Satre Hill
75th Anniversary
Salisbury, CT

February 9-11, 2001

Salisbury's Satre Hill has for decades been the best place in the East to watch and enjoy ski jumping competition. The 2001 Salisbury competition was even more special as scores of past competitors, workers and supporters assembled in this north-western Connecticut village to help the Salisbury Winter Sports Association (SWSA) celebrate its 75th anniversary with a weekend of parties and banquets and balls, as well as some terrific ski jumping.

The weekend weather challenged both jumpers and hill workers with fifty degrees and rain friday night, then diving temperatures carried in by strong gusty winds Saturday. But while the Gods seemed angry, the spirit of Sig Evensen was present and all jumping events went off without serious problems.

The weekend started with the 2001 Nordic Kids Ski Festival which brought youngsters from all over the northeast to jump Salisbury's 20 and 30 meter hills and then finish the nordic combination with a cross country race. [ See results. ] Then the big kids worked up the courage to ignore wind and rock-hard snow to compete in the Salisbury Invitational Jump on the big hill. [ Results ]

Saturday evening, everybody gathered at the luxurious White Hart Inn for the 75th Anniversary banquet. The food was great and the fellowship even better. SWSA honored their favorite son, national champion and Olympian Roy Sherwood. They also recognized honorees Audry and Bam Whitbeck and the many, many volunteers who have made the jumping possible over the decades.

Finally, old jumpers were called to the stage in various groups including the Olympians present:

Five Olympians
Left to right: Jay Rand Jr., Art Tokle Sr., Casey Colby, Roy Sherwood, Dana Zelenakis.

Later, history buff Don West asked for all those who had jumped Satre hill before 1950 and it was just like Field of Dreams as more and more old guys came forward out of the crowd. Finally eight stood on the stage, one of whom first jumped the Salisbury big hill in 1937, long before it was even called Satre hill. (Want to see some OLD PICTURES from Salisbury?)

Early Salisbury Jumpers
Left to right (with date of first jump): Jim Lamson (1937), Bruce Falk (1947), Stub Sherwood (hidden), Bob Hein (1947), Art Tokle (1948), George Miner, Roy Sherwood (1948), Rod Aller (1939). (Please submit any corrections.)

Tournament Chairman Nick Collin recognized SWSA jumper Larry Stone who has coached at all possible levels from SWSA club coach to U.S. Ski Team head coach. Larry in turn invited to the stage those old guys who had jumped in Salisbury during the last 35 years. Here they are!

Jumpers of recent decades
Front (left to right): Jay Rand, Peter Claus, Sven Evensen, Jack Hosick, Michel Voboril, Mark Levasseur, Dave Harris. Back: Jon Farnham Sr., Art Tokle Jr., Don West, Rich Nicholaysen, Phil Rancourt, Larry Stone, Dana Zelenakis.

After the banquet, many stayed at the White Hart to enjoy the annual Snow Ball Dance and Sunday morning, some took advantage of the annual Pancake breakfast put on the Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Then it was back to the serious jumping, the snow was still rock-hard and the wind was still strong but some very good jumping was seen by a large and enthusiastic crowd of spectators. Taylor Hoffman came to Salisbury to try to retire the Satre Trophy (he has his name on it twice) but some excellent jumping by Chris Decker sent Taylor home empty-handed. [ Results ] Not every exciting performance led to a first place; Jonathan Kling thrilled the crowd and a huge cheer went up when young Marshall Ambros flew 69 meters in the jumpoff, one meter short of Decker's long jump of the day. Then there was Sam Burke who repeatedly thrilled the crowd by skiing in the rough stuff on the far side of the landing, outside of the pine boughs.

Several SWSA volunteers (there's that word again) assembled a wonderful museum display of photos, clippngs and artifacts reflecting Salisbury jumping over the last 75 years. The pity was that more of the visitors could not find an hour or two to do it justice. Following the awards ceremony and chili at Salisbury Congregational Church, as the out of town folks drifted away, one saw a group of exhaused volunteers sitting in a group, resting for the first time in days and enjoying the afterglow of another huge job well done.

Visit a small photo album full of pictures from Salisbury.

Jumpers Sitting on Hay Bales
How many jumpers, through the decades, have sat on the hay bales at the end of the outrun in Salisbury, enjoying the sunshine as they waited for the competition to begin?

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