Sugarloaf, Maine, is no stranger to playing host to U.S. Alpine Championships, but in 2019 the resort will look forward to hosting the first-ever U.S. Alpine Speed Championships. From March 16-21, 2019, the best alpine skiers in the nation will ski down Narrow Gauge in downhill, super-G, and alpine combined events.
Domestic events such as the U.S. Alpine Championships are a vital part of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s athlete development program and key to the success of “Project 26," the organization’s long-term plan to produce the Best In The World in alpine ski racing. The U.S. Alpine Championships also enable top club athletes from regional programs around the United States to see how they stack up competitively against U.S. Ski Team veterans from the FIS Ski World Cup Tour. As an International Ski Federation (FIS) sanctioned event, the U.S. Alpine Championships are also open to foreign athletes.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced in August that Waterville Valley will host the U.S. Alpine Tech Championships, including slalom, giant slalom and parallel slalom March 23-26, 2019. Sugarloaf is thrilled to bring elite-level ski racing action back to their mountain, home to U.S. Ski Team member and Sugarloaf-sponsored athlete Sam Morse (Sugarloaf, Maine).
Racing will take place on Sugarloaf’s legendary Narrow Gauge trail, which was also the site of a 1971 World Cup event. It will be the seventh time Sugarloaf has played host to the championships following successful events in 1996, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2017, but this will be the first official “U.S. Alpine Speed Championships” with downhill, super-G, and alpine combined events.
“Sugarloaf has always been an excellent resort partner with a challenging, high-caliber track,” noted U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Systems and Operations Calum Clark. “As I’ve said before, the east boasts a high percentage of our U.S. Ski & Snowboard club membership base, and therefore the fans are wildly passionate about the sport. We look forward to heading to Sugarloaf in March 2019 for the first official U.S. Alpine Speed Championships.”
Sugarloaf is equally looking forward to once again host the event. “We couldn’t be prouder to host the first-ever U.S. Alpine Speed Championships at Sugarloaf,” said Sugarloaf Director of Marketing Ethan Austin. “As the only homologated downhill course in the east, Sugarloaf has a long history as a proving ground for the world’s fastest skiers. We’re excited to see the nation’s best test themselves on the world famous Narrow Gauge once again.”
Sugarloaf, along with Carrabassett Valley Academy, has long been a hotbed of ski racing and the development home of stars like Olympic champion Bode Miller and World Championship medalist Kirsten Clark. Sugarloaf’s proud racing heritage stems from years of hosting world-class competitions. The mountain has staged many Junior Olympics and Eastern Cup (development level) events. In 1971, Sugarloaf held men’s and women’s World Cup races and also hosted the first official FIS Alpine Junior World Championships in 1984.
Much like the 2015 through 2018 Sugarloaf, Maine/Sun Valley, Idaho venue arrangement, U.S. Ski & Snowboard looks to continue the successful long-term calendar plan to move the annual celebration of American ski racing to top resorts around the United States. That said, U.S. Ski & Snowboard will be looking to the west for 2020 and 2022 and the announcement will be forthcoming.
March 16 Downhill Training - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 17 Downhill Training - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 18 Downhill (NorAm Cup Finals) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 19 Downhill (National Championships) - Sugarloaf - Maine
March 20 Alpine Combined (National Championships) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 21 Super-G (National Championships) - Sugarloaf, Maine
March 23 Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 24 Parallel Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 25 Women’s Giant Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.
March 26 Men’s Giant Slalom (National Championships) - Waterville Valley Resort, N.H.