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Thread: Sandbagging, or is it?

  1. #1
    Senior Member IN.racer's Avatar
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    Hypothetical question here. Let's say you are planning on going to the Nationals. Your race times are usually gold, but occasionally you hit a platinum. Two seperate days with a platinum and you are now in that group. Now you know you don't really belong there, and certainly wouldn't want to race in that group at the Nationals. Would you go all out knowing there is a good chance to end up in platinum or hold back a little to ensure you race with the Gold group where you have a better chance of a podium? I know of a few with this dilemma.

    Me personally, I'm in the platinum group this year and am not going to the Nationals. No way would I spend the money to go out there knowing I have no chance of a decent finish. The four Nationals I have attended I'm barely middle of the pack out of 35 or so.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member putterman's Avatar
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    Tough decision. Here are my thoughts:

    if you are a platinum racer at a resort such as Keystone (flat and straight...easy to get a much lower handicap than you deserve) and you have been to Nationals before and have proven yourself THERE to not be a platinum but rather a gold skier...I don't see a problem with it. Nationals ARE harder than MOST Nastar courses that your average Joe will race;

    if you are a borderline platinum/gold racer at an average NASTAR resort...bomb some runs at your own risk. You are the one that has to live with your secret. Chances are, some else knows that you did it. Pray they don't start talking, or you'll be the talk of the Forum. Not everyone can have the chance to podium. Go to Nationals to compete amongst your field and see how you place respectively. If podiuming were everyone's goal who went to Nationals, then there should be 4 racers in each division (no wait the 4th guy wouldn't stand a chance...);

    if you are a solid platinum, but know you are just not THE fastest (or not even the second or third fastest) in your division, but will throw a few races to get in a sure podium position, shame on you!

    Hope that helps.


    BTW I am a solid gold racer with NO chance of podiuming (my oppinion) at Nationals. To get myself in the silver division so that I could podium is beneath me. Not the being in the silver division part, but the fudging my results part. There was a resort that I raced at last year that makes it really tough to get good times (one of those pacesetter-handicap issues). I could, theoretically, go ONLY to that resort and pull a silver average with 2 golds and 3 silvers all within a point or so of each other...but that isn't right in my book.
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  3. #3
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    Good thoughts Mike!
    Funny this topic was brought up. I think I am going to find myself in the same situation this year. I looked at my handicaps from the last four seasons. Just by looking at the numbers I have improved about 10 points. (and I missed all of last year with injury) When I first started I was a low bronze but now I am a border line bronze/silver with a slight tilt toward the silver side. I ran my first race day of the season yesterday. In my best run I was 1 second away from a gold. Most of the other runs were back toward the border line. So basically I face the same situation. Do I go to nationals, if I qualify, knowing I will probably be at the bottom of the pack in the silver division? Honestly my first thought was how do I shave off that one second to get myself closer to gold. On the lift up I was running everything I have learned through my head trying to think of what I can do better. Heck I even started a diet today and plan to go walking/running tonight to get my ski legs back under me. It wasnt until late last night that the thought of being at the bottom of the pack again at nationals hit the brain. It is alot of money to attend Nationals. Trust me, with four kids, and being the only source of income in the house it is a very tight squeeze for me to make the trip, if at all. For me personally Nationals have become more then just getting a medal. I think last year I missed being able to see all of my friends from the forum that I missed the most. If I am able to attend this year I will be doing the best I can in what ever division all fall in and let the chips fall where they may. If I can not go then maybe I can have some bragging rights around the office with my rankings.

    I hope this helps you either way.
    Best of luck,
    Copper
    Go hard or get outta my way.

