Slopestyle Competitions from Start to Finish at Sunday River
Gould Freeskiers compete in Slopestyle events all winter, but we only get a few opportunities to host at our home slopes of Sunday River. Our 2017 calendar included both USASA and USSA slope events at our “Happy Place.”
The USASA Maine Mountain Series is our grassroots Slopestyle series, where athletes compete in age groups and alongside our snowboarding friends. The USSA EastFree Tour is our regional slope series, where all athletes compete in the same open class and include a round of finals.
Regardless of affiliation, hosting requires a lot more than showing up and participating. Lucky for us Coach Kimble wears many hats well! He’s the conductor behind the scenes when it comes to these events.
The schedule isn’t always exact, but “hurry up and wait” is often the name of the game. Morning of comp day is always a hustle to figure out run orders, reacquaint ourselves with familiar faces and focus in on last-minute strategies.
Athletes get down to business as soon as practice starts. There is a limited amount of time to warm up, familiarize themselves with the course and calculate their best runs. The course is constantly occupied by multiple athletes simultaneously, only seized for required safety holds.
Being present for their drop can be exhausting. It can take all day for a competition to run its course and athletes may only take a few runs. It can be tough to stay focused, loose and prepared. Last-minute adjustments are made to their gear, maybe they throw on they’re favorite pump-up track, the starter relays, “Rider on course” and it’s on!
For the next 45 to 90 seconds each athlete does their best to impress the judges and crowd to achieve their goals. Maybe the results will qualify a trip to nationals, maybe today wasn’t their day.
Chances were taken, progress is made, and fun has been had by all.
Thanks to our partnership with Sunday River, both events went off without a hitch!
Whether it’s 3D or T72, Sunday River is holding down the park scene this year. Big props to Ryan MacCallum and his park crew for making sure we have awesome terrain for our courses, be it sunny skies or snow squalls! And special thanks to Brent Grygiel and the events crew for all the hard work!
Check out more action photos from the USASA Maine Mountain Series.
And you can find photos from the USSA EASTFREE Tour here.