Ramapo Racing

Ramapo Racing!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 (starts January 8, 2014)
  • New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council Consolation Race at Tuxedo Ridge (not yet scheduled)
  • Tuxedo Ridge Bar League (starts Jan. 6, 2014)
  • Interclub Race at Sugarbush (not yet scheduled)
  • New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council "State Race"Pico Ski Area (February 8, 2014)
  • New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council “President’s Race” and RMSC Race Weekend Race at Hunter Mountain (tentatively scheduled for March 22, 2014)
  • 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 (845) 358-5176 e-mail to: sbassell@verizon.net

  • Training &
  • Wednesday
    Night Racing
  • NJSCC Consolation
    Race at Tuxedo Ridge
  • President’s& RMSC
    Annual Race Weekend
  • The NJSSC
    State Race
  • More

Monday Night Training With John Pierce at Mt. Creek. JMonday 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 beginning Monday, January 6, 2014. Adult Race Training will be held at Mt Creek on Monday evenings for the upcoming season beginning on January 6th through early March as the weather and snow conditions allow. This year, the Race Department and adult training will be moving back to Great Gorge South. Details about where and how to sign in will be coming soon. 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. Prices should remain the same as previous years with a 20 dollar lift ticket and a 20 dollar gate and coaching fee. Seasonal packages are available that offer a discount on season passes combined with the training fees. 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 and can be attended on a per session basis to accommodate the busy schedules of most adult racers. For future information, general questions, weekly updates about training changes, weather cancellations and to get on the email list for other training opportunities. Wear a helmet.

Ramapo Instruction Weekend. January 10 and 11, 2014. IW will be held at Pico this year. The racing group will be led by Cliff Gawel, one of Ramapo’s top racers. Cliff is one of those rare individuals who articulates clearly and skis with a slightly exaggerated style so that it is very clear to see him demonstrate what he is talking about. Even if you are not a racer, your skiing will definitely improve by spending the weekend with Cliff and the race group. Gates will be available Saturday with a professional race coach from Pico (ski area requirement).

There are a lot of other opportunities for race training. Killington runs a week-long camp. Some of the local areas periodically have weekend events open to the general public. Contact me if you want to see what else is out there.



Wednesday Night Racing – the “Met” League.Wednesday Night Racing – the “Met” League. The Wednesday Night Race League of the New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council is held at Tuxedo Ridge (formerly known as Sterling Forest). For years past, the Met League venue was at Hidden Valley, but beginning with the 2012-2013 season the Council started going to TR. The race slope at TR is not as difficult as at HV, but for most participants, the change allows for a shorter drive, plus there is a significant cost savings.

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. Last year, Ramapo’s men’s, women’s, and combined teams all took first place! 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 see why participation by novices is important.

Current schedule has start of racing on January 8 with a GS and then alternating slalom and GS each subsequent Wednesday. The schedule is weather dependent and is therefore guaranteed to change. Check the race forum for last minute updates on the schedule if you are not on Stu’s e-mail list. If you plan on attending a race and have not gotten an e-mail from Stu confirming that there is a race, you should call Tuxedo Ridge to confirm that the race is on: (845) 351-1122.

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. Last season at TR, we were blessed with pretty good racing conditions in spite of the weather being as unfavorable anyone can remember. However, it’s still best to 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. Again, it’s a good idea to confirm with the ski area that the race will be held on any individual night, particularly if the weather is bad. If you are on Stu’s e-mail list, you will get an e-mail confirming that the race is on. Otherwise, call the ski area (845) 351-1122. The races are open to all adult (age 19 and older) club members. Sign up under “Ramapo”. If you are not a member but would like to try it out, you can still sign up and run the course after the seeded racers.

And here’s the best part: For $15, you get a lift ticket, gate fee, and food at the bar that typically includes some combination of wings, pizza, salad, those cute little hot dogs wrapped in dough,, etc. (drinks not included, but they have $2 beer specials each week) not to mention the great camaraderie..

Check out last year’s results for our individual racers!

(cost and scheduled not yet determined).New Jersey Ski and Snowboard Council Consolation Race. This is a big party with an easy race that Ramapo has won most every year since its inception. For the last two years, the race was held at Tuxedo Ridge. The event was a great success, which was the primary reason for moving the Wednesday night racing from Hidden Valley to TR. As with the Wednesday racing, we need three men and two women for a complete team. This year we are looking to see if the race can be held at a different ski area in order to get some variety into the program. Fall-back will be TR if no other areas are available.

(President’s Race and RMSC Annual Race Weekend Race. (scheduled for March 22, 2014) This is two events in one: the Council President’s Race and RMSC’s annual race for club adult and junior members.


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:
Adults are put into one of three race groups (A, B, or C) depending on their ability – separate groups for men and women.
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.
Juniors are separated boys from girls.
There is a Three Generation Cup (grandparent, parent, grandchild)
Husband-wife (actually “Couples” as listed in the club roster)
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 Bill Sidlovsky and Carlene Bassell.

ramapo ski  racingThe 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.

The cost for the event has not yet been determined. However, the cost for the combined package (if ordered in advance) of discounted lift ticket, race fee, party fee, and photograph has always been less than the cost of a regular lift ticket from the area. So if you were planning on taking a day skiing at Hunter, why not join the Ramapo team?

Updates on this race and pre-registration deadlines will be posted as new information becomes available.

The State Race. On Saturday February 8, 2014, 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 men’s B-team. The event includes both slalom and giant slalom, 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. You must be pre-registered to enter this race.

The Junior State Race. On Saturday February 1, 2014, 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 . Normally, the junior race is held on the same day as the adult race, but there was a scheduling conflict this year. 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.


Tuxedo Ridge Bar League. This is the best deal around. Tuxedo Ridge has a Monday night bar league starting January 7. The difficulty level is standard NASTAR. Tuxedo Ridge is an official NASTAR area, so you get your pins, handicaps, etc. For $15, you get a lift ticket, gate fee, and food at the bar. Race rules are much more relaxed for the bar league and participants can jump in line any time and don’t have to wait for extra runs until after everyone else has taken their first two. Your single fastest of your first two runs count for the scoring.

Racing is by team consisting of 4 racers and at least one of the opposite sex, so sign up for Ramapo, even if you are not a club member yet. You must be at least 21 to race – after all, it’s a bar league. Sign up for the race when you buy your lift ticket.

Race runs from 7 to 9 PM. As with any winter event, before making the drive, contact the ski area to confirm the race will he held.


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.