On Friday, February 22, delegations from nearly 20 MBA programs descended upon Hanover, New Hampshire to take part in a long-standing B-School tradition, The Tuck Winter Carnival.
HBS racers barely made it to their hotel rooms before the tone for the weekend was set. A group of other MBA students eagerly greeted us as we got out of our cars and anxious to engage in some B-School banter asked “So, are you guys the sissies from Harvard?” Despite being a little embarrassed when they discovered we were actually from Harvard, they were mortified that having told us they were from Carlson, we ignorantly asked if they had driven here (OK our mistake…of course you knew Carlson School of Management is in Minnesota – over a 25 hour drive from Hanover). So having held the title for the past 3 years and as always being the school that everyone wants to beat, it was clear that aside from the beer drinking there was going to be some tough competition on the slopes.
Greg Tobias (OD), the captain of the squad, gave a rousing motivational speech between beers on Friday night and bands from Sloan, Wharton, and Tuck rocked for us at Tuck’s student center. In the spirit of a weekend filled with competition and beer, the evening concluded with a serious game of beer-pong (a highly technical game involving hitting a ping pong ball into a cup of beer).
The Harvard A team was the first to race on Saturday morning, and after the first run held only a 1 second lead over Tuck A, resurrecting the intense historical rivalry between the two teams. In the afternoon race, under cloudless blue skies, HBS shifted up a gear and put an additional 3 seconds over Tuck. Greg Tobias (OD), Eric Horsley (OH), and Will Azeff (NK) finished 1-2-3 with the other A team skiers Kendra Kretz (OG), Carlos Mier-y-Teran (NJ) and Heidi von Allmen (OK) all putting in solid performances to secure HBS the Alpine Cup.
After HBS locked up the win, the afternoon race continued in a more cheeky fashion. Students from London Business School hit the course in traditional Scottish kilts and provided musical entertainment with their huge bagpipes. Tuck had their own very hairy gorilla man. Not to be outdone, Fuqua had a Jolly Green Giant impersonator, and HBS’s own Irina Zavina (NJ) spiced things-up by completing her second run in her sports bra. However, all of these antics proved too much for this conservative New Hampshire crowd. HBS’s remaining skier, Hunt Doering (OE) was required to race in his US Ski Team approved suit – specially manufactured to minimize wind resistance and exposure to the elements, thus maximizing performance.
So having established the standings on the slopes, the action moved to the bar and the fiercely competitive beer chugging (another highly technical game involving the consuming of beer, AKA: boat racing) championship, the Kneissl Cup. Despite having been defeated in the first round in 2001, members of last year’s HBS ski team had successfully retained (read borrowed without permission, AKA: stolen) the Kneissl Cup. To end a year of mystery for Tuck as to its whereabouts and in true HBS style, and adherence to Community Standards, the trophy was returned in a truly ceremonious presentation. Unfortunately, the HBS chugging team lost in the 3rd round by a narrow margin to Sloan, and Tuck A and Tuck B went on to compete in the final (leading us to make certain assumptions about the social life in New Hampshire).
It was with sore heads, great memories, the Alpine Cup and high expectations for 2003 that we returned to Cambridge.
HBS Ski Team:
Will Azeff (NK), Ashley Cockrill (OJ), Darren Crawford (OF), Laurent de Vitton (NK) Hunt Doering (OE), Erich Horsley (O), Kendra Kretz (OG), Rob Lawrence (OB), Nicola Longfield (NE), Carlos Mier-y-Teran (NJ), Helga Mispelblom Beyer (OC Partner), Tyler Morse (OB), Rick Needham (OC), Courtney Newman (OI), Todd Thedinga (OB), Greg Tobias (OD), Heidi von Allmen (OK), Irina Zavina (NJ)