By Andrew Mitchell
For people who aren’t content to make ‘S’ turns from top to bottom all winter, there is a full slate of races and contests on the events calendar this season. Most of the events fall into the amateur recreational category, although some will appeal to former, current, and future high performance athletes. Also, most events are open to both skiers and boarders, of all ages.
As usual the Whistler-Blackcomb events department is responsible for hosting the events, with staff and volunteers providing timing, judging, course setting, course maintenance, and all other technical aspects of the events. All you have to do is show up at the right place at the right time.
The cost of participating starts at about $20 for most events, to encourage participation, and sponsors have once again come forward to sweeten the deal with prizes for the top athletes, draw prizes, free refreshments and other forms of support.
Check the Whistler-Blackcomb events calendar at www.whistlerblackcomb.com regularly for updates on events, and the Pique sports sections. Here’s a quick overview of events on the 2006-07 calendar:
Kokanee Valley Race Series
The Kokanee Valley Race Series is one of Whistler’s longest running competitions, with skiers and snowboarders taking on slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom courses on both mountains over the course of the season.
The first event on the calendar is a Giant Slalom on Thursday, Dec. 14, followed by a GS on Jan. 11, a Super G on Jan. 18, a GS on Jan. 25, a Slalom on Feb. 15, a GS on Feb. 22, a Super G on March 1 and the dual slalom/team event in the finals on March 15.
The price will remain the same at $20 per event, although there will be a $5 surcharge this year for people who register on the event day to encourage people to register early.
The cost of entry includes timing, video, the apres ski party, and a chance to win draw prizes include a pair of Atomic skis, and other gear and clothing donated by race sponsors.
Because it’s a series points will be awarded after every race, and overall series champions will be crowned after the final race of the season. You have to be 19 or older to race, and helmets are recommended for all events, and mandatory for some races.
To register in advance, drop by any Whistler-Blackcomb Guest Relations or Ski School Sales location before the race. Always check the Whistler-Blackcomb website to find out where and when events are taking place, and to learn about any cancellations or rescheduling.