John Fry, NASTAR's founder, was a force of nature, transforming the ski industry and dedicating his life to bringing as many people to the sport of skiing as possible.


The John Fry Award is presented annually to the fastest, most veteran racer at the NASTAR National Championships. The trophy is inscribed with John's name and, "For the Love of the Sport".

2024 John Fry Award Recipient:

JC BLACK won the John Fry award by winning the the 85-89 age group in the Platinum Division. The Concho, AZ resident is a firm believer in staying active and moving the body. He believes that motion is the lotion that keeps his body young and ski racing has kept JC feeling youthful. He earned a 35 handicap to score a platinum handicap and earn a spot in the Platinum Division Finals. JC was the 2021 Platinum Division champion at the young age of 83 and he was ready to race his significantly younger competitors for another title. JC made it to the second round where he raced KitKat Carrillo and she proved to be a tough competitor as she beat him to the finish line to advance to the quarter-finals.


about John Fry

When John Fry became the editor-in-chief of both SKI Magazine and Golf Magazine in 1969, he became driven by the idea of creating the equivalent of par in the sport of skiing. 
Adapting the French percentage-of-time system, he created a program he called the 'National Standard Race,' or NASTAR using the acronym. As in France, instructors from around the country would come together at the beginning of the season to rate their performance. Then they would return to their home resorts as pacesetters. The difference, though, was that in NASTAR the local pacesetter’s time would be adjusted by the percentage it lagged behind the fastest time of the top U.S. Ski Team alpine racer of the year. 
In  Fry's mind, it would work as follows. If pacesetter Klaus at Mount Snow was originally three percent slower than the nation’s fastest racer, and a Mount Snow guest was 20 percent slower than Klaus, then he or she would be about 23 percent slower than America’s fastest skier would have been if he’d skied the Mt. Snow course that day. Presto! The skier would have a 23 handicap. 
The sport of skiing could enjoy the equivalent of golf’s par! 
Since it was standard that a NASTAR course would be a simple open-gated giant slalom on intermediate terrain, a skier would know that on any slope anywhere, through a couple of dozen gates, on a surface that could be sticky or icy, it didn’t matter, the rating would be valid. If he had a 23 Nastar handicap, he was seven percentage points better than a guy with a 30 rating.  A recreational skier could have a competitive experience on a 300-foot vertical Michigan hill equivalent to one at a Rocky Mountain resort.
Coincidentally, France adopted NASTAR's system of re-calibrating the local pacesetter's time twenty years after Fry created the standard.

To learn more about John Fry, read Moira McCarthy's article, In Memoriam: John Fry


Learn more about the history of NASTAR by following the links below:

How NASTAR was conceived Part 1

How NASTAR was conceived Part 2

How NASTAR was conceived Part 3


2023 John Fry Award Recipient:

Michael Borrelli won the John Fry award at the 2023 NASTAR National Championships by winning the 80-84 platinum division. Michael had a busy season of racing NASTAR at Deer Valley, UT where he recorded 34 race days ranking him 14th in the country for the number of days raced. Michael is a three time NASTAR National Champion that has been working hard to improve his racing skills. This year he dropped his handicap significantly to qualify for the platinum division and to earn the win and the John Fry trophy.