Waterville Valley, NH (2019) is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 247 at the 2010 census. Waterville Valley attracts many visitors in the winter months with alpine and cross-country skiing at Waterville Valley Resort.
This weekend was action packed as Waterville Valley Resort hosted the fastest pro ski racer racers for their second stop on World Pro Ski Tour (WPST) this season. The events were held February 9-10, 2019 on the World Cup trail.
On Saturday, mother nature brought in severe weather with 65 mile an hour winds bringing the temperatures well below zero. A decision was made to move the qualifier to Sunday and run is prior to the Super Slalom event.
Sunday, under clear warmer skies thirty (30) racers competed for prize money and points towards the year-ends overall title. Phil Brown 27 of Toronto, Ontario took first place honors claiming a $8,500 check. Second place finisher was Michael Ankeny 28 from Minnetonka, MN, Robert Cone 27 from Killington, VT finishing third and Kei Kullberg 23 from Cornwall, NY finishing in fourth.
Brown a Silver Medal at 2015 World Championships in Vail, Colorado and a Canadian ski team member was challenged a few times by his competitors but his consistency set a fast pace as he raced to victory. Brown quoted after the event; “I am super stoked to leave Waterville Valley with my first Pro Tour victory. The race yesterday was wild with three big jumps, icy conditions and a challenging set. There was a lot of action especially in the early rounds, anything could happen and you needed to stay focused right to the finish.”
“Unfortunately I wasn’t selected by the Canadian team to compete at the FIS World Championships in Sweden so being able to come back to North America and compete in the WPST has been an amazing opportunity. I am having so much fun skiing this format and competing against these athletes. WPST definitely does a great job making ski racing fun – which is most important!!!”
The WPST format is different, a dual format of racing; head-to-head – not against the clock, horse style start gates, identical race courses, and at this event three (3) pro jumps made this event even more exciting.
With a field of Olympians, National Champions, and NCAA Champions this excited more than a 100 spectators while watching the face off on this dual slalom course. Olympian and overall 2018 World Pro Ski Tour Champion Nolan Kasper 29, of Warren, VT, finished in the round of eight. Gabriel Coulet 35 from Chamonix, FRA, Jack Schibli 23, Charlotte, VT, Alex Tarberry 35, North Conway, NH rounded out the field. Burke Academy and Dartmouth Ski Team had a strong showing with a number of their ski team
members entering the event. With a well-rounded field the racers countries spanned from the USA, France, Canada, Russia and Sweden.
The World Pro Ski Tour is currently a men’s professional ski racing tour, yet it is open for all racer. This event highlighted three (3) ladies who came to test their skills. Mardy Haskell 24, from East Burke, VT, Laura Halupowski 26, North Conway, NH and Lisa Wedsjo 24 from Sweden also decided to give pro ski racing a shot. They finished the event in the round of 32 and 16 respectively.
The excitement from fans is a motivating factor for the athletes. Spectators are encouraged and welcome to participate in the pro tour events. Sponsors such as Tito’s Vodka, Raymond James, Michelob Ultra, Greenhead Lobster, Leki, RXBAR and Booster Straps to name a few. Tito’s hosted the Après and After Dark parties where the fans met the racers.
This event will be televised in March on CBS Sports Network, check your local listings and times. For
more information visit https://www.worldproskitour.com
Schedule of Events
Friday – February 8, 2019
• 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Registration will be on the second floor of the Base Lodge in the Sun room
• 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. – Racer Meeting (same room as Racer registration)
• 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Tito’s After Dark Party at La Hacienda
Saturday – February 9, 2019 Events moved to Sunday due to high winds
• 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – VIP, Sponsor & Racer Check-in at the Base Lodge
• 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Registration/Racer Meeting on the second floor of the Base Lodge
• 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Tito’s Après Ski Party at T-Bars (next to Base Lodge)
• 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. – Black and Blue Trail Smasher Fundraiser – Winter Fiesta La Hacienda
Sunday – February 10, 2019
• 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – VIP Sponsor Check-in at the Base Lodge
• 9:00 a.m. – Inspection and Start Testing begins (athletes are allowed to test start and go on wrong side of first gate)
• 10:00 p.m. – Qualifications
• 12:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Dual Super Slalom Event
• Finish Area Race Awards Ceremony Top 4 to follow immediately after the race
• 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Tito’s Portable Bar in front of Sport Thoma
• 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Tito’s Après Ski Party at T-Bars, Racer check distribution
• 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – Tito’s After Dark at Mulligan’s
2019 WORLD PRO SKI TOUR SCHEDULE
Beaver Creek, CO – Jan 31 – Feb 2, 2019
Waterville Valley, NH – Feb 7 – 9, 2019
Steamboat Springs, CO – Feb 28 – Mar 2, 2019
Buck Hill, MN – Mar 14 – 16, 2019 (*tentative)
Sunday River, ME – Mar 28 – 30, 2019