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It’s on

Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival lays down the gauntlet



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This year the organizers of the WSI opted to skip out on the usual big air contest because Whistler basically hosted three weeks of Big Air events during the 2010 Winter Games, and because of the decision to host the Orage Masters at the base of the mountain this year.

But while there is one fewer event this year the prize purse is about the same as last year, with the entire $50,000 in cash and prizing up for grabs at the Superpipe and Superhit competitions.

The event runs over three days, with training on Sunday, April 18, the qualifier on Monday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the finals on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (semi-finals), and 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (finals). The athlete-judged Superhit contest, open to all semi-finalists and finalists, gets underway at 2:45 p.m.

The list of skiers is yet to be finalized and registration was still underway at press time, but so far the list of prequalified athletes includes Mike Riddle, Tucker Perkins, Justin Dorey, A.J. Kemppainen, Peter Olenick, Matt Duhamel, Walter Wood, Dan Marion and Colby West for the men. Jen Hudak, Anais Caradeux, Rosalind Groenewoud, Sarah Burke, Megan Gunning, Virginie Faivre, Mirjam Jaeger, Dania Assaly and Grete Eliassen are some of the female competitors.

The top three prizes in the men's Superpipe are $15,000, $8,000 and $4,000, while the top three women will earn $7,500, $3,000 and $1,000 with an additional $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 in prizes respectively. The top male and female at the end of the day will also have a chance to drive away a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.


Grenade Games - April 21 to 24

A lot of exciting things have happened in the 15-year history of the World Ski and Snowboard Festival, but the decision by Danny Kass to move the Grenade Games here last season takes first prize in the snowboarding category.

This is the least serious event you will ever see, but still manages to push the boundaries every time.

There are four events in the Grenade Games. Three of which are more or less open to the public.

The first event is the Search and Recovery Mission, and on-mountain treasure hunt that runs all day on Wednesday, April 21, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. There are five different on-mountain challenges, starting with a run at the GMC Race Centre on Blackcomb. The top 40 timed riders will advance to the Dual Slalom moguls competition the next day where they will face the top riders from last year. Other tests are on the Green Chair Flats, on Easy Out above Catskinner, the Whistler Terrain Park and at the Longhorn.