The FIS World Criterium Masters races came to Mammoth this week, the first time the event’s been held in the United States since 2005.
Mammoth’s hosting more than 300 racers from 20-odd countries.
Racers ranged in age from 30 to 90.
The Sheet interviewed several team captains on Wednesday afternoon. Peter Gash, one of two racers from England, is competing in the men’s over-55 division. A former swimmer, Gash took up skiing at the age of 21.
He mostly skis Europe but visited Mammoth once about 15 years ago. “You seem to have a lot more lifts,” he observed.
Sheet: Would you come back again?
Gash: “I’d love to come back. It’s a lovely place. And we mostly speak the same language … or close to it.
Sheet: How did you become captain of your team?
Gash: There’s only two of us, and he’s out shopping with the wife.
Shun Fukuda traveled to Mammoth from Tokyo with his nine other team members.
A businessman in the computer software industry, Fukuda said this was his first time in Mammoth.
He previously worked for two American companies from 1990-2005. One such company, Peerless Systems, has offices in El Segundo.
Fukuda, 62, has been ski racing since he was 18 years old.
Luka Vucinic hails from Zagreb, Croatia. He fell twice in his slalom runs on Tuesday, attributing his poor performance to difficulty adjusting to altitude … and a few too many margaritas on Monday night.
He did say Mammoth has “softer snow than we’re used to,” and he and Gash both said the course was very rutted.
“Never seen ruts like it,” said Gash.
Vucinic, 61, has been competing in the FIS Masters Criterium since 2001.
Races were expected to continue Thursday and Friday with a final awards ceremony on Saturday.