Event Reports Archive
2004 - 2005
Craftsbury Spring Fling
March 26, 2005
What started as a dismal season as far as snow conditions; ended on very good note after a six week run of good skiing temperatures, and a steady flow of accumulating snow weather patterns. The weather for this year's Craftsbury Spring Fling was perfect as usual, and the snow was as expected, a little bit of everything depending on where you were on the diverse course. Prior to the race everyone seemed happy to have such a great day to ski. Spirits were high as moods were good. The friendly atmosphere changed dramatically with the command to go. A mass start that quickly funnels into a short but steep incline made for some tension. Poles were broken, skis came flying off, and people were going down right and left. The Northwest Vermont Ski Club got through it unscathed, as they journeyed in a pack racing endeavor for the next part of the race. First, Kevin Bessett caught up with Damian Bolduc, then they reeled in Scott Magnan, and then finally Perry Bland, who got off the start line in good position. As has been the case for the last month, the racing members of the club have been closing in on each other with very close finishes. The Spring Fling was no exception as the members in the race skied together for most of the first half changing positions, and advancing through the field as a cohesive pack of four. "Those NWVT jerseys looked pretty hot out there" exclaimed one intimidated opponent after the race. At the lap zone, Damian was feeling pretty good due to perfecting his energy and hydration replenishment. After learning the hard way at the Sugarloaf Marathon earlier this season, he was sure to not let it happen again. Having re-established himself with some of the key people from that marathon, Damian was determined to conquer the demons from that race. Possessed, he began to ski as if the entire race was only the distance left to go. A frame of mind that devastated his running opponents whenever he was on top of his game. This proved to be effective for skiing on Saturday as he slowly began pulling away, and then rapidly gained on those he passed. Soon he saw his goal. Coming upon his mark, an old nemesis (history: individual who beat him in a 2001 triathlon using a racing sea kayak against Damian in a flat water canoe, in 20 knot winds, and rubbed it in) once Damian got him into his clutches, there was no going back. No slowing down. Only more and more speed to finish the job with authority. Damian cruised to the finish blowing away everyone in sight and still wanting more. He finished in 27th place with a 1:41:48. The other club members rallied to the finish too. Scott initially went with Damian but lost sight of him when slowing for a feed. He continued to work with Perry, who came back from losing his pole after someone stepped on it, and Kevin for the rest of the race. Kevin had a strong finish beating some opponents he has had his sights on over the year and with one of the most improved efforts since last years Spring Fling. These three finished in a row with Scott in 32nd place with a 1:43:45, Perry in 33rd 1:44:22 and Kevin closing in with 34th place in 1:44:55. But having finally caught his man, Damian had the extra determination to kick it in with everything he had to close the deal.
The Spring Fling was the perfect way to end this exciting season. Being able to ski together during the race made it much more fun, and we were able to motivate each other continuously if not with words, then with performance as we all knew it could have been anybody's day as it has been all season long. People are noticing the friendly group we have, and will be drawn in to participate with us as we continue to work together as a team should. We all have things we can learn from each other, and as we take advantage of that we will become stronger as individuals and a team. We should all have a very positive feeling about how things went this year, and should be excited to carry them over to the next season and continue to grow.
BFA Alumni Citizens Race and Relay
March 19, 2005
What a great turn out for the BFA/NWVT Alumni/Citizens Race this year. The Holiday weekend must have put everyone in the spirit to ski. Or perhaps it was just a good excuse to join up with friends and family for fun and to burn off a few calories so we could have seconds and thirds for (those who did two laps) on dessert over the weekend. The new NWVT Mobile Registration and Wax Unit provided by Scott Magnan's Custom Service handled the crowds smoothly as waves of registrants with dry ski bases arrived at the race venue. The Dickinson Farm was in perfect condition, a fresh few inches of snow had fallen the night before complimenting the already great snow coverage. At race time the temp was a comfortable 34 degrees with overcast skies. Wind was negligible. The rolling course had narrow trails that looped through the woods and meadows of the scenic farmland. The fresh but heavy snow was packed to perfection by grooming specialist Chuck Farrington. In a word, conditions were FAST! The day was full of exceptional performances by all. In the Women's 6k race NWVT took 2nd and 4th in a diverse field of athletes. The race was won by former BFA skier Kirsten Devrees from St. Olafs college. Kirsten lead from the start and never looked back. Taking second with super slick skis, Jessica Bolduc looked to be in good form for her first race of the season. She concentrated on staying smooth as she chased Devrees the entire race. Cipperly Good followed close behind in the middle of two top high school athletes to round out the top five. The big news of the day was the NWVT sweep of the top five in the Men's 6k. Taking the lead off the start NWVT skiers Damian Bolduc, Scott Magnan, and Rich Dickinson quickly put a small gap on the rest of the field. Working there way through the field and joining them by the end of the first lap were Perry Bland, Lary Martell and some of the top high school racers. Getting a good start (a lesson learned in last weekends 130 person mass start) and maintaining good balance proved to be key for the day. It took a lot of care to pass without wiping out as the heavy snow would swallow your ski tips if they wandered from the trail. Keeping momentum over the course's level variations with good form Scott Magnan was able to pull away from the field on the second lap. Damian and Rich swapped places a few times, with Rich making a move on the final climb to secure second place. Meanwhile Perry and Larry were closing in. Having battled through the main pack of the day; the were able to ski off the front of it uninhibited by the congestion of hard, risk taking racers who were getting tangled up with each other. Other NWVT skiers in the 6k were Kevin Bessett, and Vincent Lepeltier who both placed within the top ten. A good time was had by all who participated. Hats off to Scott Magnan who held off aggressive racing from close competition to ski away for an impressive victory. It was his first win at the BFA/NWVT Alumni/Citizens race.
