By Andrew Mitchell
With the addition of a second big air and a new cross-country cross race, as well as the return of all competitions and demonstrations from last year, the 2007 Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival has something for every sports fan.
World Skiing Invitational and Old Spice Snowboarding Classic
For the second year, snowboarders and skiers will compete in the same events on the same days, showing the progression of both sports. All told there are four contests, including two big air events, a superpipe, and the stompede.
The first event on the list is the Stompede, which gets underway with training on Thursday, April 12, followed by the snowboard qualifiers on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the ski qualifiers on Saturday during the same time. The finals take place on Sunday, with the snowboarders going from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the skiers competing from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
The format this year is different, with athletes sessioning five different terrain park features at the top of the Emerald Chair and receiving a score for each one. The winners are the skiers and riders with the most points after the session.
The Old Spice Big Air takes place that Saturday night, with training on Friday from 6:45 to 8 p.m., followed by the LG Flip Contest for skiers and riders. The competition takes place from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Training for the Superpipe gets underway immediately, with training from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, followed by the ski superpipe qualifier on Wednesday from 9:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and the snowboard superpipe qualifier on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The semi-finals for both skiers and boarders are on Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the finals take place from 10:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, followed by the athlete-judged SuperHit contest.
The Playstation Big Air rounds out the events on Saturday, April 21, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Complete athlete lists are posted online at www.whistler2007.com .
Back for a fifth year, the Rail Session will take place on Thursday, April 19 at the base of Whistler Mountain. The top 11 men and four women will take part, skiers and snowboarders, for a total of 30 competitors.
It will be short, with a warm-up from 8:15 to 8:45 p.m., followed by the contest from 9 to 9:55 p.m.