By David Schissler – For many years my family was the importer of Head skis, Fischer skis, Raichle boots, and Tyrolia bindings. As such, we were a major sponsor of professional ski racing during its early years. Former US Ski Team coach and ABC Sports commentator Bob Beattie launched the tour in 1970. His influence drew sponsor money, the money drew talent such as Hansi Hinterseer, Otto Tschudi, Andre Arnold, Phil and Steve Mahre, Spider Sabich, Terry and Tyler Palmer, Henri Duvillard, Edwin Halsnes and many more. Then one day in 1982, I believe it was at Hunter Mountain, NY, there was a conflict between competitors and sponsors as to the safety of the course that day. The racers wanted to postpone the event. The sponsors did not. Emotions escalated, the racers boycotted, the race was cancelled, and the tour died.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO RUN THE Pro Ski Challenge at Sunday River COURSE THIS PAST WEEKEND? TAKE A LOOK…Still getting everything together from this weekend! What an amazing experience for the sponsors, spectators, staff, and athletes. We all came together and fought through some really tough conditions to have an epic event. Here is the first of much content to come! Thanks Ryan Siegle for the clip. Check him out on instagram at @rc.s. And how epic was the course that Sunday River built?Greenhead Lobster LLC Tito's Handmade Vodka SidelineSwap
Posted by World Pro Ski Tour on Tuesday, March 14, 2017
The World Pro Ski Tour (WPST) has capitalized on its’ rebirth last season at Sunday River. They’ve recently announced a slate of events for the 2017-2018 season. The WPST features the exciting, spectator friendly “dual” format of alpine ski racing. Two competitors race side-by-side down a hybrid GS/SL course with two jumps. This format will make its debut in the 2018 Winter Olympics this coming February!
A World Pro Ski Tour race provides a unique opportunity for you to spice up your winter. They draw elite competitors from Olympic, World Cup, and top NCAA teams. Last year’s event at Sunday River drew David Chodounsky, Olympian, 5x US National Champion, Tim Jitloff, 2x Olympian, 7x US National Champion, Mark Engel, NCAA Individual Champion, 2nd in the USA in Slalom, Robby Kelley, US National Champion, 3rd in the USA in Slalom and Gabriel Rivas, NCAA Champion, European Cup Dual Champion. The quality of the competition and the dual format create an electric environment. Events conveniently take place close to the base area, which offers an improved spectator experience for foot traffic and skiers alike. Sponsors also ensure spectators have a very good time by making liberal amounts of their products available on a comp basis.
“From a spectator’s perspective WPST delivers an amazingly talented pool of athletes and a ski race that any level of viewer can follow and enjoy. From a business perspective WPST did a great job creating an environment where we could expose Tito’s Handmade Vodka to a lot of new consumers in a fun and festive environment. Our brand is all about entrepreneurial spirit and following your dreams in doing what you truly love to do. We were thrilled to be a part of this event and help these skiers do what they love to do!” -Tim Burke, New England Division Manager, Tito’s.
A typical race weekend goes like this. Athletes and sponsors arrive at the resort on Thursday for a VIP reception. On Friday the action begins. The field of athletes compete to be one of the 32 racers who qualify for the weekend’s events. On Saturday the 32 fastest athletes compete side-by-side in a single-elimination format which ultimately produces a winner. The event ends with the awarding of $15,000 in prize money.
Jan 25-27 Squaw Valley, CA
FEB. 8-10 Waterville Valley, NH
MAR.29-31 Sunday River, ME