John Pierce – Ramapo's top racer and professional USSA-certified race coach

Ramapo Mountain Ski Club has an active racing program, with one or two events a week for much of the ski season. Activities include:

Training and Instruction

Wednesday Night Racing (set to start January 9, 2019 - tentative)

New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council Consolation Race (to be scheduled)

Interclub Race at Mad River Glen (to be scheduled)

New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council “State Race” in Pico Ski Area (February 2, 2019 tentative)

New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council “Junior State Race” in Pico Ski Area (February 2, 2019 tentative)

New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council “President's Race” and RMSC Race Weekend Race at Hunter Mountain (to be scheduled)

Mid-Atlantic Masters

Additional Events

This is a big program for Ramapo. Take advantage of it. There is something going on just about every week of the ski season. I send out e-mails with last minute updates. If you want to be included in the distribution, send me your e-mail address.

Your racing chair: Stu Bassell (Contact info in Roster)

Training and Instruction.

Monday Night Training With John Pierce at Mt. Creek. John, a member of Ramapo and one of the top racers in the east (that's his picture at the top of the page), is again running his sessions. Adult Race Training will be held at Mt Creek's South Peak on Monday evenings for the upcoming season tentatively beginning on January 7th, 2019 through early March as the weather and snow conditions allow. The Race Department and adult training is at Great Gorge South. Buy your discounted lift ticket at the ticket counter (tell them you are for the training to get the discount), and pay John on the slope. Training will alternate between GS and SL and will try to follow the NJSC race schedule as best as possible, although that is not always possible. The tentative plan is for training to begin at 6pm and will continue to just before closing at 9pm. It's OK to show up late. Prices should remain the same as previous years with a 20 dollar lift ticket and a 20 dollar gate and coaching fee. The training will feature practice race courses on a dedicated trail and feedback from USSA certified coaches. This program is designed for all levels of racers. For future information, general questions, weekly updates about training changes, weather cancellations and to get on the email list for other training opportunities contact John Pierce (Contact info in Roster). Wear a helmet. Very proficient juniors can attend, but check with John first.

Ramapo Improvement Weekend. January 11 and 12, 2019. IW will be held at Magic Mt. this season. The racing group will be led by Stu Bassell. We will work on carve turn drills. 

Race Camps. Ramapo members have attended the week-long December race camps at Killington and Mt. Tremblant, as well as Mt. Hood in the summer and day clinics elsewhere in the northeast. These camps are the best means for picking up your skiing and racing ability. Although they are not Ramapo activities, we can put you in touch with the sponsors, often as a dollar discount below the published prices. 

Wednesday Night Racing – the “Met” League. The Wednesday Night Race League of the New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council is held at Mt. Creek's South Peak. For years past, the Met League venue was at Tuxedo Ridge, and before that at Hidden Valley, and way back we were at Mt. Creek.

Ramapo races against other clubs in the New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council. For each race, the team scoring consists of the three fastest men and two fastest women. The five best team scores for the first six races count for the season standings. Individual racers with at least three finishes get a standing for the season. The races include three giant slaloms, and three slaloms. Over the past six years, Ramapo's women's, and combined men's/women's teams both took first place and the men's team took first place for one year! We certainly had some outstanding racers, but the main reason we won is that we had a lot of participation – both seasoned and novice racers – see how the racers are scored to understand why participation by novices is important.

Current schedule has start of racing tentatively on January 9, 2019 with a GS and then alternating slalom and GS each subsequent Wednesday. The schedule is weather dependent and is therefore guaranteed to change. If you plan on attending a race, make sure you are on Stu's email list, because he sends out a confirmation that the race is on. If any doubt, you should call Mt. Creek for confirmation: (Contact info in Roster).

Scoring is based on the following calculation. The fastest racer gets 1 point. All other racers get points calculated as a ratio of their times divided into the fastest racers time. So, if the fastest racer had a combined time (two runs each race, except for the super-G which is one run) of 60 seconds and another racer's combined time was 70 seconds, that other racer's score would be: 60/70 = 0.8571. Then, the three men and two women with the highest points from each club count for the team standings for that race. Ramapo's team includes expert and novice racers. You should be a competent skier, but expert ability is not required. For past races when the top folks did not show or fell, the team has been saved by having a novice make it through the course and getting us the third man's or second woman's time that we needed to have a complete team finish for the night. The reason is that a novice can easily score 0.5 points, and that score is a whole lot better than zero points. 

Helmets are strongly recommended. Show up with sharp edges on your skis. Nothing is more frustrating than skidding sideways through slick sections of a race course. 

The races start at 7:30 PM, but you should show up early enough to sign up and have time to warm up and inspect the course. If you show up late, and the race is underway, just jump into line. 

The races are open to all adult (age 19 and older) club members. Sign up under “Ramapo”. If you are not a member or a junior but would like to try it out, just sign up as “independent” in the team column next to your name. Sign up should be in the race room which is in the basement of the main lodge at South Peak.

