If you or your athlete have never participated in an organized ski race, a preview of some of the logistics may be helpful. Knowing what to expect and being prepared can make ski racing an enjoyable family experience. Most of this section refers to Central Series races and is intended for new race famililes.
It is helpful to make a checklist of all the gear your racer will need. Many racers are so used to having all their gear in their locker, they can easily forget to bring along vital equipment. Make sure you bring along an extra pair of skis for slip skis if you have them. Especially for GS races, you will want to save your race prepped skis for the competition. If you only have one pair of skis, no problem the coaches and parent assistants will help do a quick prep at the top of the course.
There are 4 “away” events for the Bear Valley U8/U10/12/U14 Team; Dodge Ridge, Yosemite, China Peak and the Far West Championships. Lodging for these away events, especially Dodge Ridge and China Peak should be booked as early as possible. A good practice is to make your reservations as soon as the Far West Schedule is pubished for the upcoming season. This usually takes place in late August or early September. Lodging information is contained in the Appendix of this guide. The lodging selections are not exhaustive, but reflect where the Bear Valley team usually stay.If these choices are booked, try to secure accomodations as close to the resort as possible since race days start early.
Each morning, racers need to “check in”, usually about 7:30 am, at a designated point at the hosting resort. This confirms the race organizer has received your registration. This is also where racers can buy discounted lift tickets. For Central Series races, other transactions such as picking up Award Dinner tickets, sweatshirts etc. may also occur at check-in. It is a good idea to make sure you either have plenty of cash or your check book since some venues do not accept credit cards for discounted lift tickets and other event payments..
During the check-in period, Start Lists will be available for the day’s race. Sometimes race day schedules are also availabe. Make sure to pick up a Start List so you know the order in which your racer will be running.
All racers require numbered bibs for the race. For Central Series races permanent bis are used per above information. For other Far West events and U16 and older racers bibs are provide at each race. These bibs are given to the coach at the coaches meeting which is usually held the evening before the race. Make sure you meet the coach at the appointed time to receive a bib. After the event, bibs must be returned. If you don’t return your bib, the team will be charged $50.
After checkin, the team usually assembles at the base of the lift serving the race course, usually around 8-8:30 am. The team will proceed to the top of the course where gear will be dropped. Racers will warm up with free ski runs until the the course is open for inspection, typically 8:30-9:30 am.
During inspection the team slips the course with the coach who describes the best line to take and discusses key points to help the racers maintain a fast line.
For GS and SL events there are generally 2 runs that comprise the race. For most events, the first run begins around 10 am and the second run around 1 pm. A race is held for each level and gender. For example, U8/U10 Girls may take their run first followed by U8/U10 Boys, then U12/U14 Girls, etc. Racers should know approximately when they are scheduled to run so as not to miss his/her start.
The coaches will always be the best source for information about start times and the schedule for the race day.