Skiers from all over New England, New York, Eastern Canada, and beyond gathered over the weekend at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center for this year’s running of the Rodrigues Sprints and Kendall Memorial. Late Autumn was generous in Northern Vermont this year, with enough natural snow to open many kilometers of trails at Craftsbury – giving skiers an exciting return to ski season!
Racing action kicked off with the Rodrigues Sprints, where athletes skied a qualifying round in the early morning followed by three rounds of heats. This event is run in Royal Court format – meaning all participants get to ski every heat. Seeding was done regardless of gender, giving the women a chance to race head-to-head with the men. Additionally, Masters, Juniors and Seniors were all mixed together. As the rounds went on, skiers of similar speed ended up in the same heats, making for ever closer finishes. There was at least one heat where all six skiers were lunging for the finish at the same time! An unusual and fun day was capped by a joint podium.
The threat of rain couldn’t keep skiers away from racing in the first mass start race in New England this season. Over 170 skiers completed the races of the day, where the U16s raced a single lap 5km and everyone else raced a two lap 10km. For those of us that have been paying attention over the last decade or so, this is only the third occasion in that period where we’ve raced a 5km in December on natural snow at a NENSA event! A big thank you to the crew at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center for providing fun skiing and a great atmosphere for all!
The weekend saw 31 clubs added to the Club Cup rankings. The home club, Craftsbury Ski Club came in at a respectable 5th place (937pts), with NWVE and GMVS not far in front in 4th (944pts) and 3rd (989pts) respectively. In the front Mansfield Nordic Club (1173pts) took a narrow lead over Ford Sayre (1128pts).
Link to Zak Cup & Club Cup points standings
Link to Rodrigues Sprints & Kendall Classic results
Link to Phil Belena photos
Up next on the NENSA calendar is the Roy Varney Eastern Cup at Quarry Road, December 16-17th.