In this edition of The Forerunner:
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To all our Far West Masters members and racers:
As I write this, we have seen the first snow fall in Tahoe and the temperatures are dropping quickly so hopefully that is a good sign as we look forward to the coming season. We all have our fingers (and toes!) crossed that it will be more productive in terms of races than last season!
Our scheduling VP, Mike Braun, has put together an excellent race schedule for the 21-22 season as detailed elsewhere in this newsletter. This took a lot of effort as race departments were closed over the summer and some of our regular venues were unable to host races in the 21-22 season. For a while the race calendar looked pretty bare but in the end it came together well and it includes 2 downhills and 6 Super Gs so start getting your speed skis waxed up (without banned fluoros!!).
Also, the Masters Western Regionals/FIS races will be held at Beaver Creek, Co. on Feb 4-6 and the Masters Nationals at Sun Valley, ID. on March 21-26, both top quality race venues. I would encourage all of our Far West members to consider travelling to one or both of these events this season to experience competition outside our normal Far West venues.
The good news is that, based on current guidance, some of the COVID restrictions that were introduced last year have been eased this season and there is not expected be a requirement for daily Covid forms to be submitted. Most of the resorts seem to have dropped the advance daily booking procedures that were adopted last year which should also make life a bit easier for our racers. Of course all these things could still be subject to change or local regulations so we will keep you informed of any updates.
Expect this season to see almost all communications and race day processes to be electronic. Far West membership sign ups and race signups will all be done on https://www.skiracereg.com/fw . (now open). Our race day check in processes will also be electronic rather than in-person as will race results and times. Our technology team is currently reviewing what platform we will use for this so stay tuned for further guidance and updates. Also make sure your cell phone is charged on race day! .
However we will still not be back to what we considered as “normal” in the past. One of the big impacts is that there could still be some restrictions on post-race parties and awards ceremonies. All our Board members are fully aware of the importance and value of these social gatherings to our racers and we will keep the situation under review to identify possible options to get together in accordance with local ordinances and policies while still ensuring the health and safety of our members as a critical priority and
Masters Training programs are now open for registration at Palisades Tahoe, Diamond Peak, Mammoth and Mount Rose. Further details are available at https://farwestmasters.org/info/training.
Remember also some new rules updates for this season as you get out your equipment together and prepped for the coming season.
I look forward to an exciting race program for the season and hopefully seeing you all on the snow soon! In the meantime, stay healthy and safe.
Best to All!
Far West Masters membership for 2021-2022 is now open for new and renewing members on SkiRaceReg.com/fw. Activate your account for the season and pay your Far West Masters dues online. The renewal deadline is November 15th, after that date renewal is $25. Race registration will open in November.
Also, don't forget to renew your US Ski & Snowboard Alpine Master membership before the early registration deadline of Oct. 15, 2021. The "Getting Started" page from US Alpine Masters has a helpful overview of everything you need to know for your US Ski & Snowboard membership renewal. Once you are ready to join or renew go here to start the process.
2022 Membership Reminders
What’s new in 2022
We hope to be able to hold some form of social event at the December races at Mammoth where we will present winners bibs and trophies for the 2021 season, and hold a board AGM for election/re-election of board members.
We are currently investigating the use of a real-time, day of race notification system using a smart phone application. After the success of the 2021, COVID required, contactless check-in process we think it unlikely at this stage that we will revert to in-person, indoor, day of race check-in. With the wide adoption of smart phones we think that the use of a smart-phone notification system could be a good addition to our communication channels and can be used for day of race updates and perhaps even for notification of the referee DSQ list at the end of each run. This would of course be in addition to the traditional posted copy of the referee report near the finish area. Please remember that it is the personal responsibility of each racer to check if they have been DSQ'd, and if they disagree to file a protest.
Stay tuned more information before the first race.
We will no longer be offering the option to subscribe to a paper copy of The Forerunner. Special requests can be sent to email@example.com and we will do our best to accomodate you.
It is with great sadness that we share the news that Mark Antis passed away on Saturday 9th October in San Diego at the age of 64. Mark was FWM President for one 2-year term, just before Don Smith, from July 1998 to June 2000. Mark was a great racer, and like many of us he loved the Soldier Mountain downhill.