The expected cost is $20 for a twilight lift ticket and $10 for the gate fee, same as last year.

New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council Consolation Race. This is a big party with an easy race that Ramapo has won several times over the last decade. The event is not yet scheduled. Rules and scoring are similar to those for the Wednesday Night Race League.

Interclub Race at Mad River Glen. (not yet scheduled). This event was cancelled for the last couple of years , but has now returned. Stay posted for details.

The State Race. On Saturday February 2, 2019 (tentatively), the State Race will run with other clubs in the New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council at Pico Ski Area in Vermont. This is a competitive race, and over the last several years Ramapo has won the combined team trophy twice and came in third twice. The team consists of six men and five women. If there is sufficient interest, there will be a second B-team. The event includes single-run slalom and giant slalom run on Saturday, and a party at the end of the day. If you want to race, call or email Stu. Don't assume that we know that you want to join. Unlike the other Ski Council events, you must be pre-registered to enter this race.

The Junior State Race. Also on Saturday February 2, 2019 (tentatively), a race for junior members of the clubs in the New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council will be held at Pico Ski Area in Vermont . I do not yet have the cost or details for the event. If your child wants to race, call or email Stu. You must be pre-registered to enter this race.

President's Race and RMSC Annual Race Weekend Race. (not yet scheduled) This is two events in one: the Council President's Race and RMSC's annual race for club adult and junior members. 

The Stanley Sharaga Memorial President's Race: is named after Stan Sharaga who brought this race from relative obscurity and developed it into the popular event that it is today. Stan died at an early age. Always a blast, the President's Race is held at Hunter Mountain. This is the last race of the year and draws the most clubs and participants of all the New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council races. Scoring for the President's Race is a bit strange to say the least. Each racer gets two runs: one on the blue course and one on the red course. Each time gets handicapped based on how the professional pacesetter did on both courses. The better of the two handicapped times is then used to determine placement among all racers. Based on the handicapped score, each racer is then placed into one of three groups: A, B, C, with A for the fastest one-third of the racers, B for the middle third, and C for the slowest third. The top racer in each group receives 30 points, and each successive racer behind the winner for that class gets one point less. The top three point getters for the women and the top four for the men are then counted for the team score. It is a random scoring, but typically the team with the most participation wins – that is the purpose of the scoring. 

Juniors, though they don't count for the team scores, also enter the race; they are grouped within two age groups, separate for boys and girls, and the top three finishers in each group are awarded medals.

There is a party at the end of the day, with pizza included in the package. Photographs showing each racer in the course are also included. There is a huge raffle with about half of the participants walking away with everything from skis to poles to wax. Last season, a first time racer from Ramapo won the grand prize – skis and bindings.

I don't yet have the costs for the event, but last season the cost for the full package of discounted lift ticket, race fee, party fee, raffle and photograph was just $70. That's more than $10 less than if you just showed up at the ticket booth and purchased only a Saturday lift ticket! If you did not need a lift ticket, the cost was $31. So if you were planning on taking a day skiing at Hunter, why not join the Ramapo team?

Details on the cost and deadline to register will be provided when available.

RMSC Annual Race Weekend Race has move from Sugarbush where it has been run for many years to be run in concert with the President's Race. (The reason for the move is that we were getting significantly better attendance (2 to 3 times) at the Hunter Mt. race than at Sugarbush.) We simply take the times for the President's Race and apply them to the different RMSC racing classes, which are: 

  1. Adults are put into one of three race groups (A, B, or C) depending on their ability – separate groups for men and women. 
  2. Men 65 to 74 years old instead compete in Ramapo's prestigious Dinosaur class. Women of that vintage are Dinosettes. Ramapo even has a class for racers 75 and over: Trilobites! Definitely more prestigious than the youngster Dinosaurs. Last season, we had three trilobites in competition.
  3. Juniors are separated boys from girls. 
  4. There is a Three Generation Cup (grandparent, parent, grandchild)
  5. Husband-wife (actually “Couples” as listed in the club roster)
  6. Parent-junior teams. 

Two runs are offered, but you only need to finish one to qualify for a medal or trophy, except for club champion where both runs must be finished. Ramapo's current men's and women's champions are Steve Gomez and Marissa DeSouter. 

Mid Atlantic Masters. Thanks to some dedicated volunteers, MAM was able to start up last season to replace the popular American Ski Racing Alliance (ASRA), which closed the previous year. MAM runs several events at ski areas in the northeast. Although the races are more challenging than our other events, they include skiers of all ages (including juniors) and abilities. Last season, we made a concerted effort to up Ramapo's participation, and this year, we are hoping to increase Ramapo participation. The season opener is on December 15/16, but no venue is yet scheduled. The first scheduled race is January 5/6, 2019 at Elk Mt. In the meantime, check out the website at www.mamasters.org

Additional Events. The ski areas will soon be scheduling additional club races and some of the local and Vermont ski clubs set up additional events. We will keep you posted about additional team races of interest to the general membership.