Sponsored by ROCK105 radio, A&M Beverages of Malone and Michelob Light, the toboggan championship is a benefit for USA Luge, according to Rik Cassidy, who’s coordinating the event. The Lake Placid Toboggan Chute, located next to Mirror Lake, is named for his late father, Gerald F. Cassidy, who led the effort to build the structure in the 1960s.
“The toboggan slide, to me, is a gem that isn’t used enough,” Cassidy said. “The Lion’s Club has an event there, but it’s a very low-profile event. This event will be happening at the same time as the Empire State Games and there’s also going to be fireworks that night. It’s going to be a huge day.”
The toboggan championship consists of two different competitions, the first of which is scheduled to get under way at 2:30 p.m. The Mayor’s Cup will feature local mayors, supervisors and other elected officials competing in teams of four. The team whose toboggan goes the farthest across the frozen surface of the lake will win a plaque dedicated to the memory of Jeff and Janine Abbott, the owners of A&M Beverages, who both passed away last year. Gold, silver and bronze medals will also be handed out.
Cassidy said he expects 12 to 14 communities will be represented by the elected officials who’ve agreed to participate.
The Mayor’s Cup used to be an annual event at the toboggan chute, he noted.
“It was an event my dad started years ago with the Lion’s Club,” he said. “It was very popular. At one point, they were getting teams from as far away as Maryland and Pennsylvania.”
Following the Mayor’s Cup, the general public will get to compete in teams of four for the Gerald Cassidy Memorial Toboggan Trophy. Cassidy said a host of prizes will also be awarded, including round-trip airfare, ski passes, hotel stays in Montreal and Lake Placid, cash and medals. The top team representing a local business will win a toboggan.
“We’ve had a lot of interest so far,” Cassidy said. “Over a dozen businesses have already committed to the event.”
Asked what tips he could offer to get the toboggan to travel far, Cassidy said much of the work falls to the person in the back, who has to steer and control the sled to keep it going straight. A heavier toboggan will travel farther, he added.
“This is an event where eating that extra donut probably helps you,” Cassidy joked. “Gravity takes over.”
Entry fees are $10 per person or $40 per sled. All proceeds will benefit USA Luge, Cassidy said. Registration for the event begins at 2 p.m.
More information is available at www.adktobogganchampionship.com.
The toboggan chute recently opened for the season.
Visitors enjoy watching and sliding down the toboggan run, which is located on Parkside Drive in Lake Placid. Participants glide over a frozen Mirror Lake.
News file photo/Richard Rosentreter