News and Announcements
Banff, Alta. (April 14, 2019) – The reigning Olympic champions – Kelsey Serwa (Kelowna, B.C./Big White Ski Club) and Brady Leman (Calgary/ Calgary Alpine Racing Club) – prevailed at the 2019 Canadian Ski Cross Championship at Sunshine Village.
In ladies’ big final action, Sunday’s Nationals’ podium was a carbon copy of Saturday’s NorAm race medallists, with Serwa racing to her second win in as many days. She was joined on the podium by silver-medallist Marielle Thompson (Whistler, B.C./Whistler Mountain Ski Club). Abby McEwen (Edmonton/Sunridge Ski Club) rounded out the podium, finishing third, with India Sherret (Cranbrook, B.C./Kimberley Alpine Team) edged out to take fourth.
“It was really tight racing, [and the] volunteers did an incredible job [with the course],” said Serwa of the feat pulled off to support the coaches in putting on the weekend races. Earlier training at Sunshine this week was under sunny skies, but those were replaced by snowfall and flat light for Saturday and Sunday’s races.
Serwa described taking part in this year’s National Championship as “all-around good times.” The Canadian World Cup and NextGen athletes, coaches, and staff joined volunteers, parents, national team partners, and Canadian ski cross supporters for a special end-of-year celebratory dinner on Saturday evening at team alumnus and Olympian Louis-Pierre Hélie’s Ticino Swiss-Italian Restaurant in Banff as part of the week’s events and activities.
Leman – who was edged into third by up-and-coming teammates Reece Howden (Cultus Lake, B.C./Apex Ski Club) and Gavin Rowell (Prince George, B.C./ABSX) in Saturday’s NorAm race – reclaimed the top spot on the podium for Sunday’s NorAm, which doubled as this year’s Canadian Ski Cross Championship. It was a first Canadian title for Leman.
“It was a good race today, and I’m happy to take the win. It’s my first national title, which is kind of funny because I’ve been on the team for a long time,” said Leman with a smile following the awards presentation. “It’s nice to finish the year strong and healthy.”
Howden went two-for-two in medal performances, adding a silver medal to Saturday’s gold, while provincial athlete Ryan Webster of Calgary edged Canadian NextGen racer Carson Cook (Edmonton/Snow Valley Ski Club) to finish third.
The U19 Canadian Ski Cross Champions were also crowned on Sunday. Stepping onto the ladies’ U19 podium were U19 Champion Samantha Carter (11th overall), Kirsten Vincett (12th overall), and Sage Stefani (14th overall). Reece Ralph was the men’s U19 winner and finished eighth overall; he was joined on the podium by Zachary Stanier (16th overall) and Jack Macdonald (WMSC) (3rd U19 – 17th overall). Jack Morrow (WMSC) was 4th U19.
Another successful Whistler Cup hosted by the Whistler Mountain Ski Club. U14 and U16 Men and women contested a vast assortment of super-G, giant slalom and slalom races.
Team Canada brought the Cup back to home soil since 2013, Congratulations on your victory!
Full results available here:
U14 GS Ladies
U14 GS Men
U14 SL Ladies
U14 SL Men
U14 Team Relay Ladies
U14 Team Relay Men
U16 GS Ladies
U16 GS Men
U16 Super-G Ladies
U16 Super-G Men
U16 SL Ladies
U16 SL Men
U16 Team Relay
Hello WMSC athletes, members, & coaches:
It’s certainly been an extraordinary season with cold temperatures with incredible conditions until the last week of March, real coastal mountain conditions last week and more promising temperatures this week highlighting perfectly the challenges of a sport in a constantly changing environment.
This update covers:
The end of 2018-2019, signals the start of 2019-2020
Whistler Cup & Volunteering
• U14 Provincials (Purden)
• U12 Skills Comp & Janyk Cup, Nancy Greene Sun Peaks festival & Big White Invitational
• U16 Provincial series round 3 & U18 Apex BC Cup FIS series (Apex)
• U16 FIS races (Tarnaby, SWE)
• March 31st Club Race
• Canadian National Championships (Mt Edouard, QC)
• Spring series FIS Races (Panorama)
• Whistler Cup
• Ski-up day, BBQ, Awards, Final Club Race
• Spring Training
The end of 2018-2019, signals the start of 2019-2020
The last few weeks have flown past with a lot of great ski racing. The u12s have already finished their competitive season, u18s have their last race to go, and the u14s & u16s will be finished on Sunday.
