|Kevin Snow, left, and Saylor Flett, right, take off down the hill at the Plumas-Eureka Ski Bowl during elimination matches in the Longboard Revival Series races Jan. 20. Photos by James Wilson|
Historians and racers of all kinds showed up Sunday, Jan. 20, to the ski hill above Johnsville to participate in and watch the first set of races in this year’s world-famous Longboard Revival Series.
The beautiful weather drove the masses out to the Plumas-Eureka Ski Bowl and instantly set a mood. No one was cold or miserable and high spirits abounded.
Though the racers amounted to 31 — nine women and 22 men — close to 350 people overall filled the historic ski site. Most January races bring an average of 150 people to the event.
People came bundled up in layers of clothing, which was quickly tucked away once the sun came out to form beautiful racing conditions.
As always, John Sheehan announced pertinent racing information to the crowds via his megaphone. The band The Usual Suspects entertained spectators who enjoyed the races from the ski hut porch.
Various individuals adorned themselves in 19th-century garb, in keeping with the historic theme of the races.
One racer after another came rushing down the hill on 12- to 16-foot-long wooden skis, carrying a single wooden pole to use in starting and stopping.
“This was awesome for a January race,” mentioned Mike Kelly, vice-president of the Plumas Ski Club. “We had a lot more people show up than we anticipated and everything ran really smoothly.”
The racers were broken up into men’s and women’s categories. In the day’s only unfortunate incident, an early contestant suffered a broken ankle. Dana Ludington was racing against Dana Flett in the first heat of the day. Ludington crossed the finish line first, but crashed while stopping. She experienced severe pain in her ankle and was carried out to the parking lot on a snowmobile sled. Later that day it was determined that her ankle was broken.
By process of elimination the male and the remaining female contestants dwindled until only a handful remained.
Don Fregulia placed first in the men’s category and Kina Nemath won the women’s.
Butch Lambert placed second for the men and Tom Fralick placed third. In the women’s category Dana Flett came in second and Morgan Coons third.
The Longboard Revival Series will continue Feb. 17 and March 17. The February races will be held in conjunction with the Eastern Plumas Snowfest. The March races will be the last set of the season and, thus, the world championship.