The last several weeks have provided numerous strong snow systems that have covered the Ponderosa State Park trails just outside downtown McCall, Idaho with a strong snow base of two feet heading into the new year. Good news on the early snow front (hardly unusual in McCall, but still nice to hear these days) comes as early USA entries to the world's largest traveling winter championship event surpass the 250 skier mark.
The March 1-7 MWC2008 event will mark the first ever visit by the the Masters World Cup to the western United States — and the first time the MWC has been held in the United States in a decade (1998 in Lake Placid, NY was the last time). With such a long layoff, the McCall MWC2008 event has attracted unprecedented interest from master skiers of all abilities from literally every corner of the North American snow country. USA registration already covers over 18 states with skiers ranging in age from the minimum 30 years to the first-ever USA skier in the M13 category — 90 years young!
Gregg Lawley — Chief of Competition for the MWC2008 Organizing Committee — reports that the early snow conditions are outstanding throughout the McCall area and looks for more of the same in the coming months. “As far as snow conditions we are in a major snow cycle right now and the skiing is great already and will only get better. Things are shaping up to have one of the best Masters World Cup events ever come March!”
J.D. Downing — U.S. National Director to the World Masters Association — is equally upbeat says that the early USA registration numbers are well ahead of projections for the MWC2008. “In 1998 the total USA field was a record 376 USA skiers so at the pace we are on right now, we have a good shot at getting ahead of that total by early January. We also know that the Canadians are looking to bring down a large contingent of skiers and the word outside North America is that as many 20 other nations intend to have skiers on the McCall trails come March. This is truly shaping up to be one of the most exciting ski events in North American history. Absolutely an event no master skier should miss!”
MWC2008 registration will continue to remain open until midnight on February 4, 2008 with the next late fee step-up taking place after Wednesday, January 2. Registration is possible via a print-and-mail form found on www.MWC2008.com as well as via a newl on-line secure payment system set up just for USA skiers.
An Event For Every Master Skier
Although a number of the early USA entries include likely medal-contenders, Downing stresses that the vast majority of MWC2008 participants from North America will be average skiers simply taking advantage of a unique chance to ski in an international event on “home” snow.
“There are always a few former Olympians and “elite” master skiers in the various age groups, but the overwhelming majority of folks at the Masters World Cup are people that have no interest in medals. They take part because the event is an incredibly fun opportunity to ski just with your 5-year age group peers in a series of wave starts on courses perfectly designed for master skiers. There's a week-long series of ceremonies, social gatherings, plus loads of non-racing kilometers of trails in the McCall area to enjoy on the 'off' days. The MWC2008 really is going to be the perfect ski vacation.”
The world is coming to McCall, Idaho this March. Make your plans to join in on the fun!
Complete event information: www.MWC2008.com . Team USA updates also offered on xcskiworld.com throughout winter 07/08.
More Information: MWC2008
The annual Masters World Cup event is managed by the Swiss-based World Masters Association, a volunteer organization with over dozen member nations. Drawing an average of 1,000 competitors and up to an additional 1,000 spectators every year, the week-long event travels to a different location and nation each year. Three individual races plus national team relays are held with skiers grouped in five year age/gender categories for all individual races. Skiers annually range in ability from former Olympic and World Championship medalists to beginner/intermediate masters with no competitive backgrounds.
The USA last hosted the Masters World Cup in 1998 (Lake Placid, New York) and is currently not slated to host the event again for at least another 6-10 years.
The presenting sponsor for the 2008 Masters World Cup is Blackhawk, a 1551-acre conservation-oriented riverfront community located just five miles southwest of McCall, Idaho. Additional major sponsorship is provided by Amerititle, McCall Real Estate Company, and the McCall Chamber of Commerce. Grant support from Idaho Tourism. Additional logistical support provided by American XC Skiers (AXCS), the USA masters association.