This creates a natural break and some time to reflect on how the season was, to evaluate what worked well, what did not, what we need to improve for next year and to identify new opportunities.
It’s always motivating to get through the last races and start to refocus looking further ahead again. To look to the warmer weather, family time, other activities and sports while taking our skiing back to basics to get to the next level. It is a great time to take the lessons learnt from the season and use them as the motivational foundation for moving forwards into the preparation phase when we can really work on the technical & tactical components along with the physical preparation.
Here in Whistler we are incredibly fortunate that we have access to training until early July on the Whistler T-bars. We will start at the beginning of May when we can take the elevated skill levels from the season and apply them to the training environment on the T-bars where we have great turnaround times. The plan is to take the technical skiing to the next level and apply it to training environments through high volume and lower intensity sessions in training and drill courses which promote learning on the timing and the line that are so essential in the gates.
While we will take advantage of having snow here at home, the melt after the summer training creates a natural, and well needed, break from snow when we can focus on some downtime, on other sports and on rebuilding back up into the pre-season with a good block of fitness training.
The coaches agree that while our fitness programs have developed this year, we can still move them forwards significantly. We will again be making a big push through the summer, and are planning some sessions, weekends and camps for all age categories through the summer and into the fall.
Whistler Cup & Volunteering
However, before we get to the end of the season, have to stay on focus for the last weeks, and we are now into the Whistler Cup.
Even before we start, I would like to congratulate and thank our volunteers and staff who have been working hard for hours, days, weeks and months to prepare for the Whistler Cup.
The preparations include the entry & registration of over 400 athletes and their coaches, the recruitment and co-ordination of over 300 volunteers, the timing and race office preparations along with the preparation of an incredible race venue including over 300 nets that were set last weekend (in miserable conditions) by an army of volunteers, and fine tuned throughout the week.
Over the next 4 days of racing we will see over 3500 race runs starting with the U16 SG race, followed by 3 days of racing, with 3 races running each day for the U16 & U14 athletes!
So, an ENORMOUS thank you to you, our volunteers, for all that you have done to even get us ready to go, and for all the work that it will take to pull off the next 4 days and give the athletes an experience to remember!
Following March Madness, there has been a lot of racing and some great experiences. One thing that has been really evident for all of the racing that I have seen, is that there has been a huge amount of fun, along with a great amount of learning through the anticipation, the elation, the disappointment and through working together as a team.
U14 Provincials (Purden)
The majority of our u14 team made the trip up to Purden in the North Zone for the u14 provincial championships. Following the Zone series for the season, the provincials is a great event for our athletes which provides them with a deeper field of competition and the opportunity to meet athletes from across the Province. For the full recap click here: U14 Provincials
U12 Skills Comp & Janyk Cup, Sun Peaks NGSL festival & Big White U12 Invitational
Following the disappointment of postponing the Nancy Greene skills event in January, and limited racing at the start of the season, our u12 racers had a busy month starting at home with the u12 skills event and the Janyk Cup the following day which saw terrific conditions, excellent skills and great ski racing, all made possible by our world-class volunteer parents!
Nancy Greene Skills event
U16 Provincial series round 3 & U18 Apex BC Cup FIS series (Apex)
Meanwhile our U16 team travelled to Apex for their last event in the Provincial series this year where they had 4 great days of racing with athletes pushing hard to perform their best with some exciting races for the podium and to win the provincial series. Following the u16 races, it was the turn of our u18 team to race on the slopes at Apex where again there was some great racing and many of our athletes making some of the best performances of the season as they were really starting to push themselves and find another race gear.
Apex Teck Open
U16 FIS races (Tarnaby, SWE)
Having finally managed to work through the results from the Apex races, and athletes choosing to catch up on school time we decided to cancel the trip to Tarnaby as the costs were becoming prohibitively high.
While disappointing, it highlights the enormous value of the Whistler Cup which allows us to get the benchmarking against an International U16 field, to meet athletes from around the world and albeit without the International experience to get the great competition environment that goes along with these great events, not only on our doorstep, but also for our entire team.
March 31st Club Race
Having lost one club race from the heavy early season snowfall, and then to abandon one after the first run due to the cold, we were rewarded with an excellent Club Race on March 31st. The conditions were perfect for ski racing, with clear skies and hard snow. The course sets were challenging for all the racers competing, however the quality of skiing from all participants was exceptional. On a surface that was second to none, our racers in each age category fought hard in the conditions down Sunset Pitch and grand finale. In these conditions it is a challenging hill, but I must say a particular congratulations to all of our u12 athletes who really rose to the conditions and fought hard down what is a very challenging and long course!