Rangeley Lakes Loppet
March 12, 2005
Scott "Madman" Magnan's mojo must be maximized after this and last weeks race performances. Scott has been on a role placing well in the Stowe Nordic Wednesday race series; winning the Ted Mean's Memorial Race at Hazen's Notch, and placing 51st in the field of 133 in his first marathon at Rangely on Saturday. Scott skied the first half conservatively, and dropped the hammer for the second half of the race. At some point his alter ego, Madman (who has been dormant for some time), came into true form and took over as he dropped everyone in sight. "When he went by I was wishing I was him" one tired victim said. He was the top finisher for the Northwest Vermont Ski Club with a time of 2:37:23, but was closely pursued by the other club members that were at the event. Damian Bolduc also had a great race. Starting from the second wave, Damian spent most of the first lap alone up front. Knowing that he lost a lot of energy by having no one to draft, he skied the first half of the second lap tucked behind strong skiers he had caught from the first wave. After the refresher Damian got his second wind, and began advancing as he charged past tired skiers on the hilly section of the course keeping the pace until the finish. Damian's effort brought him to 52nd place with a 2:39:01. Perry Bland also completed the event racing steadily over the 50km to finish in a tie for 58th place with a time of 2:42:13. Perry lead for the club most of the race, but did not have the kick that Scott and Damian experienced for the finish. All were pleased with the perfect racing conditions with great competition, grooming and temperatures. At the awards ceremony Perry and Damian were honored among those who completed the New England Marathon Series with a commemorative medal.
With only a few races to go things sure are getting exciting within the club. Will there be revenge? or redemption? Can Scott maintain his streak? Will Damian be able to hold off his little brother Andre'? Will Brendan Barden remain unbeatable to Bolduc? Will the NWVT women show up? Will Perry put a stamp on the end of the season like last year by skiing away from everyone at the Craftsbury Spring Fling? What kind of shape is Richie Dickinson in??? These questions and more will all be answered in the near future beginning with the B.F.A. Alumni/Citizens freestyle race.
Ted Means Memorial Race
March 5, 2005
The Northwest Vermont Ski Club turned out for another great weekend of racing at the Ted Mean's Memorial Ski Race held at Hazen's Notch. For the second year in a row NWVT dominated the small field of racers. Serving as a precursor to the B.F.A Alumni/Citizens Race things are shaping up for an interesting mix. The course was groomed wide and firm enough for skate this year, but all racers chose traditional technique. Due to the the freestyle classification of the event some liberties were taken on the course. The same 9km loop winding through woods, orchards, and fields offered speedy descents and moderate climbs. Some of the obstacles for this year were ducking sap lines, and a detour around a wash out. There was even a couple jumps to add to the thrill of racing at Hazen's Notch. Top honors today go to Scott Magnan who defended his champion title from last year with a 31:45. Just good enough to hold off Perry Bland who placed second 45 seconds behind in 32:30. Another tight race between the Bolduc boys as Damian took third place 30 seconds in front of fourth place Andre'. They finished in 36:00 and 36:30 respectively. NWVT did not just pick up some Maple Syrup at the race. They also recruited new member Ferdinand Lauffer who took fifth place in 40:15. Ferdinand recently completed the Canadian Ski Marathon a two day 155km event. Rounding out the field in 6th, 7th and 8th place were B.F.A. skiers Rachael Shepardson-Rudden, Sam Martell and Daniel Gabrault. As this is a very low key event; self timed racers were getting underway as the day went on. Things sure are looking intersting for the rest of the season. Next weekend Damian, Kevin, Perry and Scott will venture to Maine to race the Rangely Lakes Loppet. Do not forget the B.F.A. Alumni/Citizens race the afternoon of March 12 at the Dickinson Farm, and the relays on March 13 at Hard'ack in St. Albans. Rumor has it that the Magnan brothers will be resting a dark horse family member Saturday for the relays on Sunday.
