CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine — The best Alpine skiers in the country will converge at Sugarloaf next March when the mountain hosts the inaugural U.S. Alpine Speed Championships.
The event, scheduled for March 16-21, 2019, will feature competition in the downhill, super-G and Alpine combined disciplines, all on the Narrow Gauge trail.
The championships are instrumental in “Project 26,” the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association’s plan to produce the best Alpine ski racers in the world. The U.S. Alpine Championships enable top club athletes from regional programs around the country to compete against U.S. Ski Team veterans from the FIS Ski World Cup Tour.
“We couldn’t be prouder to host the first-ever U.S. Alpine Speed Championships at Sugarloaf,” Ethan Austin, director of marketing at Sugarloaf, said in a press release. “As home to one of the few homologated downhill courses 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.”
The U.S. Alpine Championships, sanctioned by the International Ski Federation (FIS), is also open to foreign competitors.
U.S. Ski and Snowboard previously announced Waterville Valley in New Hampshire will host the U.S. Alpine Tech Championships, including slalom, giant slalom and parallel slalom from March 23-26.
The event will mark the seventh time Sugarloaf has played host to the championships. It did so in 1996, 1997, 2006, 2008, 2015 and 2017.
“Sugarloaf has always been an excellent resort partner with a challenging, high-caliber track,” U.S. Ski & Snowboard Chief of Systems and Operations Calum Clark said in the release. “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.”
Sugarloaf and Carrabassett Valley Academy have helped develop stars such as Olympic champion Bode Miller and World Championship medalist Kirsten Clark.
The schedule for the U.S. Alpine Speed Championships includes downhill training March 16-17, the NorAm Cup downhill finals on March 18, the downhill championships on March 19, the Alpine combined championships on March 20 and the Super-G championships on March 21.