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Sunday, February 27, 2000 -- Davis, WV
Timberline Classic Telemark Race & Norpine Festival 2000
Story and photos by Don Parks

[Coverage/Recap] [Classic Results] [Bump Contest Results]
Pictures: [Classic 1] [Classic 2] [Classic 3] [Costumes] [Bump Contest]

Bruce Wohleber
"Classic" telemark racing started Sunday's competitions
Sunday marked the second day of Timberline's Norpine Festival 2000 and, with mild temperatures on the slopes, everything was set for a full day of contests, competitions and clinics. Along with the results from the previous day's Trick or Tree Backcountry Race, the final culmination of the weekend fun would be the crowning of the Nordic King & Queen.

The first competition of the day was the Classic Telemark Race down the gated slalom course set up on the Lower Thunderstruck trail. In "classic" telemark racing style, the slalom course included two 360 degree turns that required the racers to negotiate (skate) their way back up sections of the slope. The winners were then determined by the best combined times for two runs through the gates.

Men's expert Steve Kaufman proved to be the most agile at working his way through the obstacles on the first run with a time of 53.77. Women's expert Charlie Waters wasn't letting him rest as she raced to a second best time of 54.24, less than a half-second back. Waters kept the pressure on by bettering her first run with 53.96 on her second. However, Kaufman proved to be up to the challenge by ripping through his second attempt with a remarkable 50.73. No one could better either of Kaufman's or Waters' times as they finished first and second overall with a combined 104.5 and 108.2, respectively.

The Robischs
Eric & Marcella tandem telemark in style
After the racing wrapped up with plenty more impressive performances, it was time to get ready for the Traditional Nordic Costume Contest. Breaking out the wool clothes and wooden skis was the standard for this fun competition that included a run down Timberline's Salamander trail. It was a true parade of classic colors and pageantry in celebration of the rich history of Nordic skiing.

After styling their way down the mountain, awards were given for both the best traditional attire and the most outrageous. For their true-to-form Nordic look, Rob Swanson and Beth Koller took home first and second place honors, respectively, in the traditional category. In the outrageous category, the bright red hat and sweater, along with the very chic sunglasses, landed Nanette Seligman second place. First went to the daring Marcella Robisch who braved a ride down the mountain on tandem tele skis along with her husband Eric Robisch. The tandem pair were also awarded the "Best of Show" award for their truly amazing and entertaining display of synchronized telemarking.

Eric Swanson
Eric Swanson shows the big boys a few tricks of his own
After all this fun it was time for the Bump Contest, a challenge for the more daredevil telemarkers. This contest consisted of two freestyle runs through two separate sections of the moguls on The Drop, a double black diamond trail. Competitors were required to make 20 telemark turns and were then scored on a combination of their time and points awarded for aerial tricks. The spectators, judges and racers all cheered as everyone did their best to impress with great moves and spectacular landings, often times ending with skis, poles, and snow flying in all directions.

While all who participated deserved kudos for their efforts, from the wild ride taken by the Robisch tandem to the spectacular air (and crash landing) of Darell Hensley to the brave efforts of the young Eric Swanson, someone had to be awarded the top prize. This distinction was earned by the only (solo) female competitor, Shelley Kovacs whose combination of speed and big air gave her a winning score of 102.0.

Annie Snyder
Annie Snyder, Timberline's goddess of the Norpine Festival
As the Nordic gods that overlooked the weekend's events held off the rain for as long as possible, they finally had to let loose. But this was just in time to get everyone inside for the crowning of The Nordic King and Queen. For the women, who spent the weekend upstaging the men in almost every event, the hand made crown created by Nanette Seligman went to Shelley Kovacs. Her impressive racing skills gave her a one point edge over the traditional spirit of Marcella Robisch. Her husband's equal amount of enthusiasm and energy was only outdone by Rob Swanson, the reigning Nordic King for 2000.

This packed weekend of festivities that spread smiles all across the slopes of Timberline Resort owes a huge thanks to Annie Snyder. Her tireless efforts, with a lot of help from Eric Robisch and others, ensured that all the events ran smoothly. Thanks also go out to the weekend sponsors including Fischer Skis, Couloir Magazine, Sun Valley Ski Tools, Voile Bindings and The Ski Barn.

We'll be looking for you next year as the quest for the 2001 Nordic King and Queen titles gets underway. We hope you'll come out to enjoy a fun weekend with the NORDS, and maybe become a NORD!