In past years, the Washington Ski International (WSI), led by Sam Mantis, promoted the sport of ski and snowboard racing in the mid-Atlantic region. The WSI recently discontinued its racing programs, and Jeni Caron and David Nard did not want to leave a large number of dedicated ski and snowboard racers without a league for the upcoming season. Caron and Nard have years of World Cup experience building courses, and over the past several months, they worked frantically to organize the new International Ski and Snowboard Association (ISSA), lining up sponsors and organizing events.
According to Caron, the ISSA has taken the foundation laid by Sam Mantis and the WSI and expanded the program by bringing in major sponsors, who have become actively involved in the planning and operations of each event.
“We want everyone to have an equal chance to win big prizes,” said Alan Davis, owner of Princeton Sports.
Caron notes that ski clubs and their race teams have also marshaled around the effort, doubling their efforts in recruiting and preparation. Many participants are over the age of fifty.
Participants will be able to take advantage of the health benefits of exercising on the slopes, but some more tangible awards will also be offered. Racers in all age categories will receive medals, and top prizes will be awarded in random drawings at parties following the events.
Local resorts have been improving facilities for amateur racing, with many including patios at the finish line with music systems and outdoor grills. Some activities will be accompanied by live concerts and other on-snow activities.
“It’s a festival,” said Wisp’s Hank Thiess.
The ISSA has established a web site at www.issa-sports.org to serve as a central hub of information.
DCSki has also set up a new Racing web page to provide links to area resources, such as the ISSA, and a compilation of racing-related articles published on DCSki.
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
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