MILAN — The Nansen Eastern Ski Jumping Tournament is set to fly on Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Nansen Ski Jumps at 83 Milan Road in Milan. It’s the second of two planned jumping events in the North Country this weekend.
More than 30 jumpers are already registered to compete at the Chip Henry Ski Jump on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. out on the Kancamagus Highway in Conway. Jumpers from all over New England and New York will be competing on the 10-, 20- and 35-meter jumps on the Kanc. and heading north the next day.
This is the annual club meet for Mt. Washington Valley Ski Jumping.
Sunday's event is the second day of the Nansen Ski Club Winter Carnival, which will also feature on Saturday an Art Sled Rally, where people who have built their own sleds out of cardboard will test them on the lower portion of the Nansen hill.
That competition, which includes prizes for distance, design and best crash, starts at noon. Sledders are expected on the hill at 11 a.m. Spectators are welcome at all events. No admission is being charged.
On Sunday, jumping starts at 10:30 a.m. on the smaller K10, or 10-meter, L’il Nansen jump and at noon on the K39 (39-meter) Little Nansen jump. The Nansen event is sponsored by Friends of Nansen Ski Jump and Nansen Ski Club.
The Big Nansen Ski Jump, a K80 jump, is still in the process of being rehabilitated and will not see any action this weekend. The Friends of Nansen Ski Jump have been working for several years on the project, and in the meantime, two smaller jumps have been made at the hill.
According to the Nansen Ski Club, “The Little Nansen hill is professionally designed, according to the most modern aerodynamic and safety standards, and provides a wonderful jumping experience.” It was built with volunteer labor and equipment, provides a "smaller" hill to provide a bridge to the bigger ones.
Improvements this year include installing an artificial inrun track and adding three additional starts.
As of Friday afternoon, 34 people had registered for the event in U-14 and U-10 categories as well as an open class on both K39 and K10 slopes. Registration is still open at tinyurl.com/m5k7ds7v. The registration deadline is this Saturday at 8 p.m.
This is the second year that competition has been held at Nansen since competitive ski jumping stopped there in 1985.
The 2021 event, which was held as part of Nansen Ski Club’s 100th winter carnival, drew 34 competitors. Prior to that and Olympian jumper Sarah Hendrickson’s well-publicized jump in 2017, the jump had not been used since the 1980s.
No Androscoggin Valley residents are among the skiers competing in this weekend’s jumping. That is to be expected, said Friends of Nansen treasurer Scott Halvorson, since there hasn’t been any ski jumping in Berlin in 37 years. Building the jumps is really the first step in building a local team, he said.
“We’re really starting from scratch,” he said, Friday. “We’d love to have some Berlin kids jumping, but we had to have the jumps first. We hope to do some active recruiting in the spring and summer.”
Halvorson did say “at least a couple” of athletes from White Mountain Regional High School are not competing but are expected to come and try jumping during the practice runs.
Among the competitors expected Sunday will be Kennett High School and Mount Washington Valley Ski Jumping students Joseph Nichipor, Tyler McCluskey and Sean Maloney of Bartlett; Elizabeth Blair and Sophie Saunders of North Conway; and Carter Tasker of Chocorua. All are registered in the open class for the K39 jump.
The Andover Outing Club has also fielded a team with Sebastian Christie of Concord, Hailey Garnsey of Campton, Cadel Cox of Peterborough and Mychal Reynolds of Andover schedules to compete.
Reynolds is the only jumper in the open K39 class returning to Nansen for this year’s competition, placing third in last year’s jumping, with a distance of 36 meters. Competitors are also judged on style.
Andover is also bringing two returning jumpers in the U-14 class (for athletes up to age 14) — Matthew and Timothy Tourville of Canaan, as well as Paisley Rancourt of Lebanon, who will all be jumping on the K39 jump — and Sara Beck of Gilford, Harper Stepp and Louisa Stepp of Holderness on the K10 jump. Both Matthew and Timothy have moved up from jumping last year at Nansen on the K10 hill.
Also competing in the K39 open are Carley Bannerman of Norfolk, Conn. (with Salsbury Winter Sports Association) and Myles Stinson of Whitefield.
In last year’s competition, Cooper Dodds of Lebanon won the competition with a meet record jump on the K39 jump of 43.5 meters or 143 feet. He has not yet registered for this year’s event.
Also participating are the following teams:
• Lebanon Outing Club, with Galen and Elet McCusker of Rochester, Vt. (all in the U-14 K39).
• Harris Hill Nordic, with Spencer Jones of Putney, Vt.; Ava Joyal of Guilford, Vt.; and Wesley Leonard of Hinsdale. (all U-14 K39). Joyal competed last year on the K10 hill.
• Ford Sayre, with Caroline Chor of Hanover, Dylan Cote of Lyme, Celia Osborne of Sunapee, and David Webster of Norwich, Vt. (all U-14 K39); and Emmeline St.-Fleur of Thetford, Vt. (open) and Catherine Chor of Hanover on the K10 jump.
• SWSA (Salsbury Winter Sports Association), with Islay Sheil of Lakeville, Conn., in the U-14 K39 competition and Henry Sheil in the U-10 K-10.
• NYSEF (New York Ski Educational Foundation), with Max Fey and Leila Fey of Lake Placid, N.Y., and Eli Larkin of Plattsburg, N.Y., all three returning again this year.
For up-to-date information on who is registered for the event, go to skireg.com/Confirmed/6713.
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