Andover Outing Club (NH)
New England Ski Jumping & Nordic Combined
NESJNC Flying Further College Ski Jumping Reunion 2022
This past September New England Ski Jumping & Nordic Combined dba “Flying Further” hosted a College Ski Jumping Reunion in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire from the 23rd to 25th of September. The reunion focused on former college jumpers and personnel, but was open to everyone. We had a fantastic turnout with approximately 100 folks showing up from across the country and from as far away as Alaska and Norway. Christian Berggrav made the long trip from Norway to join the festivities! We also were fortunate to have Vinko Bogataj of the “Wide World of Sports Agony of Defeat” fame join us from Slovenia as our VIP guest for the reunion.
The event kicked off on Friday at the Eastman Golf Links with 68 golfers participating in the scramble tournament. We lost about 10 golfers because of the cold, wind, and COVID. Everyone had lots of fun golfing, catching up, and reminiscing. The team of Roger and Doug Dion, Sonny Demers, and Tom Oddy took top honors with a low score of 66!
Following the golfing we all enjoyed a fun evening at the Fireside Inn in West Lebanon, NH for the “track setting/takeoff party.” Throughout the evening we were treated to fantastic music by Jon Farnham (longtime jumper and Lebanon Outing Club coach) and his band. Then at the end of the evening Walter Malmquist led us in the telling of many entertaining ski jumping stories around the room that spanned the decades. We learned from Dusty Johnstone that there are many parallels between ski jumping and being a Navy fighter pilot. Everyone in the room from young to old (including 92-year-old Roland Tremblay) thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The common bond of ski jumping shone brightly as many smiles and laughs could be seen and heard around the room.
Saturday afforded attendees the opportunity to visit “Big Nansen” ski jump (HS84) in Milan, NH that is currently under renovation as well as the new K39 “Little Nansen.” “Big Nansen,” was a jump that played an important part of many attendees’ jumping careers from the late 1950’s through 1985, the last year it was jumped. Following this tour, folks were also given an opportunity to visit the Andover Outing Club ski jumps located at the Proctor Ski Area and tour the Tim Norris Ski Jumping Facility that includes a K10, K18, K30, and K38.
The capstone event of the reunion was the gala dinner on Saturday night at the Fireside Inn. Peter Graves was the Master of Ceremonies for the evening and he along with Morgan Stepp produced a fantastic narrated slide presentation on ski jumping. What a treat to have such an incredibly professionally narrated presentation! Vinko Bogataj was honored on Saturday night and shared some very meaningful words to the group. We also auctioned off three of Vinko’s wonderful paintings that raised over $3,000. Saturday night was a fantastic evening all-around from the delicious meal, to the enjoyable entertainment provided by Peter Graves, and for the opportunity to visit and catch up with teammates and friends as well as make new friends.
A huge round of thanks needs to go out to reunion Co-Chairs Tom Oddy and Walter Malmquist and the rest of the organizing committee made up of Peter Graves, Robin Outwater, Mark Levasseur, Kathleen Doyle, and Morgan Stepp. It took 16 months of planning to ensure the reunion was a success. Thank-you gentlemen for all of your hard work! Your efforts, together with the generosity of the attendees, donors, and sponsors helped NESJNC raise over $18,000 to support youth ski jumping and programs here in New England!
NESJNC “Flying Further” is planning another reunion in September of 2023. More details will emerge on that in the springtime of 2023.
Finally, we all had a fantastic time with Vinko Bogataj. He is a true gentleman, lots of fun, and enjoyable to spend time with. It was really neat to meet the guy that many of us saw every weekend in the “Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.” We can dedicate a whole another Story Project piece with photos of our time with Vinko while he was visiting for 11 days.