Love of speed goes without saying
for Butler and Tomcich, but it’s also
about the people and places. “The resorts we visit are phenomenal,” says
Butler. “They all give us the warmest
welcome, and they’re really diligent
with the safety on the hill and run
first class races.”
As for the people, Butler adds:
“There are no egos out there; no hidden waxes, no secrets. We all help
each other, and I’ve learned so much
from the other racers.”
According to Butler and Tomcich,
these are very “real” speed events
with racers clocked as fast as 80
miles per hour at a few of the races.
At those speeds, even a ripple will
toss racers into the air, making them
very aware of the hazards inherent
with the game. “If you don’t have a
certain amount of fear, there’s something wrong with you,” says Tomcich.
“You have to respect the courses or
you run the risk of getting hurt. But
there’s such a sense of exhilaration
and accomplishment every time I
finish a run.”
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Jennifer Kaufman, the overall women’s winner of the 2009 Molecule F National Speed Series.
The East’s Beast
could be the slogan for all masters ski
racing, but in this case, the phrase was coined by Northeastern
Speed Series organizer, Rich Hutchinson. A former nationally
competitive downhiller, Hutchinson has put together an Eastern
speed series that has included stops at Stratton, Mount Snow,
Ragged Mountain, Sugarbush, and Crotched Mountain. A few of
these ski areas might not be the most intimidating peaks in the
East, but they all offer plenty of challenge with speeds well into
the 70 mph range.
“There are no membership requirements and no special experience necessary needed in order to compete,” said Hutchinson.
“The last time we were at Ragged Mountain, we had over 140
racers ranging in age from 7 to 72. We’ll take up to three or four
training runs in the morning and then race in the afternoon. We
encourage everyone, including all the wives, to give it a shot. Just
one trip down the track and they’ll be talking about getting longer
skis for next year.”
With strong sponsorship support, Hutchinson makes sure the
awards run deep. The Legend’s Cup at Sugarbush even offered
prize money to the tune of $500 for race winners and ex-National
Team members, Brandon Dyksterhouse and Bryna McCarty.
This season, races are schedules for Stowe, Sugarbush (USSA
membership or temporary license is required), and Ragged