NORTH CONWAY, New Hampshire ??вЂќ Many special guests are expected to attend the Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race and celebration of ski history March 11, 12 and 13. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the death of the founding father of ski instruction, Austrian Skimeister Hannes Schneider, who brought his world-renowned skills to North Conway and Mount Cranmore in 1939. Through his unique Arlberg teaching techniques, Schneider introduced skiing to millions of people around the globe.
The Meister Cup is unlike any ski race in history. It combines the best of skiing today with the warm nostalgia of yesterday and honors some of ski history’s most enduring figures, many of whom are expected to take part in this memorable event that benefits the New England Ski Museum.
Two groups of Austrians, one from St. Anton where Schneider lived as an adult, and one from Stuben, Schneider’s birthplace, are expected. The Stuben group will consist of: Stuben Mayor Dietmar Tschol, Stuben Tourism Director Barbara Mathies and Klostertal Museum Director Christof Th?В¶ny, who has just created an exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversery of Hannes’ death in April 1955. The exhibit is slated to travel to the New England Ski Museum in April.
Austrian Peter Nohl, formerly of St. Anton and now Director of Resort Food and Beverage at Vermont’s Sugarbush Resort, will be on hand as well. Peter’s name is a familiar one on the Hannes Schneider Trophy, as he was a member of the St. Anton teams that attended the race in previous years.
Four military teams are expected to enter the Schneider Cup Race – one team made up of World War II veterans of the 10th Mountain Division. This year also marks the sixtieth anniversary of the 10th’s fight in Italy. On January 6, 1945, the 10th Mountain Division suffered its first casualties in Italy when seven men were killed by mines in Quercianella, near Livorno. By the time the war in Italy ended, on May 2, the division had suffered a total of 4837 casualties.
Two teams from Fort Drum, NY, will attend. The organizer is SFC Patrick Muir, a familiar face from the teams attending the races in 2003, and 2004. SSG Shawn Rohan and Jim Sheets, now retired, will also return from last year’s team. New to the team is 1LT Ray Gilmore, Jr., a North Conway native who grew up skiing at Cranmore.
The Army Mountain Warfare School of the Vermont National Guard will field a team, led by LTC Matthew Fitzgerald.
The family of the late legendary skier Toni Matt is forming a team. Toni is famous for having skied the Tuckerman Ravine headwall straight during the 1939 Inferno Race, but also for having won most of the downhill races he entered from 1939 to 1941. He worked for Hannes as an instructor at Cranmore, then spent the war serving in the 10th Mountain Division. Matt’s son Richard, daughter Francee Matt Quinlan, and their families are planning to attend.
Stefi Reed Hastings is planning to field a Carroll Reed Family team and will present the Carroll Reed Cup, named for her father, to the fastest team representing the ski industry. Stefi learned the Arlberg technqiue from Hannes at Cranmore.
Also expected to attend the Meister Cup festivities is Hannes Schneider’s son Herbert, his wife Doris, their sons Hannes and Christoph, along with young Hannes’ wife Betsy and their children.
With so much history coming together in one place, the Hannes Schneider Cup weekend at Cranmore Mountain Resort is sure to be a unique experience. Spectators are welcome to attend Saturday’s events free of charge. The Opening Ceremony, ice carving competition, vintage skiwear parade and awards; and the silent auction are all good reasons for spectators to visit. The auction should have more than 100 items, including skis, bindings, airline tickets, lodging and dining certificates and ski equipment.
For more information Cranmore Mountain Resort, call 1-800-SUN N SKI (786-6754) or visit www.cranmore.com. To learn more about the Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race, or to register a team, please call 800-639-4181 or visit www.skimuseum.org.