally suggested an optional race on 1/15 at Gunstock but for a number of reason we are not going to go to that race (the U12/14 team is not going either).  We are instead going to go to Loon on 1/22 for an open GS race.  Its a good hill and closer than Gunstock and should be fun.  This race is still optional (as are all races) but I would encourage all 2nd year U10’s to go and anyone else who is excited about attending a “real” race.  So if you signed up for Gunstock on the 15th you can notify the race administrator that you want to pull your child from the race and they will refund your registration.

If your child does not want to race or you have a conflict with an older child racing at the Skinner Cup at Sunapee on the 22nd don’t worry about not going.  All of these changes are reflected on the U10 Calendar.  Below is a summary of the USSA races we plan to attend and that you should sign up for.  Please let me know your plans for Loon.

1/22 – GS at Loon

1/28 – U10 Kombi at Sunapee

3/19 – Cote Open at Ragged

3/25 – T-shirt race at Sunapee

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U10 Updates

Hi All, we have had a total of 9 days on snow and the kids have already started show significant improvements in both skill and confidence.  The soft fresh snow allowed us to get off the groomed runs and work on bumps and jumps which is one of the best drills for stance, balance, and pole plants.  With the rain followed by cold air forecasted for this week it will be important for everyone to have sharp edges as we will begin gate training this Sunday.  I will try again to hold a brief tuning clinic this Saturday at noon.  Plan to meet me at the top of the stairs inside the Skiway and we can then head over to the race shack.

Looking ahead we will have our first race on January 28th at Sunapee so now is a good time to sign up if you have not done so already.  Suicide 6 is holding their Masters of the Mountain on the 28th as well which is a bummer because we always love going to this event.  The DEVO crew will be going to Suicide 6 so for those of you who have kids in both programs I understand if its easier to have your U10 compete at S6 but my preference is to have them race at Sunapee in the U10 only race.  Please let me know if your child will go to S6 and not Sunapee.

You will need USSA membership for the Sunapee race.  Check out my earlier blog post on race sign up for more details.  Other USSA races you can sign up for are the Cote Open at Ragged and the T-Shirt Race at Sunapee, both are in March.


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Christmas Camp Schedule

Nothing like kicking off the season with a powder day!  I also think the U10’s set a new record for the number of airheads consumed in one day.  Unfortunately the rain and then cold that followed will make things a little firmer as we head into our holiday break.  Below is our schedule for the next week or so which can also be found on the U10 google calendar.  I am going to offer a quick tuning clinic on Monday at noon for those you are interested.  Meet me outside in front of the lodge and we will go over to the “race shack”.

Friday Dec 23rd – Optional Supervised Free Ski 9am-1pm.  I was able to put together a skeleton crew of coaches for this Friday to give the kids another day to get out and make some turns and for you to get your last minute shopping done.

Saturday and Sunday (24th and 25th) – OFF Merry Christmas

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (26th-28th) – Training 9am-1pm

Thursday and Friday (29th and 30th) – OFF

Saturday Dec 31st – Training 9am-1pm

Sunday Jan 1st – OFF

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Stowe this Sunday!

Hi All, sorry for the wait in regards to our plans for this weekend. The Skiway plans to open next weekend so for this Sunday we were able to put together a group rate for Stowe along with the U12 and U14 team.  They have received a bunch of snow over the past week and are reporting 60 trails open.  We will have 3-4 coaches there and would like to free ski with the kids however if your child has not yet skied this winter or is new to Ford Sayre I would ask that you consider either waiting until next weekend at the Skiway or plan to tag along with us.  Last year we had a number of first day issues regarding equipment and ability and since we will be at a big mountain it is much more challenging in terms of skiing in a group and quickly getting back to the base if there is an issue.  Thanks for your understanding.

 For those who choose to join us we’ll meet in the Mansfield Lodge (forerunner quad side) at 8:30am for ticket distribution, and plan to be on snow around 9am and will ski until around 2pm but the tickets are good for the full day. 

Tickets for Sunday need to be purchased in advance on the Ford Sayre online store by 6pm on Friday (link below).


Cost is $35 for 12 & Under, $47.50 for 13 & Older.

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Memberships and Races

Looking ahead to the ski season and racing I wanted to share some important details.

All athletes need to get a USSA (United States Ski and Snowboard Association) membership to be able to participate in a number of our scheduled races.  Go to and click on membership to get started.

Races that we plan to attend and how to register are as follows.  NHARA is the New Hampshire Alpine Racing Association and is the governing body for all NH races and all of the USSA sanctioned races and information on how to register can be found on their website at  There is a new online option (not yet operational) for many races or you can do it the old fashioned way by mail.  It is not super intuitive on the website so be patient and read the instructions closely and let me know if you get stuck.

  1. GS at Gunstock on Jan 15th – USSA race.  This race is only recommended for returning U10’s who are experienced racers.  If your child was in DEVO last year or is hesitant about racing please do not take them this race.  We will have gate training at the Skiway for everyone not going which I expect to be at least 50%.  Sign up via instructions on
  2. U10 Kombi at Sunapee on Jan 28th.  USSA race.  I consider this to be the first official race for everyone on the U10 team.  Signup via NHARA.
  3. Suicide 6 Masters of the Mountain date TBD – Non USSA race.  No advance registration I will send in team roster.
  4. Cote Open March 19th at Ragged Mt – USSA Race. Registration via NHARA website
  5. T-shirt race March 25th at Sunapee – USSA Race. Registration via NHARA website

In addition we will likely have additional non USSA races or race like events at the Skiway and Whaleback and I will post those dates as soon as we nail them down.  For all of you who are new to this and have questions please feel free to send me an email at or ask any of the coaches at dryland this weekend.

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