The Fairbanks Youth Sports SuperTour Season Opener ski races, presented by Wedgewood Resort and organized by the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, will be held as scheduled at Birch Hill in Fairbanks on Saturday and Sunday, November 5th and 6th. The snowpack is thin, but is sufficient for the races.
Saturday is sprint day. The qualifying round begins at 10:30AM. Women will go 975m, men will go 1375m. There will be a break of between 60 and 90 minutes between the end of qualifying and the beginning of the heats. Exact start time for the heats depends upon the field size for qualifying. Twenty-four skiers will advance to the elimination round from the qualifying.
As it stands now, Sunday's skiathlon will be held on a single 5Km loop, with both classic and skate legs using the loop. The women's 5Km+5Km will start at 11:00AM. The men's race will begin at 12:00 noon. The men's race was originally scheduled as a 7.5Km+7.5Km. If we can find a suitable course configuration we will stay at 7.5Km+7.5Km. However, if we can't find a good configuration using the 5Km loop that we will prepare, the men's race will be changed to a 10Km+10Km. If no additional snow falls, tracks will be shallow, but there will be tracks.
The deadline for early entries is Wednesday night. Entry fees increase by $5 for one race and $10 for two races for those who enter on Thursday or Friday. Go to www.sportalaska.com/noramskiraces/2005-2006 for details. You can follow a link from that page to register on-line at active.com. Or, you can download an entry form from that same web page and drop it off at the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks office, or at Beaver Sports.
For any updates or more information, go to the website mentioned above. At that website you can view or download course maps which have been posted to the web. Course profiles and stadium diagrams will be posted soon.
Conditions are holding steady at Birch Hill. The entire trail system has been rolled and dragged; skiing is possible on more than 25Km of trails. Night skiing is available on approximately 11Km of trails. Tracks have been set on most of the lighted trail, although they are shallow in places. The Birch Hill Cross Country Ski Center building will be open each day from 8:30AM through 9:00PM.
At this time, skiers are in town from the US Ski Team, Canadian Ski Team, Factory Team, FSx Team, Rossignol Team, Maine Winter Sports Center, Bridger Ski Foundation and Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. Additional visiting skiers are expected this weekend from APU, UAA, Alaska Winter Stars and Eagle River Nordic Training Center, as well as several skiers from UA Fairbanks and local Fairbanks high school teams.
See you on the trails.