The 43rd Red Parka Challenge Cup Race is scheduled for Friday, March 18th, 2015 at Attitash in Bartlett, NH.
Rumored to be the oldest amateur dual slalom, pro-style race in the country, it draws the best ski racers from New England. This is also one of the best spectator races around.
In 1973 a modest ski race started at Tyrol ski area in Jackson, known as the Tuborg Challenge. In 1975 the race changed its name to the Red Parka Pub Challenge Cup and over the next 40 years was held at Tyrol and Black Mountain before settling onto Spillway at Attitash. During this time, it has grown to become the premier amateur ski race in New England drawing the best collegiate and local skiers from across the region, including countless ESSC alumni. The race has always served as a benefit for local charities, including the North Conway Community Center, then the T. Mahoney Scholarship Fund and eventually the Eastern Slope Ski Club. In 1988, the Ju- nior High Challenge Cup was started, and currently serves as the NH Junior High State meet every February. ESSC be- came the primary beneficiary of the race, thanks to the hard work of Bill Paine and his long standing friendship with Dewey Mark, the founder of the Red Parka Pub and the Challenge Cup. Bill’s hard work with the race is still honored every year by awarding the William Paine Cup to the fastest team.
This past March the Red Parka Pub Challenge Cup celebrated its 40th birth- day in style and raised over $7,500 for the Eastern Slope Ski Club Junior Ski Program and $500 for the Herbert Schneider Memorial Fund. The event kicked off on Thursday evening with the “Bib Draw” and induction ceremony for the newly formed “Challenge Cup Hall of Fame”. Following the bib draw the 25 former champions of the race, including 14 ESSC alumni, and 12 notable race workers, organizers and sponsors were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Each of the inductees was given a commemorative jacket and had their picture placed in the Hall of Fame at the base of the stairs in the Red Parka Pub.
With favorable conditions on race day, over 110 racers from across New England took on the lower half of spillway and the bump. Numerous ESSC members and alumni competed this year and did very well. In the end, this year’s race came down to two ESSC Alumni, four-time winner Ben Drummond and rookie Ace Tarberry. Ace was able to beat out Ben to be crowned the 2013 champion. “The Parka” as it is known to the locals, is the oldest running pro-style race in the country, and promises to continue as such. Whether you choose to bust over the bump, or blend in with the crowd,this event is fun for racers and spectators alike. With divisions for locals, women, 40+ as well as the A & B divisions for the top Amateur racers in New England, there is plenty of excitement for all. So, mark your calendars to come and blast over the probump or to cheer on the past, present and future champions from the side of Spillway. Please remember that the race is limited to the first 175 racers, so sign up early. The entry fee is $70 which