Salisbury was jumping on busy Jumpfest weekend
SALISBURY — The Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA) held its 86th annual ski jump competition (Feb. 11) and the U.S. Eastern Ski Jumping Championships (Feb. 12) at Satre Hill in Salisbury.The Jumpfest weekend also included newer sources of winter fun, including target jumping under the lights on Friday night, Feb.10, as well as a chili cook-off and human dog sled race. The annual Snow Ball was held Saturday evening. The ice carving competition was held on the lawn in front of the Scoville Library this year, on Saturday.Although this has been a mild winter with very little snow, the SWSA volunteers were able to make snow and pack the jump and landing field. “The weather was perfect for skiing all weekend, no problems at all,” said SWSA President Ken Barker. The air was cold and clear and the wind didn’t create any impediments to long flights. Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Service volunteers were on site, but no assistance was needed (although a few skiers did have dramatic falls; they stood up, brushed themselves off and headed back up the hill).Attendance was good for the weekend, though it was very slightly off on Sunday, Barker said. “When there is no snow on the ground people aren’t as into the winter mode,” he said. Temperatures were fairly mild on Saturday but were quite cold on Sunday. On both days, spectators warmed themselves by bonfires and wore their warmest clothes. One man wore a fur hat that he said he had purchased in Siberia.Judges for the weekend event were Will Smith, Jack Phelps, Mark LaVasseur, Martina Lussi and Peter Klaus.There were no new hill records broken on the weekend, although some jumpers came very close. The hill record stands at 72 meters.The winner of the first round in Friday’s target jump, with the target at 65 meters, was Spencer Knickerbocker of Brattleboro, Vt. Second was Will Rhoades of Park City, Utah.In Round 2, with the target at 68 meters, Spencer Knickerbocker came closest with a 67.5 meter jump. Four jumpers reached 67 meters: Luke Daniels, Hyrum Bailey, Andrew Bliss and Will Rhoades.Saturday and Sunday’s overall winner was Andrew Bliss of Lake Placid, N.Y., whose top distance was 69.5 meters. Complete results will be posted online at the SWSA website at www.jumpfest.org.A moment of silence was held Sunday afternoon in memory of longtime and beloved SWSA volunteer Bill Appleyard, who died Saturday (see the obituary page, A2). “Bill was one of the most generous human beings anyone in SWSA has ever known,” Barker said in an interview Monday.