This year marks the 96th anniversary of Salisbury Connecticut’s ski jumping tradition. It all started in 1924 when Salisbury resident, John Satre, a well-known ski jumper in his native country of Norway, created the Salisbury Outing Club that held the first ski jump competition in Salisbury, in January of 1927, that drew a crowd of two-hundred spectators. The Salisbury Outing Club eventually evolved into the Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA) that has continued to host the highly anticipated annual ski jumping competition called JumpFest that draws jumpers and spectators from all over the East Coast.
In 2022, spectators are in for a special treat that only takes place every ten years or so. This year, the Salisbury Winter Sports Association is not only hosting JumpFest, and the U.S. Eastern Division Ski Jumping Championships; on February 11-13, they are also hosting the U.S. Junior Nationals Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined on February 22-26. This will give spectators the chance to watch ski jumpers participating in the Eastern Division, on Sunday, February 13, and then later in the month cheer on our Eastern Regional winners at the U.S. Junior Nationals. “We are so excited to be able to host not one but two in-person events this winter. We want to give spectators an up-close sense of what Olympic-style competition is all about, and how hard these jumpers train. We hope it provides people with the chance to get out and enjoy the great outdoors while cheering on our Eastern Regional winners at the U.S. National Championship, right here in Salisbury, Connecticut. Many of these jumpers are Olympic hopefuls so it is like getting a two–time sneak peek at the up-and-coming Olympians that we usually watch on TV. There is nothing more exhilarating than watching it live and in-person as these jumpers travel up to 200 feet through the air at more than fifty miles an hour,” said Willie Hallihan, a long-time Director of the Salisbury Winter Sports Association.
JumpFest offers so many exciting competitions to watch including warm-up and target jumping, junior jumpers, and the expert jumpers participating in Sunday’s highly anticipated Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships. Part of the fun is ringing your cowbell to cheer on your favorites and guessing who is the fastest — and highest jumper in real-time – and, wondering if the 231-foot record will be broken!
Even more fun awaits spectators this year at JumpFest with the unique Human Dogsled Race being held on Friday night, February 11, after a hiatus last year due to Covid-19. The Human Dog Sled Race taking place after the Target Jumpers on Friday Night consists of six people, five pulling, and one rider. It is so much fun to watch these colorful sleds and costumed teams race against one another! The teams compete in timed, two-teamed races, and the two fastest times in the mens, womens, and mixed categories run a second race. Trophies are awarded to the three fastest teams in each category. There is also a people’s choice trophy for the most unusual sled and costumes.
And, if you work up an appetite, no worries, the Cook Shack offers a range of burgers, dogs, hot chocolate, and more, and the Low N Slow Food Truck serves BBQ and authentic Poutine all three days. There will also be a wine tent, a hot toddy tent, and the Great Falls Brewing Company’s beer tent.
At this in-person outside winter event, there is plenty of room to social distance and still have an excellent view of the ski jumps. Tickets will be available at the gate and are $15 for adults on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Kids 12 and under are free all three days. The ski jump complex is located at Satre Hill on Indian Cave Road in Salisbury. Before setting out check www.jumpfest.org for updates, scheduled changes, or more information or email the Association at email@example.com. The Salisbury Winter Sports Association is complying with all State COVID-19 regulations to keep spectators and athletes safe.
ABOUT SALISBURY WINTER SPORTS ASSOCIATION
The mission of the Salisbury Winter Sports Association is to acquaint the public with Nordic ski-jumping, cross–country, and Alpine skiing, and to teach the skills necessary for their enjoyment. One way of fulfilling this mission is to host the annual Jumpfest Competition on Satre Hill to sustain and ski jumping in Salisbury, Connecticut, and the Eastern United States.
There are only half a dozen ski jump facilities on the East Coast, with Satre Hill in Salisbury being the southernmost location. Some of the best athletes will be here competing in JumpFest, an event that has launched many Olympians including three of the four men that participated at Sochi.
Friday, February 11, 2022
JumpFest kicks off on Friday, February 11 at 6 p.m. with practice jumps. Target Jumping under the lights begins at 7 p.m. Two large bonfires and warm food and beverages will be available for purchase from a variety of food trucks.
The popular Human Dog Sled Race will take place after the target jumps are completed.
Saturday, February 12, 2022
On Saturday morning, February 12, things warm up with the Junior Jumpers from Lake Placid, New York, and other Eastern locations competing on 20 to 30-meter hills. The action kicks off at 9:30 a.m. with these youngsters showing off their strength, skill, and conditioning that makes them fly effortlessly through the air. Medals will be awarded on the hill.
The real action of the day starts at 11 a.m. with warm-up jumps. These competitors are the best of the best in the Eastern Division. The competition begins at 1 p.m. This event is thrilling to watch as these expert flyers go from 0 to 50 miles an hour in seconds and seem to defy gravity with runs up to 70 plus meters.
Sunday, February 13, 2022
The highly anticipated Eastern U.S. Ski Jumping Championships on Sunday, February 13th begins with practice jumps that run from 11 a.m. through noon. The long-awaited annual competition starts at 1 pm. At this event, there are often Olympic hopefuls competing. These expert jumpers seem fearless as they display the tremendous coordination, skill, balance, and strength that it takes to soar so far and so high in the air and to land smoothly. If you want to find some of the bravest athletes in sports just stand at the bottom of a ski jump and watch them soar through the sky. It is exhilarating.
Even the most sedentary spectators will appreciate the extraordinary coordination and skill required to make a jump! After all, most jumpers tell you that it is the closest you get to flying…without the wings or a parachute. Winners of this event representing our region will go on to compete in the U.S. Junior Nationals being held in Salisbury from Tuesday, February 22 through Saturday, February 26.
Before setting out check www.jumpfest.org for updates, scheduled changes, or more information or email the Association at firstname.lastname@example.org