Created on Thursday, 14 February 2008 05:51
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2008 05:55
Aaron Henderson, age 47, waited in the finish area in first place with only two racers left. He had skied his race almost perfectly and his second Legend's Cup victory was within his grasp. However, two fast racers still had their chance to rip down the challenging downhill course and unseat him. They were ages 25 and 19 and both GMVS graduates.
First came Justin Hart, who had won the earlier training run. He came through eight-tenths of a second faster and seemed to wrap things up. Then Cody Transue started and, after a slight mistake on the top flats, skied the line perfectly and came down to win, just four-hundredths of a second in front of Justin.
Youth may have won the race on the scoreboard, but all 45 racers won the day for throwing themselves down the mountain at speeds which reached 70 mph. This year marked the second Annual Legend's Cup race held at Sugarbush on a course designed by Sugarbush Race Director and Hall of Famer Doug Lewis. There were three high-speed crashes during the day, but all skiers were able to ski away to run another day, albeit on skis that were bent from the crash.
The racers had huge smiles on their faces in the finish area. There are not a lot of opportunities out there for them to run speed anymore. "I was so impressed with the entire event -- the good energy and good people and one heck of a fun DH course. It was a real challenge." said Henderson.
The course is run from the top of the Valley House chair and drops over a 1,000 vertical feet in just under a mile. The winning time was 54 seconds translating in an average speed of almost 60 mph. The Legend's Cup is part of the N.A.D.S. speed series that encompasses four speed events in the East.
Mad River Valley locals had their share of excitement. Stan Button had the highest speed crash in the Fall-away turn in training, bending his ski in the process. Stan was able to drive back to his house, pick up a different pair of skis, and run the race in the afternoon. Sugarbush employee Hardy Merrill had the most exciting crash as his ski released and catapulted 20 feet in the air. Finally, another Sugarbush employee, Liz Walker, skiing downhill for the first time, won the women's division. She may have been the only entrant in the division, but she skied aggressively eating up the entire course deserving the victory.
After the race, the participants and friends all gathered in the Wunderbar to watch their race runs on video, collect their awards, and to recount and relive the days high-speed action. Doug Campbell was heard saying, "While I didn't exactly burn up the course, I learned a lot and accomplished a personal goal for me. Plus it was so much fun!"