Below are some Race Day Tips for new racers/Parents/Guardians and for those who have not been to an official SOD race yet. Please note that OCUP and higher level FIS races are not referenced here since they have their own scheduling and details that will be supplied by their Coaches and Team Managers which can differ significantly from the information provided on this page.
ALL OF OUR RACERS ARE REPRESENTING BATAWA SKI HILL AND THE LOCAL REGION. OUR RACERS HAVE A REPUTATION FOR BEING POLITE, RESPECTFUL AND APPRECIATIVE OF THE EFFORTS OF THE RACE HOSTS, LIFT OPERATORS (PSST: THEY REALLY LIKE IT WHEN YOU SAY THANK YOU AS YOU GET ON THE CHAIR), VOLUNTEERS AND RACE OFFICIALS. LET’S KEEP THIS REPUTATION INTACT.
Before we provide our own Race Day Tips, here is a great article from a USA-based race team on proper preparation for race day. https://www.racewhitetail.org/resources/athletes-guide-race-day-race-day-preparation
Batawa competes in the SOD division of Alpine Ontario. Alpine Ontario will post a series of PDF documents on their website outlining the various ski divisions by age group as well as the dates of the races and race-types. This information is normally made public in December or as late as early January of the current racing season. Your Coach or Team Manager will notify you when this information is made available.
U8/U10 racers will normally have in-house races at Batawa as well as potentially 1 or 2 invitational races at other SOD clubs. These races are not always posted on the Alpine Ontario website. Your Team Manager or Coach will advise you of the racing opportunities available to your racer.
U12/U14/U16/U18 racers compete in the SOD division of Alpine Ontario. Race schedules will be provided by Alpine Ontario as mentioned earlier in this article. Typically for U12/U14/U16 there will be 4 races plus the potential for an end of season “Championships” race. Invitationals are also attended by our racers. U18 racers also have a series of races available to them which their coaches will provide more details as the races are announced.
In addition, please remember to take a look at the Alpine Ontario Events Calendar for Invitationals and other races that may be available for your age group. The Alpine Ontario events calendar can be viewed here: https://www.alpineontario.ca/calendar/
As a race date approaches your Team Manager and/or Coach will send out a Race Notice usually several days before the race. These Race Notices are created by the Team or Hill hosting the event. Inside the race notice will be information and details about the type of race, location, course being used for the race, starting times and other rules and guidelines.
Ask your coach or Team Manager about permitted equipment.
Depending on the style of race, certain race gear will be permitted. The most common differences for races typically occurs for Slalom vs Giant Slalom races. In particular, being permitted to use Face Guards, Pole Guards, Shin Guards and items like that. Ask your Coach or Team Manager if you have any questions. Follow this link to see gear that is permitted: https://www.alpineontario.ca/download/aoa-equipment-resource-chart/?wpdmdl=13460
Accommodations and Meals.
Your Team Manager or Coach may send out an email advising some suggested lodging options for racers. Depending on the distance to the race, some racers will drive up and back the same day or stay with family members local to the area or in hotels or AirBnBs. Coordinating a full team’s lodging is nearly impossible with so many competing schedules, but where possible it is great if race team members can stay at the same hotel.
Many of the ski hills that we travel to for races have full cafeteria style dining options available. In general, and where possible, many of our racers tend to bring their own lunches and snacks to race day and will eat together. Please be aware that if your racer orders Poutine they may need to order a large portion because there are racers on our team that are known to grab a fork and join the feast. In a respectful way of course.
Know where to go on race day.
Of particular importance to most parents will be the date, time and location of the race. Most importantly though will be information related to where racers and parents/guardians need to go for parking as well as which chalet or building to go to prior to the race. Some of the private race clubs that our team races at have dedicated facilities for racers so that their own members are not disturbed by 100+ racers and their families arriving. Your Team Manager and Coach will also provide additional details on where to meet when you arrive. Please be aware that some of the larger private hills have dedicated parking areas for racers.
Know when to arrive.
Leave yourself lots of time to find the hill and parking and the inevitable walk from the parking lot to the Chalet. For a 10am Race Start, the expectation is that all racers should be in the chalet, meeting up with the team and putting their gear on by no later than 8:15am. Your Team Manager or Coach will advise you specifically of the time they would like you in the Chalet and getting ready.
What happens when you arrive.
- Find your Team. This can be tricky sometimes since the chalets can get cramped with all of the other racers and teams arriving and getting ready. It is important to find your team because you need to:
- Find your Team Manager. Your Team Manager is normally seated at a table somewhere with your team or nearby. Find the Team Manager and say hi to let them know you have arrived.
- Racers should get their BIB# and put it on. The Team Manager has your racer’s BIB and also needs to check you in as present for the race. The racer will be handed the BIB. The racer should put it on so they do not lose it.
- Ask about the official Start List and Race Order. The racer should also inquire about the start list to make sure they understand the order of racers as well as how the second run will occur.
- Offer to Help. If you are on skis that day and willing to volunteer, we can always use your help. If you are not on skis that day and willing to volunteer we also can use your help. Depending on the race, those who are volunteering and on skis may be able to get a discount on lift tickets or possibly a free lift ticket from the pool of tickets our race team receives. Please make sure that you make your Team Manager aware of your availability. Sometimes we pool money together to split the cost of the lift tickets.
- Those on skis can help by being at the top near the Starting Hut to grab jackets, pants, shorts, etc. for the racers and bring them down the hill. They can also help at the top to find our racers and make sure that they are near the start lines for when their BIB numbers are called out for marshaling. Taking video is great too!
- Those not on skis can help by being at the finish line with jackets and warm clothing that have been delivered from the Start Hut. They can also be the ones cheering loudest for our racers as they cross the finish line and providing a friendly face for our racers as they exit the race course. In addition, volunteers can help to locate missing gear in the event that a racer has forgotten something important.
- Skis on, meet outside at 8:45am. For a race that starts at 10am, your Coach will normally suggest that all racers should be outside in an agreed upon area with their skis on, BIB on, all of their race attire ready to go by 8:45am (or earlier). This is to gather, stretch and be ready for when the ski lifts open.
- Warm-up stretching and runs. The team will head to the ski lifts together and will do one or two warm up runs. It is important that the racers warm up as a group and nobody wanders off to check out the rest of the ski hill.
- Course Inspection. Prior to the race, racers and coaches will meet at the top of the race course and will have the opportunity to view the course. Course inspection normally starts around 9:15am and lasts until about 9:45am. The coach will ski down with the racers explaining the course and providing tips.
Races almost always start on-time and we have seen situations where they have also started slightly early if everyone is ready to go and racers are available.
If you have a low BIB # plan to be at the Starting Hut ten to fifteen minutes before the start of the race.
Depending on the type of race, each racer will run the course twice. For the first race, it is normally customary that girls go first starting with BIB #1 followed by the boys with continuing ascending BIB numbers. For the second race, girls go first in reverse BIB order followed by the boys in reverse BIB order.
Most races are a combined time of the two runs completed successfully by the racer.
If a racer does not successfully finish the first run, at the discretion of the Chief of Race, they will be permitted to do the second run even though they have been disqualified from the results. In general, all racers get a second run.
After the first run is complete there may be a delay in the start of the second run while the course is reset or maintained.
Racers should not wander away after their 1st Race run is complete.
Nothing is more frustrating for coaches and volunteers at the start hut than when a racer is not ready and waiting in line in the marshaling area. For Race Run #1 this is not a frequent occurrence. However for Race Run #2, we see it happening from time to time. All racers MUST pay attention to when Race Run #2 will start AND remember that Race Run #2 is run in reverse BIB order (girls high bib # to lowest followed by boys high bib # to lowest). Here are some common reasons for being late to Race Run #2:
- Racer has a high BIB # and does not remember that the second race is run in reverse order.
- After the first race the racer goes inside for a snack or to warm up and does not realize that the second run is starting.
- Racer mis-judges how long it takes to work their way through the ski lift lineup and up the lift to the top of the race course.
- Racer goes free skiing with friends.
- Racer is not paying attention to what is happening in the race and mis-judges when Race #1 is ending.
If a racer misses Race Run #1, depending on the circumstance, the racer will be placed at the end of the start list or will not be permitted to complete Race Run #2.
Pay Attention for Racer Re-Runs.
From time to time, for a variety of reasons, a racer will complete a run and will need to do the race again. This could be because of an error in timing, a technical issue, an obstacle on the course or some other issue. Racers need to be very alert and aware at the end of each of their runs whether they are required to complete the run again.
Once Race Run #2 is complete.
Make sure that you have returned your BIB to the BIB gatherers at the exit for the Finish coral after the end of Race Run #2. They normally will not let you leave the finish area without surrendering your BIB. Cheer on the rest of your teammates or go inside the chalet to get a snack and warm up.
The Awards Ceremony usually takes place anywhere from 30-60 mins following the end of the race (the last racer down the course). Sometimes due to other races it can occur at the end of the day. It is very important, regardless of your racer’s placing, that ALL racers attend the awards ceremony to show support for all of the racers as well as to show appreciation for the hard work that all of the volunteers and race officials have put into the event.
After the Awards Ceremony.
Go out and enjoy the rest of the day skiing at the hill you are visiting. Racers usually have passes to ski for the day or at least until 2pm or 3pm. Parents should take advantage of skiing at a different hill as well. In some cases your coach may operate a practice at the hill for those racers that are able to stay and ski. The Team Manager or Coach will advise you if this is possible.