A â€œSlipStickâ€ Comedic Day of Waxing at The Banknorth Eastern Champs Pursuit — Maine Winter Sport Center’s Osgood and Whitcomb prevail.
March 13 (Rumford, ME): Fresh snow and sun in March means a great day of spring skiing, right? Not necessarily. Ask the competitors in Sunday’s concluding race of the Banknorth Eastern Championships at Black Mountain inf Rumford, ME – the women’s 7.5km classic +7.5km freestyle pursuit race and the men’s 10km CL+10km FS pursuit. Imagine racing with 5 inches of snow stuck to your ski, forcing you to run up and down the hills. Or the opposite nightmare, having no kick whatsoever with which to propel yourself uphill. Suddenly it turns from a race to a survival slog. Such was the case for many of the intrepid Pursuit participants, as they made their way around the 2.5km loops. Cries of â€œhallelujah!â€ were heard from many, as they came into the transition zone, took off their classic skis and poles, put on their skating skis and headed off on their laps of the 2.5km skate course.
In the women’s pursuit, yesterday’s classic winner, Anna McLoon, dropped out, victim of the 4-inches of snow that stuck to her kick wax, forcing her to walk, nay, trip down the hills. This opened the way for her Maine Winter Sport Center teammate, Kate Whitcomb (Cummington, MA) to make the best use of her no-wax Rossignol skis. Whitcomb skied the first 7.5km in 24:23, putting almost three minutes on Ford Sayre’s Dorcas Wonsavage, and she went on to win by two minutes. Wonsavage, who, like many of the other competitors, hobbled and wobbled through the classic laps with high heels of snow, got help from John and Danny Brodhead from Craftsbury, VT, who let her ski over their skis and scrape off the snow on her own skis each lap. Starting the skate leg almost three minutes behind Whitcomb, Wonsavage skied her way to second place overall, passing Trina Hosmer (Putney Ski Club/Amherst, MA) 400meters from the finish seconds. Three of the top four women — Whitcomb, Hosmer, and 4th place Carole Clermont (Burke, VT) used their no-wax skis.
The Maine Winter Sport Center's boys-in-blue had the wax dialed. Brayton Osgood (Putney, VT) and Colin Rodgers (Readfield, ME)) finished one-two, over two minutes ahead of the â€˜double Nick-lesâ€ Nick Mahood (Rossignol/Woodstock, VT) and Nick Trautz (Alpina/Cabot, VT). Meanwhile, sympathetic spectators stood watching the rest of the competitors, offering wax for those who were slipping, or placing their skis across the track for the others to ski over, to remove obstreperous clumps of saturated powder snow sticking to their kick wax. After the race Mahood said he couldn’t have done it without his no-wax skis. The overall consensus, despite the waxing conditions, was that the 2.5km classic and freestyle loops designed by the Chisholm Ski Club were terrific fun, providing constant entertainment for the spectators and keeping the racers motivated throughout the race.
The Overall Banknorth Championship titles were awarded to the competitors who had the best combined times in the weekend’s three events. Maine Winter Sport Center’s Kate Whitcomb and Brayton Osgood took top honors. L.L. Bean contributed $100, $75 and $50 gift certificates to the top three.
Overall Banknorth Championship title
1. Kate Whitcomb (third 5km CL, first relay, first pursuit) – $100LL Bean Gift Certificate
2. Dorcas Wonsavage (second 5km CL, second relay, second pursuit — $75 LLBean Gift Certificate
3. Anna McCloon (first 5km CL, first relay, DNF pursuit) —$50 LLBean Gift Certificate
1.Brayton Osgood (first 10km CL, first relay, third pursuit) – $100 LLBean Gift Certificate
2. Steve Scott (fourth, 10km CL, third relay, 5th pursuit) – $75 LLBean Gift Certificate
3. Nick Trautz (second, 10km CL, 7th relay, 4th pursuit) – $50 LLBean Gift Certificate
For the first overall in their age class, L.L. Bean provided boat totes, embroidered with the event name to the winners, and second place finishers received a Banknorth/NENSA hat by VOMax. (see www.NENSA.net > Results). The winner of the raffle for $400, donated by Banknorth, was MWSC’s Brandy Stewart (Caribou, ME) and the winner of the raffle for the L.L. Bean parka was Maine Nordic Ski Club’s Chris Dorion (Orono, ME)
These were also the final events of the Banknorth Eastern Cup Series. L.L. Bean donated a $300 gift certificate to the overall mens and womens winner, Nick Trautz (Alpina-Madshus, Cabot, VT) and Dorcas Wonsavage (Ford Sayre, Etna, NH).
Overall Eastern Cup Title
Dorcas Wonsavage — Ford Sayre Ski Club/ Etna, NH – $300 LL Bean Gift Certificate
Runner Up — Alice Nelson — Ford Sayre Ski Club/Hanover, NH
Winner – Nick Trautz — Alpina-Madshus/Cabot, VT – $300 LLBean Gift Certificate
Runner-up – Chris Mallory — UNH/Colchester, VT
The final event on the Banknorth /NENSA 2004/5 calendar is the Eastern High School Championships, next weekend March 18-20th at Bolton Valley, VT.