"This is an event for the most fabulous ladies in Atlanta like me and Sheree and Kim. I don’t know Phaedra that well, but what I seen of Phaedra, I ain’t never seen fabulous … when we talk about fabulosity, I don’t see it.” — NeNe Lekes

Team AntarctiKate is back. Check your local listings. 

Team AntarctiKate is back. Check your local listings. 

Just did laundry. My wardrobe apparently consists entirely of Antarctikate shirts circa 2007-2012. cc @antarctikate

Overheard in Oakland: “I am contributing!” cc @antarctikate

Melissa’s Race Report - VEMS 2012

The following post is from Melissa Holmes, captain of Antarctikate Racing and leader of our Team Antarctikate fundraising effort.  What a badass! 

NOTE: She also likes to race AC45s around SF Bay with Russell Coutts and James Spithill…

______

Thank you so much for your generous donation to Can Do MS!  Your sponsorship helped my team, AntarctiKate Racing, have the most successful event in our three years supporting Can Do MS and competing in the Vertical Express event at Squaw Valley.  To top off our fundraising efforts, we held our position as the fastest women’s team on the slalom course with a 1-2-3 finish on Saturday and we won Sunday’s Mountain Challenge.  
 
The weather report from last week promised plenty of new snow for the weekend, and Mother Nature didn’t disappoint.  We woke Saturday morning to 18-24 inches of fresh snow and blue skies.  After a bit of shovel work (which was shortened by the timely arrival of the snow plow) we were on our way to Squaw Valley and we were not alone.  The powder hounds were out early, the lift lines were long (see attached), and the 20 teams competing in the Vertical Express for Can Do MS (VEMS) were gazing up at the slalom course from the base of the mountain wondering when the NASTAR officials would start setting up the race gates.
 
Reports of avalanches the day before and the arrival of a couple feet of new snow meant Squaw’s avalanche control team was hard at work setting off explosives to remove the threat of additional avalanches before lift operators could start loading the chairs.   The mood on the mountain was a mix of excitement and anxiety as skiers of every level waited patiently for the chairs to start spinning so they could get a start on the epic day that was ahead.
 
As expected, the lifts opened about 30 minutes late.  With event registration complete Jen, Cheri, and I buckled our boots, stepped into our bindings, and took off for a few morning warm-ups runs.   In addition to a lot of powder, the big overnight snow left behind a very soft race course.  On the red course, racers battled deep ruts and on the blue course we maneuvered big banks of snow (think luge course) at some of the gates.  World class race course this was not! 
 
The rough conditions gave way to a slower than usual race, and those who pushed the limits a little too much suffered the consequences.  A few spectacular crashes and a handful of missed gates caused the disqualification of 13 out of 76 racers, but luckily none of the participants ended up in the medical tent, and a good time was had by all.  
 
Sunday’s Mountain Challenge, an adventure race around the mountain, was made even more difficult by the poor visibility.  To start, each team received a list of clues to different stations around the hill, but there is no peeking until sitting on the lift.  This year the start was on the Squaw One chair which has to be one of the coldest, unprotected lifts that remains open in a storm.  It was cold!  Eight clues and 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the challenge in blizzard conditions would be a challenge indeed. 
 
There we sat, three racers, gloves off, one reading off the clues, one manically trying to keep the map from ripping apart in the wind, and one attempting to use modern technology (i.e. Squaw’s iPhone app) to solve the riddles and strategically plot our course around the mountain. With so much fresh snow on the ground, the urge to ditch the course mid-challenge for good old fashioned knee deep powder skiing was fierce.  Without a unanimous decision to abandon the race, however, we carried on bombing down the runs to get to all the stations before time was up.  We were probably skiing faster than the Ski Patrol would recommend for the conditions, but hey, we had a race to win! 
 
The goal is to get to all eight stations where a playing card (some in envelopes that can only be opened by race organizers at the finish) is distributed.  At the finish teams play their best poker hand - the stronger the hand the higher the points.  There is also an M&M in jar game, and turns out this was our lucky year…we guessed the exact number of peanut M&Ms in the jar.  Our winning M&M guess along with our poker hand, a straight in Diamonds, gave us the points needed to win the Mountain Challenge.
 
This year we set our fundraising goal at $15,000, an amount triple our target from 2011.  This increase was due largely to the challenge thrown our way by our friend Kate Togneri, the inspiration behind the AntarctiKate teams. Not wanting to disappoint, we accepted the challenge and we’re nearly there!   We have until Wednesday, March 21 to raise the remaining funds, and there is isn’t a doubt in our minds that we will make that deadline.  By doing so, we will become the first AntarctiKate team in the five years that they have represented at the VEMS event to reach that $15,000 bench mark, and to secure a place at the competition and awards ceremony in Vail, Colorado.
 
