News and Announcements
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
In total, 44 U16 athletes took part in last weekend’s Teck Enquist Slalom races, which were hosted at Mount Seymour on Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24. The Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) was well represented, with 9 women and 8 men in the field.
Mount Seymour was blessed with fresh snow the night before Race 1. The drive up the mountain was long, with many cars unprepared for the road conditions. Once everyone arrived at the mountain, there were many happy faces, as the snow and temperatures were much more pleasant than the minus 20 degree temperatures they had experienced at Kimberley a couple of weeks earlier.
As always, thanks are due to the organizers, coaches, and volunteers for their hard work putting together a great event. Huge thanks are also due to Teck for sponsoring this exciting race series.
The Mount Seymour event consisted of a total of 2 slalom races for each of the men and the women. The races were dominated by WMSC and Grouse athletes, who locked all of the other clubs out of the podium positions.
Women’s Slalom Race 1 (Saturday):
On Saturday, the women faced a tough course, with 6 of the 22 starters failing to post times. Sadly, 3 of those 6 non-finishers were WMSC athletes. Out of the 16 women who successfully completed both of their runs, 6 were WMSC athletes with 5 of them finishing in the top 10: Isabella Cross won the race, with Amanda Miller in 4th, Dee Dee Lai in 5th with a career best finish, Bella Bay in 7th, and Laura Keogh in 10th. Grouse athletes Katarina Kaludjercic and Mila Plavsic rounded out the podium in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Women’s Slalom Race 2 (Sunday):
On Sunday, the course was even more challenging, with 7 of the 22 starters failing to post times. Sadly, all 7 of those non-finishers were WMSC athletes. It was a tough day for the club – out of the 15 women who successfully completed both of their runs, only 2 were WMSC athletes: Dee Dee Lai came in 7th and Laura Keogh came in 9th. Grouse athletes swept the podium, with Mila Plavsic, Katarina Kaludjercic, and Nicola Fretenburg taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively.
Men’s Slalom Race 1 (Saturday):
On Saturday, the men ran the same tough course that the women had, with the same number of athletes failing to post times: 6 of the 22. Fortunately, only 1 of those 6 non-finishers were WMSC athletes. Out of the 16 men who successfully completed both of their runs, 7 were WMSC athletes with 5 of them finishing in the top 10: John Nicolls came in 2nd, with Sascha Gilbert in 5th, Duncan Ross in 6th, Sam Fuller in 7th, and Kian Gottfried in 10th. Grouse athletes Dylan Stevens and Cameron Seward rounded out the podium in 1st and 3rd, respectively.
Men’s Slalom Race 2 (Sunday):
On Sunday, the men had a little more success than then women, with 5 of the 22 starters failing to post times. Only 2 of those 5 non-finishers were WMSC athletes. Out of the 17 men who successfully completed both of their runs, 6 were WMSC athletes with 5 of them finishing in the top 10. Hayden Harley took a spectacular win, with a winning margin of over a second. The other WMSC men with top 10 finishes were: Duncan Ross in 6th, Sam Fuller in 7th, Logan Sadan in 8th, Ambrose Deck Stang in 10th. Grouse athletes Cameron Seward and Markus Cordy-Simpson rounded out the podium in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
The U14s had a great weekend of racing, too. The competition in this age category was fierce, with a large field of 46 women and 38 men giving it their all as they navigated the challenging course configurations.
Women’s Slalom Race 1 (Saturday):
WMSC women were dominant on Saturday, with 5 racers placing in the top 10. 1st place was secured by WMSC’s Alexa Brownlie, who was followed closely by teammate Erin Husken in 2nd. Gaia Fameli (Cypress) took 3rd. Other WMSC racers who were in the top 10 with strong finishes were Isabelle Bexton in 5th, Sarah-Elizabeth Whalen in 6th, and Ella Kaufmann in 10th.
Women’s Slalom Race 2 (Sunday):
Sunday’s podium featured the same racers as on Saturday, and in the same sequence: Alexa Brownlie came in 1st, Erin Husken was in 2nd place, and Gaia Fameli finished 3rd. This was a nail-bitingly close race, as teammates Brownlie and Husken crossed the finish line fewer than 0.1 seconds apart! Consistency was the theme amongst the other top 10 finishers from WMSC, who just like Saturday were Isabelle Bexton, Sarah-Elizabeth Whalen, and Ella Kaufmann, this time finishing 6th, 9th, and 10th respectively.
Men’s Slalom Race 1 (Saturday):
Felix Shorter (WMSC) was in a class of his own on Saturday, finishing more than 3 seconds ahead of his 2nd place teammate, Jack Thomas. Rounding out the podium in 3rd was Graeme Eder (Grouse). There were two other WMSC athletes in the top 10: Alec Waldrum came in 6th, and Dylan Boyd finished in 10th.
Men’s Slalom Race 2 (Sunday):
Felix Shorter owned 1st place on Sunday, with an impressively convincing victory that was more than 2.5 seconds ahead of Grouse’s Graeme Eder, who came in 2nd. Milan Novak joined his teammate Shorter on the podium with his 3rd place finish. Three other WMSC competitors placed in the top 10, with Jack Thomas in 4th, Alec Waldrum in 7th, and Joseph Gibbons in 10th.
After two days of hard and exciting slalom racing, the overall winners of Enquist were WMSC’s Alexa Brownlie (U14) and Cameron Seward (U16) of Grouse. Congratulations to all!
Race Report by Laura and Hubert Lai
Photos by Laura Lai
U12’s had their first big race of the season this weekend (February 23/24) with the Tyee Cup held on Grouse Mountain.