What does it take to be a race official? Are you interested?
Race officials perform a necessary and vital role in conducting our races. We are very grateful for the time and effort our race officials dedicate to enabling us to put on US Ski and Snowboard sanctioned races. We are short of certified race officials, hopefully this article will help you determine if you would like to be an official and encourage you to consider it.
Our agreement with the ski areas is to provide the Technical Delegate and Referee for all of our races, and an Assistant Referee for speed events. These officials are all members of the race jury, which is responsible for all technical matters in the race arena. Some of these matters are to determine that the hill is adequately prepared, the safety features are in place, and that the course is properly set. The jury also deliberates and acts on any protests. The sponsoring race department supplies the Chief of Race, who is usually a senior member of the race department and is also a member of the race jury.
Officials are asked to be on the hill early on race day, at least before inspection opens, and sometimes when the course workers are preparing and setting the course. They inspect the course and work with the Chief of Race to make any necessary adjustments or corrections. After each run, the Referee works with the Time Keeper and the Head Gate Judge to prepare the Referee’s Report listing any disqualifications. The Referee’s Report must be posted as soon as possible near the score board, and the Referee must wait in the vicinity for 15 minutes to allow for racer protests. As mentioned above, for 2022 we are considering also sending out notifications using a smart phone application. It is the responsibility of each racer to check if they have been DSQ.
To become a Referee, you must attend a clinic which is coordinated by the Far West Alpine Officials Chairman. In th past these clinics have typically been held at Palisades Tahoe in Olympic Valley. Due to COVID the 2021 clinic was a virtual event held using an online video conferencing application. The virtual format seems to have been very popular and gave more flexibility for participants to attend without having to travel to Olympic Valley. This years clinic is expected to be a virtual event once again.
The clinic includes an open book test which is conducted and assisted by the clinic instructor.
Check the Far West Skiing website, www.fwskiing.org, for updates and registration information. After completing the clinic, you must upgrade your US Ski and Snowboard membership to include Alpine Official status, you will also be required to complete SafeSport training, a background check, and avalanche safety training. Once completed you will then be listed on the US Ski and Snowboard web site as a Certified Referee. After working as a referee for a number of races, you will be eligible to take more clinics and tests to become a Technical Delegate. In order to maintain your referee certification, you will need to attend refresher clinics at least once every two years, for Technical Delegate you must attend the refresher clinic every year. If your certification lapses, you will be required to attend a clinic and retake the test in order to get certified again.
Mark Mirviss, our VP of Officials, works with our Far West officials each fall to coordinate race assignments for the coming season.
Far West Masters will reimburse the cost of US Ski and Snowboard officials registration if you request it. Officials also get complimentary lift tickets for races they work and are reimbursed for the race entry fees for the races they work at.
If any of you think you have the time and inclination to try being an official, please contact Mark Mirviss.
You can find the season schedule online here.
National Championships & Regionals
The 2022 National Championships will be held at Sun Valley, ID from March 21 to 26. The Western Regional Championships/FIS Masters Cup will be held at Beaver Creek, CO. Full details can be found here.
These are both very fun, exciting and competitive events and a chance to meet up again with fellow Masters racers from across the country and the world. We would encourage all Far West Masters to consider attending these events.
A full list of Masters races from all regions can be found here.
The Far West Masters Scholarship program is now entering its 31st year of raising funds to benefit Far West Junior ski racers. This has been a very successful program - our Far West athletes are tremendously appreciative, we hear back from many of them how helpful the extra support is to them, and we are grateful for everyone who has donated and supported the program.
To learn more visit the Scholarship Program page.
To donate you can write a check to "Far West Masters Scholarship Program" and send to:
Masters Scholarship Program
c/o Eddie Mozen
PO Box 3718
Olympic Valley, CA 96146
We also accept donations online by credit card or through a Paypal account.
Vice President, Officials
|Vice President, Race Scheduling||
|Vice President, Membership||
|Vice President, Communications||
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
|Chief Technical Officer||
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