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Freestyle club hosts best in province

Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Club to host four days of championship competition

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The Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Club is playing host to the province this weekend with four days of provincial championship competition.

Most of the club's 42 athletes will be participating and up to 175 athletes are expected to take part in moguls, big air and halfpipe competition. There is also a Super Youth competition for kids aged 9 to 11.

"It's going to be a super-busy weekend," said local freestyle coach Nic Bazin. "We worked on the moguls course all weekend and we've had training, and we have one event every day from Thursday to Sunday."

Don McGregor, president of the local club, says there's been a huge increase in interest in freestyle after the Olympics, where Alexandre Bilodeau won gold and Jennifer Heil silver. As well, the International Olympic Committee is currently considering the addition of halfpipe and slopestyle to the Games calendar, both of which fall under the freestyle banner.

"To meet the demand of young, aspiring skiers we developed a Freestylerz program in conjunction with Whistler Blackcomb Ski School for kids in Grades 4 and 5," he said. "We now have 20 little rippers in this program and those are kids that will feed into our club programs in the future."

The halfpipe and slopestyle events will take place in the terrain park. The moguls competitions is set up for Davies Dervish, just outside the Glacier Lodge. Super Youth will compete on a smaller moguls course under the Crystal Chair.

Thursday is a training day, and all competition venues will be open from 9:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. The halfpipe event also takes place, with Group A (ages 16 to 18 and 19-plus) competing from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m., and Group B (ages 12 to 13, and 13 to 14) competing from noon to 3 p.m.

Friday is for single moguls. Group B competes from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Group A from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Super Youth slopestyle is from 9:15 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

Saturday is the slopestyle. Group A competes from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Group B from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Super Youth moguls takes place from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Sunday is head-to-head dual moguls competition, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with groups alternating on the course.

"Everything is in place, and now we're just hoping that the weather will be on our side," said Bazin. "Hopefully there won't be any fog. If the weather is on our side it's an awesome event for the public to watch. Davies Dervish is great location because everybody can watch the show.

 

 

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