Sugarbush and Mad River Glen collaborated on an International Free Skiers Association event which resurrected a form of the Castlerock Extreme, a legacy event at Sugarbush, and also managed to make the event an IFSA-sanctioned event, allowing participants to earn points for future competitions.
Amber Broadaway, Sugarbush vice-president of guest services and safety, said that the Castlerock Extreme used to be a two-event competition with adults on one day and kids on another. It also used to be an IFSA-sanctioned event, but that had elapsed.
“An IFSA event gives participants a well-organized, consistent format, plus kids competing in the IFSA circuit can earn points,” Broadaway said.
She said that last year Sugarbush freestyle skier David Babic and ski school director Terry Barbour recommended that the resort realign itself with the IFSA circuit. Barbour and Babic reached out to Ry Young, marketing and events manager at Mad River Glen, as well as an IFSA technical director who was able to come on as technical director for last week’s event at Sugarbush.
Broadaway said that the fact that organizers were able to find four local IFSA-certified judges to judge the event sealed the deal. Those judges were Alix Kline, head judge; Joey Normandeau, Ashley Maxfield and Hans von Briesen.
The competition attracted 82 registrants and it was moved from the Castlerock lift at Lincoln Peak to the Bravo trail off the North Ridge Express at Mount Ellen. That served several purposes: It moved a race away from a busier area to a less popular area with a slower lift serving advance terrain to a high-speed quad which helps the resort meet COVID-19 guidelines on people gathering; it shortened the length of the event to use a faster chair and it provided more opportunities for those on the chair to watch and cheer on the athletes.
“All the feedback from coaches, parents and racers was that it was really positive. Having said that, there were people upset that no Castlerock Extreme with registration for adults was held. We’re going to think about that for next year. This is a signature event for The Valley, and we’re looking at how to balance legacy events with other events,” Broadaway said.
In the ski female U12 division, Addison Brooks, skiing for the Mad River Glen Freeskiing Team took second and Rachel Almer from the Sugarbush Freestyle Team placed second. In the ski male U12 division, first place went to Jack Lacey for the Mad River Freeskiing Team and third place through ninth place went to members of the Mad River Glen Freeskiing Team.
In the ski female 12- to 14-year old-division, Cailin Brooks, Sadie Haskell and Libby Schiffmann took first, second and third places respectively. In the ski male 12- to 14-year-old division, Mad River Glen Freeskiing Team and Sugarbush Freestyle Team members took the top four places with runs by Luke Miele (MRG), Tommy Archer (Sugarbush), Matthew Fiaschetti (MRG) and Parker Downing (MRG).
In the ski female 15-18 category, two Mad River Glen Freeskiing Team members took the top two spots – Sophia Bisbee and Megan Martin respectively.
In the ski male 15- to 18-year-old category, Nate Haviland and Owen Deale took first and second respectively for the Mad River Glen Freeskiing Team.