Keskinada World Loppet & Maple Onion 15km
February 26, 2005
NWVT goes international! Kevin Bessett skied into the Keskinada World Loppet with high expectations. This is a 50km freestyle race outside of Ottawa, Canada and draws around 500 competitors from all over. The course was challenging, fast and fun with narrow trails hills and plenty of V2 terrain to power through. The race went well for Kevin as he was able to keep his competition in sight, and worked to stay with them for the entire race. As with any field this size, there was some congestion but Kevin seized any opportunity to get around it and finished strong in 2:50:55 and 87th place. This is the fastest marathon time posted by a NWVT member this year; bettering the previous, also set by Kevin, in the Lake Placid Loppet by about 13 minutes. Some other club members raced the Maple Onion 15km freestyle at Morse Farm. This was a small but very competitive and exciting race. The course was a 5km figure 8 done three times. Generally flat with a little powder mixed in with hard crusty snow made for a very fast and responsive course. Future NWVT star Tyler Magnan placed second over all well ahead of the field with a time of around 45 mins. Next for the club was Damian Bolduc finishing in 12th with a 52 mins. It was a battle of guts between Damian and his little brother Andre' who finished about a minute behind in 13th place. "He was glaring in my rear view the entire race like a pair of high-beams. Behind me but too close for comfort." stated an exhausted Damian at the end of the race. Andre', future club prospect skiing for B.F.A. finished 11 in the div. 1 Skate States last weekend. Larry Martell skating for the first time in years followed, winning the most exciting sprint finish of the day in 56 mins.
February 19, 2005
Well I hope everybody got a chance to get out and ski a least a little this weekend. The conditions were great with good snow coverage and tolerable temperatures. Certainly the best so far this season. Perry Bland and Damian Bolduc were representing the club in the second marathon of the New England Marathon Series. Sugarloaf located in western Maine was in the heart of last weeks Nor'Easter and saw a solid two feet of new snow. This 46km race was a mass start which promptly funneled into a fairly narrow trail. The plan was to get a good start to avoid difficult passing once in the woods. The plan went well. Perry and Damian skied together in the top twenty for the first 5km. At this point Damian made a break and moved up a few places but still stayed within sight of Perry. After the 700 foot climb at 9km Damian was feeling great and set his sights on a group of three skiers about 30 seconds up. Perry was moving up as well. Going into the second lap of the race Damian got into some trouble with muscle cramping in his quads. Soon after, Perry overtook Damian and gained a few more spots to finish 17th with a 3:05. Damian continued to suffer as his cramps progressed into full muscle spasms. Not one to quit he pressed on, but cautiously, taking extra time to drink in the feed zones and stopping to stretch. Even with the difficulty Damian still managed to finish respectable in 37th place with a 3:20 and survived to ski another day. Both are looking forward to the up-coming Rangely Ski Loppet in March, which should be a real battle with some other club members in the mix.
