One-ski trials
Resolute Bay pair plan event

Tony Romito
Northern News Services

Resolute Bay (Mar 13/00) - The sport of one-skiing has taken off in Resolute Bay and excitement is building for the first ever Nunavut-wide one-ski championships.

Race organizers are gearing up for the two-day event, during which individuals will compete in time trials, slalom and extreme events.

For those of you not in the know about one-ski, it's a sled made from a piece of scrap wood. A two-by-four plank is used for the runner and plywood is used for the platform.

A piece of metal crate strapping is nailed onto the bottom and sanded smooth for better sliding action. A piece of rope for a hand hold is used to keep yourself attached to the sled -- sort of like riding a bull. Your free hand and the leg you aren't sitting on are used for steering and stability.

The impending race -- scheduled to take place in April in Resolute Bay -- is anticipated to draw the attention of other communities and it is hoped that it will bring contingents from around the territory in to compete for top honours.

Invitations have been sent to the schools in Pond Inlet, Grise Fiord and Arctic Bay, but responses have not yet been received.

"It really is a sport that is unique to the North," said Neil Christopher, race organizer.

"You need very hard-packed snow and ice for the one-ski to work well, conditions that are ever-present in Resolute Bay. Our main goal is to have a lot of fun, but we'd also like to get a little exposure for the sport," said Christopher.

Co-coordinator Tony Romito explained the rationale behind the event:

"Neil and I were fascinated with one-skiing as soon as we were introduced to it. Modern sleds and toboggans just aren't practical up here and the kids needed something that could withstand the rigours of High Arctic conditions," said Romito.

"The answer was the one-ski. We have held several informal races over the years and the kids love the opportunity for competition," he added.

Categories for racing will include sprouts (5-10-years old), junior (11-15 years old), senior (16-30 years old) and one ski in the grave (31-65 years of age).

Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place participants in each category.

Participants will be required to pay a small registration fee that will cover the cost of a one-ski T-shirt among other things.

Free lunches are planned for the weekend and a dance will be held on Saturday night.

For more information, contact Tony Romito or Neil Christopher in Resolute Bay.