It was a full two days of racing consisting of four separate events: GS, kinder kombi, stubbie slalom and slalom. The powder was falling all day Saturday creating some challenging conditions for the GS but the U12’s battled the elements and their bib numbers for some impressive racing. On Sunday the skies opened up for a glorious day of racing stubbie slalom and slalom with sunshine and smiles to finish the event.
The field was large with 174 athletes comprised of 79 girls and 94 boys from all over the zone including Grouse, Cypress, Seymour, Hemlock and Mt Washington, and WMSC was well represented with 18 girls and 16 boys competing.
Coaches Mat, Alexi, Kasper, Kayla, Zack, Roman and Joel kept the kids organized and focused for their races. Coach Matt commended the kids on their preparedness and how it showed: “their hard word paid off and the kids skied their best; some who didn’t get top 10 but skied better than they ever have.” The U12’s put in a team effort with great sportsmanship all round and “good support with kids bringing down each other jackets and cheering everyone on.”
In Saturday morning ladies GS Marlowe Cook took the gold with teammates Lara Markthaler 2nd, Nicole Webb 5th, Hannah Neeves 7th, Thea Torn 8th and Sophie Neeves in 10th. On the men’s side it was Thomas Legg with gold, Maxim Akbulatov silver, Dreas Gibbons 4th and George Sarkis 5th.
In the afternoon it was the kinder kombi, with Lara Markthaler winning gold, followed by Thea Torn 3rd, Hannah Jensen 4th, Nicole Webb 5th, Brooke Bessie 8th and Thea Lutz 10th. For the boys it was Thomas Legg with gold, Seth Robert 3rd, Dreas Gibbons 6th, Kingsley Parkhill 7th, George Sarkis 8th, Owen Staniforth 9th and Graydyn Swanson 10th.
On Sunday in the stubbie slalom, for the girls it was Lara Markthaler in 1st, Thea Torn in 3rd, Hannah Jensen 5th, Thea Lutz 7th and Brooke Bessie 8th. For the boys Kingsley Parkhill was 2nd, Dreas Gibbons 3rd, Graydyn Swanson 4th, Marek Novak 8th and Kekai Chalmers 9th.
The final event was the slalom on Sunday afternoon. Once again it was Lara Markthaler with the gold followed by Marlowe Cook with silver and Nicole Webb with bronze, Thea Torn 4th, Thea Lutz 7th and Hannah Jensen 8th. For the mens’ slalom Thomas Legg won gold and Dreas Gibbons silver, Kingsley Parkhill 4th, Seth Robert 5th, Graydyn Swanson 6th and Ryan Perron 9th.
The Tyee Cup winners were determined by the best of three of four race results and WMSC brought the Cup back to Whistler with Lara Markthaler and Thomas Legg the male and female overall champions.
Way to go U12 racers!!
Thanks to Mike Nelson for all the photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikenelson/albums/72157707143251444
It’s Safety Net Set Time Again – 40th Annual Parsons Memorial Race
Please join us at 9:00 a.m. Sunday March 3rd for the safety net set for the upcoming Parsons Memorial Race. While some nets remain in place from the BC Cup FIS Races, more netting is required. With lots of volunteers, the work will be completed in a few hours. Please come out and ensure a safe training and racing environment for all our athletes.
Volunteers Needed for the 40th Annual Parsons Memorial Race – March 7-10, 2019
Please come out and volunteer for one of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club’s longest running races! The Bob Parsons Memorial race is named in memory of the late Bob Parsons. Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, he began skiing in the late 1940s with his older brother Stan. They both raced on Hollyburn and Seymour Mountains, competing in jumping, nordic and downhill skiing.
The Parsons family became members of the Whistler Mtn Ski Club in the late 60s. As the Parsons children became involved in ski racing, Bob traveled from race to race helping in course preparation and setup. He formed and led the infamous Weasel Workers who were named after the Weasel section of the downhill. Bob Parsons was committed to junior ski racing and saw the need for junior skiers to have the opportunity to race downhill. This race has been held on the Whistler Back Bowl, Dave Murray Downhill, Green Acres, Blackcomb Panorama/Cloud Nine and the Dave Murray National Training centre (Raven/Ptarmigan).
Jim Parsons (current WMSC U16 coach) was the winner of the first memorial DH in 1980 followed closely by Rob Lahti (current Hemlock coach), and Chris Leighton (Parsons) is the administrator at WMSC.
This season’s race is March 7-10, 2019 on the Dave Murray National Training Centre on Raven Ptarmigan. Please come out and lend a hand at this historic race. Volunteers are especially needed on Saturday and Sunday (March 9 and 10). It’s a great opportunity to gain some experience at a Super G and Alpine Combined race.
Email Abbie to sign up – firstname.lastname@example.org
Congratulations and Good Luck to the seven WMSC Athletes representing BC at the 2019 Canada Winter Games
WMSC athletes: Sara Stiel, Fiona McInnes, Jaden Dawson, Chase Burns, David Wood, Mathias Shorter and Adam Usher are part of the BC Alpine Team competing at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta from February 15th to March 3rd.
The athletes were selected from the first round of BC Teck Open races (2 GS & 2 SL) held at Sun Peaks, January 10th to 13th. They will compete in four events; Super-G, GS, Slalom and Ski Cross. The Ski Cross competition is scheduled to take place at Canyon Resort near Red Deer on March 2nd.
Join us to wish them the best!
2019 CWG Team BC Coaching Staff:
Montana Molyneux (Fernie Alpine Ski Team)
Drew Hetherington (Whistler Mountain Ski Club)
Katie Spittlehouse (Red Mountain Racers)
Daimion Applegath (Sun Peaks Alpine Club)
Johnny Crichton (BC Alpine Ski Association)