Lake Placid Loppet & Ichabod's Revenge
February 12, 2005
The temperature was not the only hot thing this weekend as the NWVT Ski Club heated things up on the area ski scene. Kicking off the weekend making his first race appearance in the 05 season, Kevin Bessett traveled to Lake Placid to compete in the 23rd Annual Lake Placid Loppet. Kevin completed the 50km skate race in 3:03:42.9, placing well in the very competitive field. Meanwhile at Morse Farm Damian Bolduc was unopposed for the weekly 5k series. Due to a lack of interest the series may be called off. With Sunday came another great day of warm temps, and Ichabod's Revenge at Sleepy Hollow. And revenge it was. Fielding six racers in the field of 28 NWVT had a racer every where you looked, which must have made things interesting for the NWVT fans which filled the picnic table in the Sleepy Hollow Stadium. We thank the Wilson's and Bolduc's for the unbelievable inspiration. Leading the way for the club was Perry Bland finishing in 48:52. He was followed closely by the battling duo of Lary Martell 50:37, and Scott Magnan 50:59. The next Wave of NWVT came in lead by Brendan Barden with a 54:38, then team sponsor Spike Clayton from the Skirack 55:23, and lastly Damian Bolduc in a 55:49. It was an exciting race between these three as they were continuously passing each other throughout a better part of the race. Congratulations to all the racers who I am sure benefited from having such close races with each other. Hopefully we can do it again in some of the exciting races coming up in February and March
January 29, 2005
What a weekend for a 50km ski race! 1000 skiers converged in Craftsbury for the 24th Annual Craftsbury Marathon. The temperature was nice; the course was in good shape, and the sun was shining on the Northwest Vermont Ski Club in the Northeast Kingdom. It was cold at the start of the race, but not the bitter cold we have been experiencing. Once underway with the rapid elevation gain it was easy to stay warm. When 25km rolled around the sun was high and the temperature had risen to a comfortable mid to high teens. This is a point where racers are faced with a decision to press on for the long haul, or to bail. All of NWVT's racers are a tough bunch and pressed on. It was at this point that Damian Bolduc broke from a group of six skiers that stayed together from the start and began moving up in the field. Lagging in good technique he waited for the less technical half of the race to really make his move. The plan payed off as he gained 25-30 places in the second half, and finished well ahead of several skiers he has been trying to catch over the last couple of years. He now has set his sights on some new ones for future races and next season. Meanwhile up ahead, Perry Bland was in a race of his own. He as well was in a group of skiers of comparable ability for a good portion of the race, having someone to work with the entire race. However reports were that he too got a second wind and dropped all but one of them with about 10km to go. Besieged witnesses stated that "he just dug down and took off like he had rockets in his skis." It was a battle right to the end for Perry, which made for a very exciting race. Perry finished the marathon in 3:30:00 and 33 place over all. Damian (#48) was 48 place over all with a 3:41:54. It was also nice to see unofficial team member Larry Martell dust off his skis and finish in the top half of the field in 103rd. If I have left anyone out who wants to be mentioned or you were at another event let me know. Next weekend looks to offer many racing and touring opportunities. Races and tours in Newport, Lake Placid and close by at Sleepy Hollow should offer something for everyone. Hope all get a chance to get out and enjoy the great conditions. Feel free to let others know what you will be doing, or any information you think may help people get out and ski!
January 22, 2005
Facing bitter cold temperatures this weekend the Northwest Vermont Nordic Ski club members suited up and competed in several races. Saturday 5 a.m.: braving -30 degree temperatures Perry Bland and Damian Bolduc set out to Jackson New Hampshire for the "First Annual" White Mountain Classic 30k race. Making steady progress both were pleased with their races and placed well. Perry finished 21st and Damian followed 19 places behind in 40th. Both placed second in their respective age divisions. The conditions were very good and the temp was not so bad by race time. 0 with no wind made for comfortable skiing as long as you kept moving. Following in their tracks on Sunday Cipperly Good debuted for the NWVT women in the Eastern Cup Jackson Jaunt 15k Classic race. She held her own amongst New England's top women in an extremely competitive race and should be happy to finally have a big race under her belt this season. While Cipperly was duking it out with the comp. in Jackson. Scott Magnan, joined Perry and Damian in Stowe for the Winter Carnival 15k Classic. Once again all went well, as all members continue to enjoy the thrill of racing as well as improve on previous results. Due to a lack of published results at this time I will have to speculate that Scott took top honors for NWVT followed closely by the 30k fatigued Perry and then Damian. Amongst the rest of the field all placed well within the top half. I look forward to seeing many of the Club members next weekend racing and touring the Craftsbury Marathon.
Trapp EC and Sleepy Hollow 12km
December 18, 2004
Look out here comes NWVT. With just a little rolled snow two members took on the competition at the Sleepy Hollow 12k. Brendan Barden took second place in the Senior division, while Damian Bolduc took third 1:11 behind him. The conditions were pretty rough, and everyone struggled with some rocky sections. But hardware was abundant for those who ventured out and endured the conditions.
What a difference a day, some elevation, and 6 more inches of snow makes. Skiing the pristine (for this season) trails at Trapp Touring Center NWVT members took to racing again. The one two punch came with Team member Perry Bland bettering Damian Bolduc by eight seconds and one place. (40:09; and 40:17) respectively. In this race just competing was achieving. Both should be pleased with the days effort.
Meanwhile in the citizens race NWVT late entrant Scott Magnan took 5th in a field of about 50.
It was nice to see NWVT represented at these two events and I hope to see more as the season gets underway.
Check out more Northwest Vermont Endurance articles.