Continental CupNewsOther NewsRacingTahoe SuperTour Cancelled

FasterSkier FasterSkierMarch 14, 20118

The USSA SuperTour event scheduled for March 18th, 2011 at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort has been canceled.

Statement from the organizer:

“Regrettably Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort is canceling the Nordic SuperTour Sprint which was to be held on March 18, 2011. The registration numbers did not meet the minimum requirements to execute the race. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused interested participants and teams. We appreciate all support for our events and hope to put on a successful race in the future. Questions can be directed to the Special Events Manager, Amber Whitman, at awhitman@vailresorts.com, or 530.562.2288.”

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8 comments

  • Avatar
    Mike Trecker

    March 14, 2011 at 7:47 am

    This is a huge problem for many SuperTours. The series is completely un-sustainable if organizers are counting on traveling SuperTour skiers to pre-register and fill the fields. The only way SuperTour is sustainable is to rely on juniors/collegians/masters racers to fill the field and bring in enough resources to conduct the competition.

  • Avatar
    Tim Kelley

    March 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Mike, last year the USSA made a big announcement about inviting masters to SuperTour races, and how the increased numbers and revenue from masters skiers would help save the series from its financial challenges. I posted on FS that masters focus on the Birkie and major marathon races, and would not pony up cash to travel to sprint races so they could race against another 1 or two master skiers in the same age category. Farra dissed my comment about this publically. But guess what. It sure is looking like I was right. And the USSA was clueless. Lack of SuperTour masters participation and event cancellations like this prove it. Don’t count on masters for sustainability of ST races.

  • Avatar
    Colin Rodgers

    March 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    This is very disappointing. Athletes and coaches rely on an event calendar for making plans in advance, especially if the races are not within driving distance. Every effort should be made to conduct the race. I know of groups of athletes that were traveling for this race from both the Midwest and Alaska. I understand the numbers of pre registered competitors were low, however isn’t that to be expected for an isolated first year event? If the organizers are not willing to take the risk then it should not be placed on the SuperTour calendar. Simple.

  • Avatar
    Mike Trecker

    March 15, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Here in Aspen we are relying on the college meet and the junior meet to bolster participation. You’re right, the masters don’t add up to a whole lot, at least for Saturday’s classic race, Sunday’s Owl Creek is a different story but also a unique ST.

    I have to echo Colin’s statements. Although it may be tough, I would think that Tahoe could have pulled this off even though they would have lost money. It would still be positive promotion for the Tahoe area, but now it is negative exposure for Tahoe.

    After several years of SuperTour I think I like the old school NorAms better, when we were combining with Canada on the schedule.

  • Avatar
    Mike Trecker

    March 15, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    VAIL RESORTS?! Ouch, that stings extra now…

  • Avatar
    davord

    March 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    I liked that format as well Mike. We need to get that going again or at least expand it from West Yellowstone and Silver Star/Canmore to where the North Americans who aren’t over in Europe, can consistently race against each other every week or every other week. It gets both countries excited and the level of racing increases. There was a similar situation in Bozeman when the club hosted its first ever SuperTour (apart from the 2002 Nationals). It wasn’t a big crowd by any stretch of the imagination, but the skiers that showed up were top class, and the following year, the attendence doubled. I think it goes two ways here. The organizers were probably pensive in going ahead with the event with so few athletes registered, which is both dissapointing and understandable, but at the same time, you don’t expect massive numbers, especially with the full calendar and a lot of the top skiers coming back from Europe are on the down low and the ones that are here are in preparation for the SV races. It would be nice to have national level races at all corners of the country. It’s hard, given the current economic situation, but that’s always the case with ski racing. Hopefully Tahoe gets another shot next year.

  • Avatar
    teamepokeedsbyn

    March 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    You want the best to show up, you need to pay them, as it should be at the top of any sport. Colin wins a big race, he should walk away with at least a few k for his time.

    Money attracts the best, and is silly Ussa cannot come up with 10 or 20k for a race, given the luxury resort towns we are talking here, and staff and alpine team members are driving 60k audis and able to spend several million $ on a gym in pc and benefits for marolts family.

    Have a single tour with big prize money, versus several races around America, and it will attract euros, and expose our developing skiers to the best.

  • Avatar
    imnxcguy

    March 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    I think there’s enough “blame” to go around for why the race got canceled, so it’s hard to pinpoint a particular reason as being the major effect. This was one of those “great ideas at the time” that was an attempt to get some very high level skiing back to California, by enticing the best skiers to come out for a SuperTour event and sticking around for the California Gold Rush on Sunday. The Gold Rush used to attract a significant amount of top-level skiers, but the demise of true factory teams and the fact that there are many more spring races nowadays has lessened that amount.
    Unfortunately, a major reason it was canceled was because no one signed up for it ahead of time! As far as I know, there were only 6 signups as of late last week, and Northstar, where it was to be held, was on the ticket for about $10K in expenses, so they panicked. Also, throw in the fact that the contract was originally with the previous owners of Northstar, and you kinda get the idea. I know a lot of skiers were “planning” on attending the Sprints, but they needed to sign up. And Northstar didn’t put any deadline or real incentives on early signups, so that was a mistake as well.

    The fact that it was a Sprint was a great idea in terms of spectator attendance, but it also really lightens the field in terms of participants, especially around here. Most Far West Master skiers aren’t that interested in sprinting, and a lot of the top juniors were in Minneapolis last week, and the last thing they were thinking of was the SuperTour until they got back. Our participant base for something like this just isn’t deep enough.

    This area would really like to attract some top skiers from around the country to come out and race, as it has some of the best skiing in the country, especially in the Spring, with 4 or 5 major XC resorts all within a few miles of each other. But without deep pockets to attract those skiers monetarily, it’s a little bit of a losing battle, so there needs to be some sort of outside incentive/sponsorship in place to be able to get them out here.

    Mark

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