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Steamboat ups the ante for holiday FIS series

Steamboat ups the ante for holiday FIS seriesSteamboat has increased the size of the prize purses for its annual holiday season FIS races in the hope of drawing a stronger field to the race. Chris Puckett, program director at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, believes that offering prize money is also a way to keep post-graduate skiers in the sport longer.

‘This year we’re hoping to up our prize money to $500 for first place’ Puckett said. ‘We’re hoping to pay all the way down to fifth place.’

The night races at Howelsen Hill – scheduled for Dec. 18 to 21 this year – are part of an annual FIS series that sees low point penalties and support from community businesses.

It is a split-venue series; men will race giant slalom at Steamboat on Dec. 18 and 19, while women race slalom at nearby Howelsen Hill. Then the women move to the GS hill on Dec. 20 and 21, while the men switch to slalom.

Because all the second runs of slalom will take place at night, both the men and women will be able to watch the opposite sex finish the race.

Puckett expects the college quotas to be full as Eastern region college skiers scout the hill in preparation for the upcoming NCAA championships. ‘It will be a pretty deep field’ said Puckett.

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