Thanks again to all of our volunteers, and to Graham Ross for some great photos
March 31st Club Race
Canadian National Championships (Mt Edouard, QC)
We had a small group of athletes who made the journey across Canada to the National Championships in Quebec. they are still on the road at the Spring Series, however from all reports they had a good, albeit tough series in Mt. Edouard competing against the best racers in Canada and fortunate enough to ski with our alumni athletes on the BC and Canadian teams who also had some great results.
Spring series FIS Races (Panorama)
The u18 team who went to Nationals returned to Panorama, where they met up with the rest of their team for the Western Spring Series and are just finishing their last races of the season!
We are now into the racing here at Whistler Cup where our u14 & u16 teams will have the chance to race against athletes from across the country and around the World. We will have 19 countries represented here this year, with the Parade taking place this Thursday and the racing Thursday to Sunday.
Ski-up day, BBQ, Awards & Final Club Race
Our final weekend of the season will comprise of the ski-up day on Saturday April 20th. This will provide an opportunity for all of our athletes in the 2nd year of each age category to ski-up with the age category that they are about to move into. This is a great chance to ski and speak with the athletes who will be moving into their 2nd year, while also speaking with coaches to gain an understanding of what the next step in their progression looks like. Meanwhile we will have next years crop of budding young racers ski-up with the u12s and get their first taste of the WMSC.
The ski-up day will be followed by our BBQ at the club and the end of season awards. http://www.wmsc.info/organizations/3850/pages/136799
Then on the last day we will hold our team parallel slalom on ‘The Schoolyard’ underneath the Emerald Express. A great final event to bring another great season to a close.
Each family has also been charged for end of season tips that go to the coaches for the enormous commitment that they make throughout the season. Tips are distributed amongst the coaches within each age category relative to the days that they worked through the season and coaches will get their tips at the end of the season.
For our coaches the end of the season also marks a time when they get to take a quick breath, before diving back into next year or going back to their summer jobs and for those who spend the winter working both midweek and weekends, taking a well deserved break.
Once we all take a short breath, we will then get the chance to lower the intensity after a busy competitive season, get some miles under the skis and (fingers crossed) enjoy some real spring weather.
For those of you who have not registered yet, spring camp information & registration can be found here.
A huge congratulations to ALL of our athletes, coaches & volunteers for the last few weeks & all the best to our u14 & u16 teams for Whistler Cup!
Whistler Mountain Ski Club
On behalf of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club and the Whistler Cup Organizing Committee, I would like to welcome the visiting teams, families and volunteers arriving from across Canada and 20 countries. These athletes will compete on Whistler’s Dave Murray Training Centre for the coveted Whistler Cup trophy and a place on the podium that will be located in the Skiers Plaza. You will spot them on the hill, around town, and in a parade wearing their iconic Whistler Cup jackets that they will take home to share Whistler’s name around the globe.
Whistler Cup was the vision of three local alpine ski-racing enthusiasts who believed that Whistler could host a celebrated, international junior racing event just like the prestigious races that are famous in Europe. ¬Fast-forward to this April 11th to 14th, when over 420 athletes and their coaches will journey to Whistler Blackcomb to race and celebrate the 27th running of the Whistler Cup.
Several Whistler Cup winners have gone on to become World Cup, Olympic and Paralympic champions, such as Lindsey Vonn, Marcel Hirscher, Tina Maze, Mikaela Shiffrin, Manuel Osborne-Paradis, Erik Read and Mollie Jepsen. For other young athletes, the Cup provides a single chance to participate in a large, international ski race, enabling them to meet and go on to form lasting relationships through sport.
The Whistler Mountain Ski Club is proud of not only running this marquee event for 27 years, but for also being an innovator in International Children’s alpine racing. Two years ago, we introduced the first ever Alpine Team Event in international children’s racing and we are excited to include it in the U14 program this year.¬ The race was a huge success, as the athletes, coaches and spectators loved the comraderie that head to head racing brought on.
Raven and Ptarmigan will once again be where the Super G, GS and SL events will be held. For those that want to see the potential future speed demons of the world, the Super G on Thurs, April 11 is the place to be. We invite everyone to come out over April 11th¬to 14th, and watch the action on either the Raven and Ptarmigan runs or on the Upper Dave Murray Downhill run on Whistler Mountain with your flags, cowbells, and enthusiasm to cheer on the athletes for a great race.
Good luck and great racing to all athletes!
Whistler Cup Race Chair