Letter from Janet Findlay and David Hunter - 2019-01-11

We found out a few days ago that ski-o has apparently been dropped from this year’s Empire State Games.  This decision was not discussed with anybody involved in NY ski-o circles nor any members of the NYSSRA board, and we have received no official confirmation nor even one reply to our numerous enquiries over the past week.  However ski orienteering is not listed among the sports on the ESG website, and a competitor who tried to register earlier this week was told that ski-o would not be held due to “low numbers”, so we’re assuming that, for the time being, E-Sports with an XBox as first prize has pushed ski orienteering off this year’s menu (no kidding – take a look at the ESG site!).
As David and I had already invested quite a bit of time planning for this year’s competition, this came as a complete shock  Many competitors have registered their disappointment with this decision and with NYSSRA’s backing we’ll lobby the organizers to reinstate ski-o in next year’s Games. 
On a brighter note, we’re working to organize a replacement competition for this year to be held Feb. 9-10 (the weekend after the ESGs).  Accommodation in the area should be easier and cheaper to book without a big event going on, and you can be sure that entry fees will be much lower than the $75 ESG registration fee.  
One race will be at Paul Smith’s on the VIC trails using a new map based on LIDAR data, and we’re working on a site to host a 2nd event the same weekend.
We’ll post more information as it becomes available.  Meanwhile, we’ve had over a foot of new snow here in the Lake Placid area this week and things are looking good for next week’s scheduled event at Mt. van Ho – more details about that next week!