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Racing retro at Jay Peak

Andrew Lanoue

Andrew Lanoue

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The skies were cloudy with a misty rainfall during the afternoon on April 12 at Jay Peak Resort, with the mercury hovering around the 55 degrees Fahrenheit mark. The trails, on the other hand, counteracted the sun as they were filled with flashing neon colors for the mountain’s annual retro day.

 
Nearing the end of the ski and ride season, Jay Peak’s rental and repair shop employees work on bringing the event together each year. The Retro Day Race is usually a timed slalom event that is held on the one of the lower mountain trails with race timing capabilities.

 
This year’s event started with the race at noon on the Lower Can-Am trail. This was followed by the event’s first-ever ski and snowboard ballet contest off of the Tramside Carpet area at 3 p.m. A last tram social run from the top of the mountain wrapped the day together.

 
The categories for the slalom event were women’s ski and snowboard, and men’s ski and snowboard. The top man and woman in each category get to sign their names on either the golden snowboard boot or golden ski boot, depending on their category. The boots are then placed on display in the Tram Side Rental Shop until the event happens again the following year.

 
Participants were encouraged to break out any old straight skis and directional snowboards to carry on the true retro spirit. These mainly consisted of Burton, Kemper and Sims boards, along with Kastle and K2 skis. The majority of outfits were old ski jackets, shirts, jeans and sweaters from the 1980s to early 1990s.

 
Throughout the day people were working on figuring out their gear for the race and practicing their ballet moves in preparation for the events.

 
During the runs, everyone was performing old ski and snowboard tricks off of everything we could find to jump. Daffies, iron crosses, shifties, methods, stiffies and crazy looking 360s were among some of the tricks being performed.

 
Everyone took their runs on the slalom course that was set up very tightly. The tricky course proved to claim the runs of a number of eager-to-win individuals. The wet, heavy corn snow wore down into rut-filled berms on each turn as racers made their way through the course.

 
Once everyone moved from the race on Stateside to the ballet on Tramside, all the character came out of everyone that participated. The judging criteria were based on best outfit, gear used, overall performance and crowd reaction.

 
Participants gracefully made their way down the carpet area spinning, waiving arms, twirling batons and even summersaulting to please the crowd with whatever they had for moves.

 
Once 4 p.m. rolled around, everyone was all set and ready for the social run. Everyone met at the top for a quick group photo and then got their gear on and sent it down the Northway to Goat Run trails together.

 
Once everyone reached the bottom, they all began on unbooting and swapping over their wet outfits for some dryer casual attire.

 
Awards and a barbeque followed the day of skiing and riding. After the initial awards were given out, a raffle took place that consisted of many items, ranging from ski and ride gear to water bottles and stickers. As always, there was a long list of sponsors and thanks that were given out regarding the donations to the raffle when the day was over.

 
Even with the less than ideal weather, Retro Day is always one of the few good things that come with the end of each ski and ride season at Jay Peak Resort.

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Racing retro at Jay Peak