  4. #4
    Senior Member putterman's Avatar
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    To add to my earlier example, here are my bro's results from this year: 11.7 , 20.8 , 16.8 , (and Hinter Mountain which didn't give results). THEN he just went to Keystone and pulled a 10.05 and a 3.43. Not to take anything away from his 2 recent platiums...they are what they are...you have to be fast to get those results. But those results are not indicative of his racing otherwise. Again, Ian, I am PROUD of you, not jealous, not discounting your speed or ability! But the other results are a much better gauge of what he will accomplish at Nationals. So, should he qualify as platinum, would it be fair for him to compete in the Platinum Division...I don't think so. Keystone is NOT a good example of the type of slope that you would race on at Nationals...
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  5. #5
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    As racer who split exactly Gs and Ps last year, I posted a similar thread a while back. My HCPs vary by about +/- 2 points all season. So I am consistently..."decent". Am I a "solid" P? At my age, I need a single digit to P. Aint that easy. My 2 Gs this year missed Ps by about .1 seconds. :oops: I am tweaked tuned suited and booted EVERY race (just like everyone else who is half decent). My PS runs 1s and 2s every night.

    I am pretty sure I would get my butt KICKED in a Plat Div (I do here), but perhaps gold would not be awful.

    That said, 99.99% of my nastar is via my league. Therefor it is go like hell every run. I am WAY more concerned about League than Nastar. (No offense and love the stats!!)

    Nats are not in the cards for bit. Maybe when I turn 40? Little kids and little time right now.

    Anybody got a link to a video of the course at the nationals last year?

    All that aside...if you have a trip BOOKED to the Nats as part of the vaca plan, the trip is mainly social, the Plat course is not going to hurt you, AND your results have no league impact, AND you are not some hot sh!t racer who just wants to beat on gold rec shmoes - then go ahead and dog it! :grin:

    PS: Want to get some good racers to show up? Have the Nats in the east! :twisted:
    Go FAST. Take CHANCES!

  6. #6
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    This kind of stat drives me crazy.

    "he just went to Keystone and pulled a 10.05 and a 3.43."

    Unless he FELL DOWN on run #1, how does this even happen on a 25 second course?
    Go FAST. Take CHANCES!

  7. #7
    Senior Member putterman's Avatar
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    They were on two different days. The numbers I listed were his BEST run of each time he went racing. My bro is a very good skier (we both started when we were kids 30 years ago), but just started racing about 3 years ago. So we can easily have a 7 handicap difference between days...let alone on the same day! If we put it all together on one run, a really good run is not out of the question, but not taking good lines (unknowingly maybe) could cost us a second. BTW, my point is not that he got a 10 one day and a 3 the next. Rather that he got a 3 at Keystone and a 20 at a resort more similar to what you would find at Nationals.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member IN.racer's Avatar
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    An example of what I had in mind when I posted this are lets say last year you finished 4th or 5th in your bracket. Maybe a couple of the guys who were on the podium will not be there this year or maybe moved up to the next bracket. Now this opens the door for you to have a good shot at the podium. I would want to stay where I am to maybe finally get on the podium.

    Let's face it. The majorty of the platinum guys, especially the ones who go to Nationals, are serious racers, pace setters and the like. I wouldn't want to compete against them just because I got lucky a couple days and ended up in the platinum division.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member putterman's Avatar
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    Understandable, as long as you truely deserve to be in the Gold Division, that is where you should race.

    BTW, my bro got a 16.67 at Vail today...

    Is it just me or does anyone else think that Keystone should move their NASTAR course to something more, I don't know, par for the course so people will post more realistic handicaps?
    I drink, therefore I am!
    CRU145

  10. #10
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    NOpe. I vote Keystone and Breck keep their courses right where they are.

    Geez. This is NASTAR for crying out loud. The majority of participants are not hard-core technically savvy racers and nor should they be.

    Join Master's, local league, or Teamski, if the flat courses bug ya that much.

    I love 'em flat, because it is the only way I can keep you fast technical guys and gals within tail light view. :oops:

    I also prefer them flat because I do love to run gates, but I also enjoy not spending time on the IR list. I'm accident prone and break easy, so perhaps I have a more conservative view. :wink:

    And thus continues the never ending debate.

    Now go out and get in the course. :grin:


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