In the eye of an athlete: 2019 FIS BC Cup
Wednesday night, the six-day Grouse/Whistler Race Series starts tomorrow morning. We meet at the Grouse Mtn. parking lot, gear up, then squish into the Tram heading into the clouds for a quick night slalom training session on the race hill. As we arrive at the summit a beautiful sunset over the Vancouver skyline greets us (one of the perks to racing in the City). We train a full-length course with ruts and bumps already in place in preparation for what’s waiting for us the next day.
The two days of racing at Grouse are long and challenging. We push hard, trying to ski our best and score better SL points, or finish our first SL races of the season. Grouse does its best to get the better of us but we end up coming out of the races with two most-improved awards (congrats to Alex Katrusiak and Maja Woolley), and a little more confidence. The line-up for the Tram is long but we make it down, now it’s off to Whistler for four more days of racing, this time at home.
First on the menu is SG. The races are exciting and fast on amazing snow, and the whole team pulled a lot of good skiing out of the bag. The team was led by Gigi Kranjc and Nathan Romanin who both skied strong and fast; the rest of the team did their best to keep up and everyone moved up the rankings.
“I always enjoy the Whistler race series, and the ability to race at home. It is a bit of a confidence boost to know that this is the hill that we have practiced so much, and know all of the terrain and weather conditions. It’s great knowing that I can push it more, and be prepared for anything ahead, because it is nothing I haven’t skied before. That said, the killer conditions were definitely a mood booster throughout the week and helped keep a positive attitude and high team morale all week long” Gigi Kranjc
The last two days of racing are VERY long GS spanning the entire Training Center from Club21 to the bottom. The sheer length of these courses takes out a large number of racers in the first runs, but if you push yourself hard and keep fighting all the way down you are almost guaranteed the reward of making the Flip (top-30, reversed start order for second run). There is good skiing brought on by all, even if at times it is just surviving the run. Our best runs in the GS were produced by Julia Ross, Nathan Romanin, Gemma Bexton, Tait Jordan, and Ryuji Gaman.
I think that racing on home turf, with support from friends and family so close, gave us what we needed as a Team to be successful during this series. Not everyone was satisfied with their results, but everyone came away with something positive to take into the next races.
By: Brendan Moss, 1st Year U18 Athlete