Masters World Cup
The Masters World Cup (or Masters World Championships) is the main event for masters skiers each year. Below are details:
What is Masters cross-country ski racing?
Masters cross-country ski racing is skiing for anyone over the age of 30, male or female. People normally race in 5-year age groups up to the oldest groups of 85+ for men and 80+ for ladies, although some events may use larger age categories.
What race events cover Masters ski racing?
Many events, whether on snow or on roller skis, include Masters categories. For British skiers, the Army Championships include Masters categories, as do many of the summer roller ski events. Most loppets also recognise Masters. The main event of the snow season is the Masters World Cup (see below). Many other countries hold annual national championships for Masters and British skiers are welcome to race in these.
Who can race as a Master?
Anyone can race as a Master provided that they are over 30. For the Masters World Cup, though, skiers may not be current members of their national ski teams.
What is the Masters World Cup?
The Masters World Cup (MWC) is an annual, week-long on-snow event, which takes place during late January, February or March, and which moves each year between the Alps, the Nordic countries, North America and, recently, Russia and Eastern European countries. The MWC may be considered as the World Championships for Masters skiers, even if some of the best national skiers are not permitted to compete because they are in their national teams.
What does the MWC involve?
During the week, there are three individual races: 30, 10 and 45 km for men, 15, 10 and 30 km for ladies (people over 60 ski shorter distances). Each distance is run in both skate and classic styles but you can only race one style per distance. There is also a 4 x 5 km relay for national teams, although age rules mean that Britain cannot always enter a team.
Who goes, what is the standard, and what can I expect?
The MWC attracts around 1000 skiers each year, including several former World Cup, Olympic and World Championship competitors. A few former World Cup skiers have attended the MWC immediately after leaving their national teams, and the standard is usually very high in most age groups (sometimes a little less so in some of the ladies categories).
The tracks are supposed to be 50 % as demanding as normal World Cup courses (less for older skiers) and may not contain any dangerous sections. Tracks vary but all competent British skiers can compete on them without technical difficulty. As an FIS-recognised World Championships, however, the MWC is the highest-level, best organised, event in which British skiers can race.
Usually between 5 and 15 people from Britain take part each year. Although there is no selection as such, to take part you should be a reasonably competent skiers able to race at 12-15 km/h or above (races are won at speeds well above 20 km/h). You also need to be comfortable with downhills and sometimes sharp but safe cornering. Snowsport England Proficiency level 3 Star, or equivalent, should be appropriate.
What do I need to compete for Great Britain?
The MWC and a few other events are among the few opportunities to race for your country. To compete for Britain in the MWC you need either to hold a British passport or to live in Britain. You also need to be a member of the British Masters Cross Country Ski Association. The next few MWCs will take place in Cogne, Italy in 2020, Canmore, Canada in 2021 and possibly France in 2022.
In other events, such as a loppet, you will not normally be competing formally for Britain but, instead, as an individual or as a member of a ski club.
What is the British Masters Cross Country Ski Association?
The BMCCSA exists to promote Masters skiing in Britain and to allow people to compete as Masters abroad, in particular at the MWC. The Association has ties with Snowsport England, which runs several roller ski training and race events in England during the summer/autumn, and provides information about its own and other clubs’ events via a 6 monthly newsletter; membership costs £5 per year. Although the BMCCSA is recognised by the World Masters Association, it is not a ski club and so does not provide insurance. Most BMCCSA members are, therefore, also members of a recognised English, Scottish or other ski club. You do not need to be of Masters age to be a BMCCSA member.