Thursday, December 16, 2004
For the past 23 years, the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club's Carl's Cup Town Challenge Race Series has provided a competitive outlet for skiers and snowboarders in the Yampa Valley.
Last year, the 11-race series drew 250 athletes to compete in slalom, giant slalom and super-G races during the winter.
"I think what is special about this race series is that it's the only opportunity for adults in our town to race in a FIS or World Cup-style event," race series director Heather DeVos said. "We don't stress the competition, but most people want to relate themselves to the other people in their own class."
For the first time this year, racers younger than 21 will be allowed to take part in the series, a move DeVos hopes will make races bigger and more diverse.
"Because this was a beer-sponsored event, we used to require all the racers to be at least 21," DeVos said. "But this year, we will hand out tickets to racers that are of legal drinking age when they register."
DeVos said the ski racing series will adopt a system similar to the one used in the mountain bike racing series.
The series will begin with the Tap House Kick Off Party from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday. The first race of the season, the Tap House giant slalom, will take place at Howelsen Hill at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Racers younger than 40 can choose to race in the cruiser class, which will include first-time racers and those with limited race experience. There also will be an expert class, for good skiers who have some experience, and an expert class for racers who have had race experience and want to compete against other high-level skiers.
There are also classes for racers ages 40, 50, 60 and older. Each class includes men's and women's divisions, as well as separate groups for alpine skiers, telemark skiers and snowboarders.
A new team format will be introduced this season to allow skiers to participate at a reduced cost. DeVos will provide a full explanation of the system at the kick off party.
--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org