In a perfect alpine winter race season, South I Division skiers and snowboarders are halfway through their schedule with sights set on qualifying for March’s CNISSF State Championships at Northstar.
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But California’s worst recorded drought has threatened the season for the approximately 168 prep racers from El Dorado, Ponderosa, Union Mine, Golden Sierra, Oak Ridge, Amador, Argonaut and Capital Christian.
Due to the lack of snow, not only is the division behind schedule, its been forced to change from the budget-friendly home base of Sierra-at-Tahoe to the much costlier Heavenly Resort, a budget-breaking move for most of the programs which are typically self-funded in nature.
To be eligible for the season-end state championships, skiers and snowboarders must qualify in two Giant Slalom and two slalom races.
The cost for Monday’s dual GS race at Heavenly was around $10,000. Compared to Sierra’s cost of $600 per race, the difference is staggering.
Without multiple storm systems hitting the area, South I anticipates at least one more dual race at Heavenly (Feb. 17) and seeks the community’s help is raising $20,000 to offset the cost of the race and team on-hill practices.
Any amount is helpful. The division has sent up a Website to handle donations that can be accessed at www.gofundme.com/6gnncc. Donations may be tax deductible to the extend allowable by law.
As appreciation, division athletes will participate in two cleanup days next month at Sly Park Lake.