Skigatta event hopes to grow in second year | ParkRecord.com

Skigatta event hopes to grow in second year

Christopher Kamrani, The Park Record

To Ken Block, when it comes to growing the sport of sailing within the elaborate sports community of Summit County, it’s all about baby steps.

That’s why Block, the vice president of the Park City Sailing Association (PCSA), said the organization went the unique route in 2011 when it created its own ski-and-sail event known as the Skigatta. As the 2012 Atlantis/Cloudveil PCSA Skigatta returns for round two this weekend, Block said the goal for the event is to gradually receive more recognition nationally and become one of the paramount ski-and-sail destinations in the country. But he said you can’t expect such an elaborate event to grow overnight.

"It’s kind of an offshoot of what we’ve been experiencing in the last four years, that there is this pent-up demand of sailors wanting to get back to a sport which most of them gave up when they chose the Park City lifestyle," he said. "In other parts of the country, particularly New England and Lake Tahoe, these kinds of events are very popular. We looked at the idea last year, and we realized we had the all the ingredients here in our backyard. That was kind of the genesis for it."

The Skigatta will feature boat races Saturday on Jordanelle Reservoir as contestants are scheduled to be at the personal watercraft dock at 10 a.m. Competitors are able to bring own boats to the event, but PCSA will have a limited number of boats available for competitors. The boat races are scheduled to begin at noon Saturday. The second part of the event, an alpine race at Park City Mountain Resort, is slated for Sunday at 10 a.m. on the NASTAR course.

The winners are determined by the overall combined placements in skiing and sailing.

"What’s unique is the incredibly close proximity from Jordanelle to the ski lifts," Block said. "The fact that Park City is just a cool town for people to visit, and all the ingredients are there, and we just had to add some structure to it."

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Block added that the long-term goals are to continue to get the word out nationally, not just regionally. He said PCSA is going to adopt social media platforms and, with a bit of luck, become that prime destination for the unique ski-and-sail event.

"I’m an old guy, been studying the hell out of (social media)," he said, laughing. "It’s really just having sponsorships and building on it."

For more information on the 2012 SkiGatta, visit http://www.sailparkcity.org .