Can Do MS is a national nonprofit organization that provides innovative lifestyle empowerment programs for people living with MS and their support partners.  By working with collaborative partners and drawing from a national network of committed interdisciplinary MS specialists that include exercise physiologists, nutritionists, neurologists, physical and occupational therapist, physicians, psychologists, speech/language pathologists, registered nurses and other health care specialists, Can Do MS provides people living with MS a unique experience through workshops, weekend seminars, and supportive resources the tools to help them understand and manage their disease and live their best lives possible.
 
Nearly 10,000 people are expected to benefit this year from the programs and services offered by Can Do MS.  It wouldn’t be possible without your assistance so thank you again for your generous support!  
Cheers,
Melissa
A shotski without boot-liners would be just wrong.
Jen Sedgwick, Antarctikate Racing
HUGE lift line at KT-22 on Saturday morning - St. Patty’s Day at Squaw after a huge snowfall.  Photo taken from the Plaza Bar deck at Squaw Valley - courtesy of Melissa Holmes from Antarctikate Racing.

HUGE lift line at KT-22 on Saturday morning - St. Patty’s Day at Squaw after a huge snowfall.  Photo taken from the Plaza Bar deck at Squaw Valley - courtesy of Melissa Holmes from Antarctikate Racing.

The 2012 t-shirts have arrived…

The 2012 t-shirts have arrived…

Team Antarctikate: $20,000 raised so far!

HUGE thank you to all of our family, friends, and co-workers for helping us raise over $20,075 for MS.  

More to come about the event in the coming days, but first we wanted to give a subtotal of the Team Antarctikate fundraising effort, and recognize each team for its contribution so far.  And those of you who donated, you might want to know how your own team stands.

Team AntarctiKate has collectively raised $20,075.  Impressive.  

Again, much more news and many more photos to share about this weekend, but first a collective THANK YOU to all of our supporters thus far.  It’s a great cause and we love that you care.  

Here were the totals…

$8,915- Antarctikate Racing (Jen Sedgwick, Melissa Holmes, Cheri Morillas)

$3,835 - Antarctikate Classic (Katie Togneri, Brian Mullen, Chris Allen, Matt Hengehold)

$3,370 - EradiKate MS (Larry Mullen, Sean Killebrew, Phil Harrison)

$2,045 - Lateral Bullettes (Lynn Mullen, Jenn Valentino, Elizabeth Little)

$1,910 - Occupy Squaw Valley (Kevin Mullen, Phil Daws, Danny Pavel)

$20,075 TOTAL for Team AntarctiKate

Let’s keep it going…

Ski report at Squaw & Alpine for Fri Mar 16.  

Ski report at Squaw & Alpine for Fri Mar 16.  

It’s finally upon us, and thankfully accompanied by about 5-7 feet of new snow.  Much needed!  On Saturday and Sunday at Squaw Valley, we ski to raise funds for MS.  It’s been a long haul, but if you are so inclined, there is one more day to donate to Team Antarctikate and help change lives of those with MS.  

Just click on the link above.  Even just a $25 donation helps immensely.

And so it finally started snowing, which means we are officially back on for the Vertical Express for Multiple Sclerosis at Squaw Valley this year.  All it takes is a lot of friends and small donations to make a difference - raising $18K last year alone.  

THANK YOU! Final Total Raised: $31,021

A HUGE thank you to all of our family, friends, and co-workers for helping us raise over $31,021 for MS.  

More to come about the event in the coming days, but first we wanted to give a final tally on our fundraising effort, and recognize each team for its contribution.  And those of you who donated, you might want to know how your own team ended up.

Team AntarctiKate collectively raised $18,385.  Our friends from NVIDIA ended up with $12,636.  Collectively we are at $31,021 total.  Impressive.  

Again, many more news and photos to share about the weekend, but first a collective THANK YOU to all of our supporters.  It’s a great cause and we love that you care.  

Here were the totals…

$8,900 - Her Majesty AntarctiKate Middleton (Katie Togneri, Brian Mullen, Larry Mullen, Matt Hengehold)

$5,570 - A Coup Des Squaw (Jen Sedgwick, Melissa Holmes, Cheri Morillas)

$2,435 - Lateral Bullets (Lynn Mullen, Shannon Mannix, Elizabeth Little)

$2,440 - 925 Electric Boogaloo (Erin Winters, Jason Winters, Sara O’Neill)

$1,480 - Nickel Dime Love (Kevin Mullen, Phil Daws, Danny Pavel)

$18,385 TOTAL for Team AntarctiKate

 

$3,980 - Vertigo Express (Danny Shapiro, Harry Moreton, Jean-Marc Ludwig)

$3,725 - Off Piste (Justin Boitano, Lisa Bailey, Randy Lewis)

$2,225 - ThunderTurks (Hakan Hiliccote, Ozzy Oguz, Selma Meltem Kamber)

$1,421 - Moguls of Rock (Adam Scraba, Will Wade)

$1,285 - Gravity Gurus (Kevin Saffaie, Shawn Worsell, Tyler Worden)

$12,636 TOTAL for Team NVIDIA


That’s $31,021 for all of the teams combined!

Working dogs.

Working dogs.

Race time.

Race time.