New this year was the Vasa Classic, the replacement for the long running Gran Travers. In a break from tradition, Saturday's North American Vasa was freestyle-only, and Sunday's Vasa Classic added a thirddistance, 34km, to the old Gran Travers distances of 16km and 6km.
Waxing was...tricky, with a least one DNF. Although the weather forecast suggested klister conditions for the race, it wasn't to be. With variable snow conditions, many skier found success with waxless skis. Said Blair Zordell, "Three inches of snow dumped on the trail ruined that idea right at the start and during the race. - no glide, no kick. Glad to test my waxless backups!" Mueller-Brumbaugh reported that her "Atomic Skin Tex skis rocked the downhills and climbed by jumping out of tracks with great kick!"
Guillaume Girard had a somewhat different opinion, suffering through on waxable skis: "Falling sleet then falling snow over glazed base. A wax technician nightmare. Unwaxable snow, going through too much kick to no kick, through no glide, etc. I should have used my zero (waxless) skis but I foolishly did not. Experimenting with kick wax worked out enough for me to win my age group."
Eli Brown and Elizabeth Embick were the overall winners in today's inaugural 34km North American Vasa Classic. Brown pretty much crushed everyone, coming in 10 minutes (2:14:54) before second place finisher Marc Bitzer (2:24:59) Rob Fox was third in 2:26:53.
Embick had an even bigger lead at the finish! It was over 17 minutes between Embick cross the finishing line in 2:51:54 and Carol Mueller-Brumbaugh's finish of 3:08:20. Mueller-Brumbaugh was able to hold off third place Katherine Hobbs (3:08:59).
The 16km Classis was the designated Michigan Cup race, and many skiers opted out of the longer event in order to maximize Michigan Cup Points.
After finishing second in yesterday's 48k North American Vasa freestyle, Sam Holmes won the 16K Vasa Classic in 54:37. Alex Smith took second in 55:03, with Randal Bladel third in 55:03.
Rebecca Davis, yesterday's 28K freestyle winner, took the win in today's 16k Classic in 59:56. She was almost 4 minutes ahead of second place Jordyn Ross (1:03:54). Third place was Tracy Hardin in 1:04:53.
Davis decided that to completely skip the "Do I wax or do I use waxless skis": She double-poled the entire course to victory! Davis admitted, "I actually had VR 50 with VR55 for kick...I just wasn't getting much kick so I ended up doublepoling!"
The Junior 6km classic was won by Jacob Dean and Mary Lyon. Dean won in 21:36, follwed by Isaac Coulter (22:38) and Red Roe (24:18). Lyon finished in 23:00, followed a few seconds behind by Emma Schwab (23:16) and Dana Pflughoeft (23:37.