It is with considerable reluctance that the New England Ski Museum announces that due to continuing pandemic, the Hannes Schneider Meister Cup Race will not be held at Cranmore Mountain Resort in March 2021. The fundraising event for the museum was first held in 1997, and the 2021 event, if held, would have been the 25th annual.
From its beginning, the Meister Cup has been much more than a ski race, although competition among the fastest racers on the dual giant slalom course has always been keen. A typical Hannes Schneider Race included a Friday night buffet dinner, an opening ceremony, silent auction, vintage ski fashion stage show, and an awards ceremony all accompanied by the lively music of the Bavarian Brothers Band. Unfortunately none of those gatherings which define the festive flavor of the event could be held under current conditions, so the museum’s executive committee has elected to postpone the 25th running of the Meister Cup until 2022.
The race honors the legacy of Austrian ski legend Hannes Schneider, who created a world-famous ski school in his hometown of St. Anton, Austria, and defined a method and structure that other ski schools embraced, and which to a great extent still underlies ski instruction today. Schneider moved to North Conway in 1939 and ran his ski school at Mount Cranmore until his death in 1955. His son Herbert owned and operated the ski area until the late 1980s and his family still resides in North Conway and St. Anton.
The museum offers wholehearted thanks to the sponsors of the event—Cranmore Mountain Resort, the Schneider Family, the Connie Davis Watson Foundation, Tuckerman Brewing, Eastern Slope Inn Resort, Pepsi, World Cup Supply, Valley Originals, The Conway Daily Sun, Magic 104 & 93.5 WMWV, Eastern Mountain Sports, and Hill’s RV. The museum also recognizes that the event could not take place without the efforts of a local organizing committee that works on event preparation for six months of the year. All these efforts to support the mission of the nonprofit museum to detail the history, legends and memories of skiing through exhibits at its two branches in Franconia Notch and North Conway are greatly appreciated by the board of directors of the museum.
The hope and intention of the museum is to celebrate the 25th running of the Meister Cup at Mount Cranmore Resort in March 2022 with the return of all the familiar elements that have made the event a Mount Washington Valley favorite. Until then, a bit of the flavor of the event can be seen on the event’s webpage, meistercup.org.