Written by Jake Bright
After a warm weather delay, New Jersey Ski Council’s Wednesday Night Race League (WRNL) kicked off January 24 at Hidden Valley. While few likely associate ski racing or even skiing with New Jersey, the Hidden Valley program proves that grass roots alpine competition is alive and well. Held Wednesdays on a 7:30pm start time, the two month series is open to anyone with a helmet, skis, or a snowboard. There is even a Monday night training option for WNRL’s races in slalom, giant slalom, and super-g disciplines. Located within reasonable driving distance of Manhattan and surrounding areas, WNRL draws racers from the Big Apple, New Jersey, and several surrounding states who compete for fun, awards, and extra beer for winners in the customary post race après ski in Hidden Valley’s lodge. It is possible to race with an established club start your own, or run as an independent.
Action on the course
“This is the only venue offered in the region that provides adults of all alpine skill levels the opportunity to race in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, where participants can train and improve their racing skills early in the week, validate their progress in the race course several days later, then boast of their results with other fellow racers in the lodge ‘Tavern’ over music, food and drinks,” said WNRL Training and Race Coordinator Bill Bolte.
Author and men’s SL winner Andy Barnett
For the season opening slalom Nina Jonsson took first for the women and Andy Barnett won the men’s race, both members of High Life Ski Club.
WNRL organizer Bill Bolte and women’s SL winner Nina Jonsson
WNRL Racers Rich Griffin and Dawn Mazzanti