Every Liberty Mutual Insurance NASTAR resort and club needs to have certified pacesetters set the par time for its NASTAR races. Each NASTAR resort is therefore required to send at least two, but no more than five, pacesetters to a Regional Pacesetting Trial. Despite the fact that the trials are not open to the public for racing, fans have still been out in full force thus far.  

NASTAR kicked off the trials with an amazing turnout. We’ve already seen great races at the Regional Pacesetting Trials at Squaw Valley (West Coast Regional Trials), Aspen (Rocky Mountain Regional Trials), along with Afton Alps in Minnesota and Crystal Mountain Resort in Michigan (Midwest Regional Trials).  

It was a blustery and cold day of skiing at Squaw Valley for the Western Regional Pacesetting Trials. Bear Valley took home the first-place plaque followed closely by Team Squaw Valley and Sky Tavern. “Toots the Timer,” a Squaw Valley icon, manned the timing shack for a successful first Regional Pacesetting Trials.

In Aspen, Teams Ski Cooper and Aspen Mountain shared a little pre-race smack talking when Aspen pacesetter "Meltin' Ice" unpacked the awards and hung first place on the wall. He sent a photo of the plaque to Franz "Fuxi" Fuchsberger saying, "It's already on the wall." Fuxi responded by quickly recruiting Mikaela Shiffrin's former coach and recent World Cup commentator Brandon Dyksterhouse to the Ski Cooper team. Dyksterhouse, a former NCAA champion, not only beat pacesetter Casey Puckett, but also recorded a zero handicap and the maximum 10 points for the Ski Cooper team. At the National Pacesetting Trials, Puckett beat everyone with the exception of Ted Ligety.

To view the Rocky Mountain Regional Pacesetting Trials team results click here.

Afton Alps hosted a very competitive pacesetting trial in Minnesota and Daron Rahlves had a great time racing with pacesetters from Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Welch Village Pacesetters took the win, but couldn’t beat Rahlves on the slopes. There was even an off-the-hill rematch that included an arm wrestling competition, but Rahlves proved victorious again. 

To view the Midwest Regional Pacesetting Trials team results from Afton Alps click here.

NASTAR pacesetters showed up in mass quantities for the Midwest Regional Pacesetting Trials in Michigan. NASTAR's most veteran racer, Lou Batori, stopped by for a visit and to award Mt. Brighton the first place team award. Batori is 106 and has been an influential member of the NASTAR community. When he turned 90 years old, NASTAR had to re-adjust the age categories to include a 90+ age group. When he turned 95, the 95+ age group was created. You can guess what’s happened since he turned 100.

To view the Midwest Regional Pacesetting Trials team results from Crystal Mountain click here.

The Regional Pacesetting Trials are run as a series, so in addition to competing to earn certified pacesetting handicaps, pacesetters and NASTAR Resort Teams compete nationally regardless of pacesetting trial they attend. To see the pacesetter standings to date, ranking pacesetters by NASTAR Team Points, click here. To see the Resort Team standings click here.

Coming up in January – don’t forget to have your NASTAR resort send pacesetters to the race nearest you. On Jan. 6, 2017, we’ll be at Pennsylvania's Seven Springs Mountain Resort, before heading on to Labrador Mountain in New York on Jan. 8. Shortly following, we’ll be at Mount Southington in Connecticut on Jan. 10. We’re excited to have Marco Sullivan, former U.S. Ski team athletes, join us at all three of those races including the Jan. 12 Pacesetting Trials at Cranmore Mountain Resort in New Hampshire. For more information on each event including lodging, race schedule and directions, click the highlighted links above.