Honey Bronzed +Very Very Desirable proved to be golden and very, very talented at GO Fest's Great Snow Earth Water Race on Sunday.
The team, comprised of high-level athletes Eric Carter, Paul Greenwood, Micayla Gatto, Nick Elson, Katrina Van Wijk, Richard Kemble and JD Disney, completed the six-stage race in one hour, 55 minutes and 12 seconds (1:55:12) to claim the title. Carter and Gatto, in particular, are World Cup-level racers.
The Fun Hogs, made up Greg Mcdonell, Tony DelBosco, Lynda Cowan, Marla Zucht, Colin Earnst, Kris Ongman and Ted Battiston, were second, just over 11 minutes back.
Completing the podium was People Austin Knows, with Vince Shuley, Pippa Stowell, Dan Harmon, Tim Symes, Leonie Picton, Gavin Williams and Shaun Fry which finished just over two minutes out of second.
Twenty-six teams took part in all. (Full disclosure: This reporter took part in the canoe leg for the Whistler Publishing team, which placed 21st overall.)
The winning team got off to a quick start by placing first in the ski touring stage and showed no signs of slowing toward the end, posting the best times in the canoe and cross-country biking stages to put the competition in the dust.
Some of the early competitors battled rainy elements, though the sky brightened up toward the end of the race. Team captain Greenwood completed the downhill ski course in 12th place. Even with some of the challenging conditions, he enjoyed the day.
"It was super fun. It was pretty rainy up there, but we were just able to get up there and have a good time," said Greenwood, who grew up ski racing and is a regular visitor to Whistler from the city. "The course was pretty firm, not too soft even though it was raining."
Greenwood was proud of all the team members for the strong day, as the squad was top 10 in five of six categories to carry them to the win.
"We took people that were specialized in their particular sport and put them where they would do best," he said.
In the GO Fest sailing regatta, Barbara Walker and Karen Gardner won two of the three races to take the overall title. Ren Bennett and Ciara Storey took the other victory.
As for the GO Volleyfest, Darin Newton ended up with a score of +26 to edge out Alex Maser for King of the Beach honours.
In the GO Fest Whistler Tennis Championships, John Chan defeated Joshua Macneil in the final to win the men's open side, while Juliet Jia Wen Zhang dispatched Jenny Fu in the title match in the women's open division. Other winners included Diego Andres Diaz (men's 4.0 singles), Shalin Himanshu Gehlot and Piers Alexander Zdan (men's 4.0 doubles), Marcia Jacobs and Shelley Lawrence (women's 4.0 doubles), Glen Nguy and Jenny Fu (mixed 4.0 doubles) and Astrid Grandi (women's 3.0 singles).
Lastly, in the disc golf tournament, Dax Braby beat Hector Diakow in a five-hole playoff for the pro men's title. It was Braby's first Professional Disc Golf Association win.
Mike Graff took the masters title, Ken Nelson won the advanced division, Sarah Breau emerged from the advanced women division, George Coupland was victorious in the advanced masters event and Erik Wendland topped the intermediate category. Briana Ainsley (open women's), Kyla Lone (intermediate women's) and Gregor Morrison (junior boys) were the sole entrants in their respective divisions. The course was a modified 19-hole, par-61 setup.
WMSC names new executive director
Whistler Mountain Ski Club is bringing in some World Cup experience to fill an important role.
Former Spanish Ski Team and British Alpine Ski Team head coach Mark Tilston was named the club's executive director in a release on May 15. Tilston was slated to officially begin his duties on Tuesday, May 19, but was not available for comment before press time.
In a release, Tilston said he is excited to join the club.
"I am honoured to be joining WMSC's team of talented, passionate staff and volunteers in developing the next generation of alpine racers. I am excited to leverage my experience and expertise in sports development to our athletes from U12 through to FIS," he said.
Bob Armstrong served as executive director on an interim basis for the 2014-15 season and will help Tilston transition. The release said the board would also work with Armstrong to keep him involved in the club in a different capacity.