Greetings, Vasa Nation!
Some big changes are in store for the 2021 edition of the North American Vasa!
During the past 44 years of the North American Vasa’s history, we have experienced many challenges. We have had blizzards and rain, subzero temperatures and subtropical temperatures, a melting lake crossing, too much snow, too little snow, and even a crazy grouse called 10K who ran out and pecked on skier boots! The race has been canceled twice due to unsavory conditions. But we have never, ever faced a pandemic. That’s simply not in the playbook!
But face it we will! Bottom line is that the NAV is committed to staging an in-person event on February 13/14 unless state directives completely tie our hands. We are doing this because, #1, we feel that, as an outdoor, individual effort event, we can do it safely. And #2, we can’t let down our loyal racers and those now discovering the joys and benefits of outdoor activity. We hope to continue with this one positive thing in a pandemic world where so much of our normal activities are off the drawing board.
This will, however, be a “back to basics” Vasa. Us old timers remember when we used to change clothes in our vehicles for races because there were no facilities. And no one complained because we were just happy to be there. Well, this Vasa will have you doing just that again!
Here are some additional measures you can expect to see:
So, there you have it. Of course, there’s no guarantee of safety no matter what precautions are taken. Everyone needs to make their own decision about risk tolerance. We certainly understand if you prefer to not take the risk, but if you decide to take the plunge, know that you will be expected to comply with our Covid precautions. And we will also do our part to keep you safe.
Planning for 2021 started right after the 2020 race, and we had ambitious plans to hold a “skiathalon” (one lap classic, one lap skating). We have postponed these plans and have instead gone with a shortened menu of race opportunities based on past participation. If your favorite race has been eliminated, we apologize, but hope you continue to support the Vasa with your participation, either as a racer or volunteer. Check out vasa.org for race details.
Registration opens November 1. Yes, I know, you might be tempted to say “I’ll wait” but that has some perils. For one thing, early registration saves you $, but also, we will be taking registrants 1st come, 1st served if we need to cut down on numbers due to state restrictions. If we need to cancel altogether, you will have the choice of deferring your fees to next year, having the funds refunded or donating them. If you cancel, don’t expect a refund. Sorry!
Finally, I’d like to thank our local sponsors who stepped up to the plate in difficult times. We especially welcome and thank our two new co-titles sponsor TCF Bank and Serra Subaru of Traverse City. Serra will have several of their newest vehicles on display race weekend.
I hope to see you in February! Stay tuned for updates --- I’m sure there will be many!
North American Vasa