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Vasa Gets New Race Director

Mon, Dec  5, 2005 - By Jim Dombrowski & Pete LaPlaca

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the North American Vasa. In recognition of this special anniversary we are offering a great low entry fee for the 2006 Vasa. The 30 year, 30 dollar, until 30 Days special. Entry fees are only $30 for the 50K and 27K races for skiers registering for the 2006 Vasa up to 30 days before the race ( January 11th, 2006 ). So register early to take advantage of this great deal. Online registration is now open and available at no extra cost @ .

A downloadable entry form is available on our website @ if you would rather mail in your entry.

New Race Director

Pete Edwards has been named Race Director for the 2006 North American Vasa. Pete LaPlaca, Vasa board president, said that "we are very pleased to have an individual with Pete's extensive background, energy and enthusiasm step into this important role. When our 2005 Race Director, Dave Schumacher, accepted a position in the Seattle area, our board quickly began a search for the best person available in the five county area.”

Pete Edwards has a strong background in organizing and directing running road races, cross country races, tennis tournaments, windsurfing regattas, snowshoe races, alpine ski races and the first Norba sanctioned mountain bike race in Michigan. He is the former Recreation Director for the Homestead Resort and serves as the cross country running coach for both the boys and girls teams at Glen Lake High School. Mr. Edwards is also the owner of the Old Sleeping Bear Trading Company and is the owner/founder of WWW.SKIWALKING.COM headquartered in Glen Arbor, Michigan. This year he has introduced Ski Walking to 1,000's of Americans through his ski walking clinics-hosted across the US from Lake Tahoe to the Green Mountains.

“I want to get kids more involved,” Edwards said. “That’s my passion”. Edwards lives in Glen Arbor with his wife Lissa and their son Keefer (Keefer skied the VASA 12k on his sixth birthday). Their daughters Chase and Cassidy are former VASA 12k and Gran Travers 14k champions. Chase attends Prescott College in Arizona and Cassidy attends Middlebury College in Vermont.

Quote: "It is such a privilege to be selected as the Vasa's Race Director and it is extremely reassuring to know that the Vasa board and the Vasa volunteers are so dedicated and committed to hosting such a quality cross country skiing venue for racers, recreational skiers, families and kids. I was impressed by how they pulled off last year’s race under extreme (weather) conditions. They did it with a lot of class and style."--Pete Edwards.

The Vasa board would like to thank Dave Schumacher for his service in 2005 and his time and energy spent in the middle of a move to help Pete Edwards get up to speed so quickly. We would also like to wish Dave and Sandee the best of luck in the future. We will miss them.

New Grooming Badge

TART Trails will again be grooming the Vasa Pathway and the Leelanau Trail this winter. In previous years, TART conducted a grooming raffle to help raise funds to cover the cost of grooming. That raffle has been replaced by a new grooming badge program. While the raffle tickets were not tax deductible, the grooming badge will be fully tax deductible and 100% of your badge cost will stay with TART to support grooming and to help purchase new equipment. Approximately $25,000 is budgeted by TART each year for grooming expenses, although costs vary from year to year due to weather, fuel costs, and other expenses. Last year TART received approximately $6000 from the DNR in reimbursement for grooming.

While TART does not, and will not require a pass to use any of their trails, wearing your grooming badge around town and while you are on the trail will show everyone that you support grooming. A seasonal badge with a window decal is available for a donation of $100. A daily badge is also available for $8 for those who might be visiting the area or use our trails on a limited basis. The day badges come as a sticker and will be available by mid-December at the Vasa Trailhead, at select area businesses, or through TART.

For more information visit the TART website @ or check the Vasa website.

A Good Start

After two good early season snowfalls in the Grand Traverse area which found many skiers heading out into the woods to take advantage of very good skiing, we are looking forward to a normal or above normal snowfall year after suffering through the winter of 2004-2005 with the second lowest snowfall amount in the Grand Traverse Area in the past 50 years. We have now received another 11-14 inches of new snow over last weekend. The snow is light and fluffy with wet snow from the still warm ground below. That snow has been packed and skied in over the weekend and with continued cold temperatures should create a nice base for the groomers to work with. The forecast is for lots of new snow in the next few days.

Check Your Results

Timing data for all of the North American Vasa races has been compiled into a master data base. If you are not sure of how many Vasa races you have finished, send an email to  and we will send you a return email with the year, distance, and finish time for all Vasa’s we have finish times for you. When emailing us be sure to include your name (all names you may have raced under), your city (all cities you have lived in since you first skied the Vasa), and current age. If after you receive your results you notice an error or omission, please let us know and we will attempt to correct any mistakes or omissions.

Jim Dombrowski – Vasa News
Pete LaPlaca - President

Upcoming Events (See the Vasa website for more details)

  • Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays: Traverse Nordic Ski Club Dry Land Training
  • December 11th Traverse Nordic Ski Club Annual Meeting and Pot Luck at Timber Ridge 5:30 PM, Bring a dish to pass
  • December 12th, January 9th, January 16th Waxing Clinics at Brick Wheels
  • January 8th Timber Ridge Open House
  • January 13th Nordic Ski Film fund raiser for the Traverse City High School Cross Country Ski Teams @ the Saint Francis Auditorium

North American Vasa
317 Wadsworth St.
Traverse City, MI 49684
Phone: (231) 938-4400

2006 Vasa Board
Pete LaPlaca (President)
Mike Tarnow (Vice President)
Mike Haley (Vice President)
Mark Esper (Secretary)
Deb Westphal (Treasurer)
Chris Buday
Roberto Corona
Paul Domagalski
Jim Dombrowski
Ellen Fivenson
George Kuhn
Ken Masck
Jim Monroe
Aaron Swanker
Jim Woodburne
Pete Edwards (Race Director)