Due to snow conditions, the Roy Varney Eastern Cup Opener (Sugarloaf Opener) has been moved to the Quarry Road Trails in Waterville, Maine. Despite all efforts by Sugarloaf to host this event warm temperatures and rain have forced this change.
“We’re excited to host this event, we’ve done the best job we could — utilizing every possible snowmaking window since the beginning of November to make sure we had skiable snow. We couldn’t be happier to host this event in honor of Roy Varney. On Sunday we will have a special award for the top Maine High School skier in the distance classic race — Roy’s favorite discipline.” Justin Fereshetian, Quarry Road Program Director and Head Coach
New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) hosts its Eastern Cup Opener, December 21-22, 2019.
The NENSA Eastern Cup is the premier Nordic racing circuit in New England, drawing elite skiers from the eastern United States and Canada, and is a qualifying event for the Junior National Championships. This year’s Eastern Cup Opener will be held in memory of Roy Varney, a State Champion Nordic skier from Turner, ME, who passed away in July 2019.
The race is expected to draw 300-400 racers from throughout New England and Eastern Canada, including a large contingent of Maine athletes. All registration fees for Maine racers will be matched with a donation from an anonymous donor to the Roy Varney Memorial Fund.
“This event is truly an exciting opportunity for us to showcase the amazing Sugarloaf Outdoor Center facility to the best Nordic skiers in New England, and pay tribute to Roy at the same time,” Race Director Brenna Herridge said.
Varney was a two-time state champion Nordic skier at Leavitt High School who competed in the National Biathlon Championships, and was a beloved and respected member of the Maine Nordic skiing community. His passing at the age of 18 was felt profoundly in the Nordic community.
“(Roy) made everyone around him better. He made the Leavitt Nordic ski team better,” Leavitt Nordic coach Dustin Williamson said. “When he came to my classroom to talk about the sport and the upcoming competitions, the utter glee and downright joy that beamed off of him during our conversations was priceless.”
Varney’s dream was to create a Nordic skiing and wellness facility on his family’s farm, and his family is now working to make that dream a reality with the Maine Outdoor Wellness Center. To learn more about this project and to donate to it, visit www.maineoutdoorwellnesscenter.org.
Registration for the Roy Varney Memorial Eastern Cup Opener is now open, and racers can find more information and register at https://nensa.net/eastern-cup/.
For more information on the Quary Road Trail, please visit http://quarryroad.org