The Eastern Championships began with race clinics on Friday and the competition kicked off Saturday morning with the junior race. The adult racers took to the course in the afternoon and competitors represented states all across the Eastern Region: VT, NH, MA, ME, CT, NY, NJ, PA, VA & FL. Racers were placed in either the Platinum/Gold division or the Silver/Bronze division depending on the best handicap earned during the race.
The awards party was a rocking affair as the Rick Davis band entertained the crowd before AJ Kitt and crew presented awards and prizes to the winners. Each first place winner was invited to compete in the Race Of Champions on Sunday morning and the competition was very close. Seven-year-old Carly Harris recorded the fastest discounted time to take the win ahead of Val Saltzman, the 45-49 Platinum/Gold division champion and four-year-old Tyler Doran.
The Race of Champions format is a great system for bringing all age groups together to compete for the Overall win and Carly Harris improved the most from Saturday's race to take the win on Sunday. Leelee Goodson recorded the fastest raw time for all ladies to win free entry to Nature Valley NASTAR National Championships in Snowmass, March 25-30. Meg Spenlinhauer posted the second fastest raw time followed by Elaine Jones in third.
The guys race was even closer than the ladies but fifteen year old Steven Sedig held on to take with win ahead of the 65-69 Silver/Bronze division champion, Bill Lamb. Gary Colwell, 75-79 Platinum/Gold division champion skied very well to grab third place.
The guys raw time podium with the closest race of the day as the top three times were separated by seven hundredths of a second. Graham Theodore posted the fastest time of 20.81, followed closely by Rolf Meyer's time of 20.88, in second and Mike Charron was just one-one hundredth of a second behind to take third.
The Team Races took place Sunday afternoon as Family Teams and Team of Friends got together to see how well they could compete as a group. Team S&B, the family team made up of the Spenlinhauers and Bergendahls produced a dominate performance to win the Family Race followed by Team Theodore in second and the Sedig Family team in third.
The Friends Team race was a hotly contested battle but when the snow settled it was the O'Connor Memorial Team from Wachusett Mountain representing Sean O'Connor that took home the win. Sean O'Connor was a pacesetter at Wachusett for many years and he lost his battle with cancer last fall. It was a great effort by and great group of racers and an excellent memorial to a fallen friend. Second place in the Friends Team race went to Team Okemo and Grumman A from the Grumman Ski Club took third.
Big props go out to Okemo Mountain Resort for hosting an exciting weekend of racing.