LAKE PLACID - At speeds exceeding 35 miles per hour, sledders hope to race down the frozen Toboggan Chute in an effort to claim glory and prizes in the third annual Adirondack International Toboggan Championships on Saturday.
"I hope people will expect a lot of good fun and speed," said Dmitry Feld, organizer of the event.
As of this morning, the event was still on. North Elba Park District Manager Butch Martin told the Enterprise that officials would make a decision later today.
Kids enjoy a toboggan ride in Lake Placid in February 2011.
(File photo — Richard Rosentreter)
"Right now, it doesn't look good," he said. "The ice is safe, but you need three or four nights of a hard freeze to get rid of the water."
Sponsored by ROCK105 and Saranac and Lake Placid Craft Brewing, the toboggan championships will take place at the chute by the town beach on Parkside Drive. It will feature two different competitions, the first being the Mayor's Cup, which starts at 4 p.m. and will feature local village mayors, town supervisors and other elected officials competing in teams of four, vying for the Jeff and Janine Abbott Memorial Mayor's Cup Award.
Each team will take two runs down the chute, and the one whose toboggan glides the farthest across the frozen surface of Mirror Lake will win.
Following the Mayor's Cup, at 4:30 p.m. the general public will get a chance to compete, also in teams of four, for the Gerald Cassidy Memorial Toboggan Trophy, named for the man who led the effort to build the chute in the 1960s. Other prizes will be awarded to the public such as cash, hotel rooms and Whiteface ski passes. A gift basket will be given to the team with the fastest speed off the chute.
"The heavier you are, the faster you're going to go," said Joey Maurer, an intern for the marketing sponsorship department.
When asked for any other tips, Maurer jokingly said: "Not that we're going to give you any because we're competing, too."
All funds raised by the event will go to USA Luge. Last year the event raised $7,000 for the association, despite having to be postponed twice due to rain before being relocated to the start house at the USA Luge's office.
"We're hoping this year the weather will be good, so people can go down on the lake," Feld said.
In case of inclement weather, the competition will take place at the USA Luge indoor start ramps located at 57 Church St., Lake Placid.
Entry fees are $10 per person or $40 per sled, with sleds being provided at the event. Registration for the event starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday.