- Jane Golden
And in the Starting Gate
Three local skiers Tyler and Terry Palmer and Dave Currier were featured in this pre-event article for the Volvo Cup.
TYLER PALMER "That's really going to give me the confidence I need for the rest of the season," said Tyler Palmer, after taking a first in the slalom event at the $40,000 English Leather Cup in Stowe, Vermont. No doubt, Tyler, who had been only mediocre in the first two contests of the year, was looking forward to the $40,000 Volvo Cup when he made that statement. His return to Mt. Cranmore for the three-day race marks the first time in almost a decade that Tyler has competed at the ski area where he first learned to ski.
At 27, Tyler has been the top American racer on the World Pro Skiing tour, finishing in third place for the last two seasons. Last year, he won the GS at the Dodge Cup in Snow Summit, California, and the Hang Ten/English Leather Cup at Hunter Mt., New York, but the slalom win in Vermont was his first professional win in the event in which he first earned his reputation. As an amateur on the U.S. Ski Team, he startled the world with World Cup slalom victories at St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Sestriere, Italy. The double win was a feat never before accomplished by an American and never again repeated. Tyler placed ninth in the slalom at the Sapporo Olympics in Japan in 1972.
A resident of North Conway and a Mt. Washington Valley Sports Ambassador, Tyler will enjoy a "home course" advantage, when he races at the mountain less than a mile from his family home in Kearsarge that he bought for himself and wife Donna. ""Racing at home," said Tyler, " is sure to pump added adrenalin into my body to help me win the Volvo Cup."
"It's been a long time since I've raced with so many of my friends and family watching - since my amateur days on the US Ski Team," said Terry Palmer, "but I've got to try and treat this like any other race, or I may psyche myself right out of a win." Terry was, of course, talking about the $40,000 Volvo Cup at Mt. Cranmore. His appearance, like his brother Tyler's, is the first time either of the racing duo had competed at their home mountain in more than 10 years.
At present, Terry is having a great season, tallying his best record to date. Prior to last weekend, his combination of quarter-final and semi-final finishes had earned him part of a three-way tie for fifth place in the standings.
Terry was a member of the U.S. Ski Team from 1969 to 1973, and with Tyler, was on the squad that represented the United States in the 1972 Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.
Shortly after that, he joined the pros. A less than successful rookie year was followed by a top 10 finish in 1974. He pulled out of a two-year slump last winter to boost himself to 11th place overall. And if he continues as he has so far, he's bound to stay among the top contenders.
Terry - a former U.S. amateur slalom champ - has always trained with his brother. The two have met on dual courses six times with Terry holding the series' advantage five to one.
The 25-year-old Terry will be looking forward to picking up some points at Mt. Cranmore, and , if the crowd has its way, he may be part of an all Palmer final.
The hometown crowd at Mt. Cranmore will likewise be rooting for David Currier of Madison, who is having an outstanding year in his rookie season on the World Pro Skiing tour. In his first appearance as a pro, Dave surprised the World Pro Skiing regulars by taking a third in the downhill event at the $80,000 Budweiser Cup to start the season in Aspen, Colorado. Dave was also 11th in the downhill at the English Leather Cup in Stowe, Vermont.
The downhill has always been the favorite event of the Kennett High School (and now Dartmouth) graduate who raced for the Eastern Slope Ski Club and learned to ski in its Junior Program. Dave spent five years on the U.S. "A" team, competing in the World Cup Circuit and the 1972 Sapporo, Japan, Olympics, (he was 16th); he only narrowly missed the '76 games when he cracked a tibia just weeks before their start.
As an amateur, Dave, now 25, scored firsts in the 1973 U.S. Senior Nationals, the U.S. Giant Slalom, and the Canadian National Downhill.
His entry in World Pro Skiing signified a reunion of sorts with Tyler and Terry Palmer with whom he first learned to race. He and Terry, only two months apart in age, had been named to the U.S. and Olympic teams together. But, unlike the brothers who turned pro in 1973, Dave remained an amateur until this year. World Pro Skiing's recent addition of the downhill contest helped convince him of that decision.
Prior to last weekend Dave had won close to $4,000 in prize money and was ranked 22nd in the standings.