BRATTLEBORO -- The Harris Hill Ski Jumping Competition slated for Feb. 15 and 16 in Brattleboro will feature more than 40 of the world's top jumpers from the U.S., Europe and Canada.
One contender is Chris Lamb of the Andover Outing Club, who won the 2010 and 2013 Harris Hill competitions and holds the hill record for the longest jump, 335 feet. Lamb says he's looking forward to competing at Harris Hill and retiring the Fred Harris Trophy. The Fred Harris Trophy has only been retired five times.
Lamb is only one of a number world-class jumpers who have competed at Harris Hill -- some as recently as last year. Of the recently announced members of the U.S. Olympic ski jumping team, all have competed at Harris Hill. This includes Nick Alexander, Nick Fairall, Peter Frenette and Anders Johnson.
For those who can't make it to Sochi, the Harris Hill competition represents a unique opportunity locally to witness future Olympic hopefuls up close as they launch from the takeoff at speeds of 60 mph on an Olympic-sized 90-meter jump to compete for the coveted Winged Ski Trophy and FIS Cup points.
This year's event, presented by Pepsi, will not only feature the Pepsi Challenge and the Fred Harris Memorial Tournament, but will also be the only domestic stop in a nine-event International Skiing Federation FIS Cup Series, and will also serve as a stop on the USA Ski Jumping US Cup series.
Competition each day will start at 11 a.m. and will conclude by 4 p.m. A family event, Harris Hill Ski Jumping Competition weekend includes opening ceremonies, appearances by Jumper the mascot, food and drink vendors, a bonfire and more.
Five judges will judge the competitions that are sanctioned by the United States Ski Association. Judges' scores from both competition rounds are added together with points earned for distance jumped. Jumpers start with 20 style points and judges deduct points for faults. High and low score are eliminated from the judges to get the final score for each jump. The Pepsi Challenge and Fred Harris Memorial competitions will have both an Open Class as well as the FIS level class.
Founded in 1922, the annual jumping competition held on Harris Hill attracts several thousand spectators each year not only to view world-renowned jumpers but also to watch local jumpers soar in the sport of ski jumping.
Harris Hill was the vision of Fred Harris of Brattleboro who founded the Brattleboro Outing Club and the Dartmouth Outing Club. Only an occasional snow drought, World War II and a three-year hiatus to re-build the jump (2006-2008) have interrupted the annual tradition. Harris Hill's reputation for organizing first-class tournaments dates back to 1923 when the hill was the site of the National Ski Jumping Championships. It has been the site of 18 national and regional championships. The most recent was in 1992 when Brattleboro hosted the National Championships.
Tickets are $20 adults, youth $15 (age 6-12 years) and age 5 and younger are free. Payment at the gate is cash or check only. Tickets are on sale at BrattleboroTix.com (full rate applies). Tickets can also be purchased at a discounted rate in advance (through Feb. 14) ($15 adults, $12 youth) at the following locations: Galanes Vermont Country Store, Zephyr Designs, Avenue Grocery, Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Burrows Specialized Sports and Grafton Village Cheese in Brattleboro; and Mount Snow Valley Chamber of Commerce in Wilmington.
The Harris Hill Ski jump is located at on Cedar Street in Brattleboro. Harris Hill Ski Jump is the only 90-meter ski jump in New England and the newest Olympic size 90-meter jump in the country. It has been designed to International Ski Federation (FIS) specifications.
The event is run entirely by a volunteer organizing committee and supported by hundreds of community volunteers on the two days of the event. Sponsorship and donations make this event possible. Harris Hill Ski Jump is a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization. Presenting sponsor for the event is Pepsi. Major sponsors include Entergy, The Richards Group, Mount Snow Resort and Foard Panel.
For additional details on the event, visit HarrisHillSkiJump.com.