The Whistler Mountain Ski Club played host to ski clubs from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island over the weekend in the 26 th annual Bob Parsons Memorial super G races, which are part of the CIBC Wood Gundy series of regional races.
It wasn’t an easy event to organize, with more than 30 cm of new snow on Saturday and Sunday and issues like wind and visibility to contend with, but with the help of volunteers, racers, and the Whistler-Blackcomb events and grooming departments the Saturday training session and races on Sunday and Monday took place without a hitch.
It was also a great weekend for local skiers, which made the most of an on-course training session the previous weekend and dominated both days of competition. WMSC J1 (15 and 16 year olds) and K2 (13 and 14 year olds) skiers earned most of the medals, most of the top-10 spots, and both memorial plaques awarded to the best skiers.
On the first day of competition, WMSC J1 Victoria Whitney finished first overall on the course, which dropped 350 metres from the start to the finish on Lower Cruiser. Her time of one minute, 17.37 seconds was less than a second faster than WMSC K2 Brynne Benbow, who finished in 1:18:12.
Whistler’s Calindy Ramsden was third overall and second among J1s, while the third J1 was Sarah Floyd of the Cypress team. Benbow was followed by K2 teammate Nancy Bayly, who was eighth overall, while Alecia Willis of Cypress was third.
Other K2s in the top-10 include Madison McLeish in fourth, Chanelle Segal in fifth, Heidi Mah in sixth and Alexandra Fogarty in seventh.
In the first men’s super G, WMSC J1 racers Ben Podborski and Michael Kearney were first and second with times of 1:15:10 and 1:17:04 respectively, while teammate Ben MacLean joined them on the podium as the third J1, finishing fourth overall.
The top K2 racer was the WMSC’s Ian Morrison, third overall. He was followed on the K2 podium by teammates Michael Cadman and Isaac Penn in ninth and 10 th respectively.
Other top-10 K2s were Simon Timoshenko in fourth and Aidan Lee in seventh.
On Monday, day two of racing, K2 Brynne Benbow was the top overall racer, edging out J1 racers Brittany McGovern and Victoria Whitney. Deborah Bayliss was the third J1 in fifth overall.
For the K2s, Benbow was joined on the podium by teammates Madison McLeish and Nancy Bayly, who were fourth and sixth overall. Other K2 top-10s were Lindsay Jones in fifth, Madison Podborski in eighth and Heidi Mah in ninth.
The WMSC men made another podium sweep, with K2s Alexander Binks and Ian Morrison finishing first and third, and J1 Ben MacLean in second overall.
The other J1s were the Sean Smith and Matt Lively of Grouse in fourth and fifth overall, while Sebastien Moes of Cypress was the third K2.
Other K2s in the top-10 were Michael Cadman in fourth, Patrick Taillefer in fifth, Isaac Penn in sixth, Aidan Lee in seventh, Simon Timoshenko in eighth and Ryan Ptolomey in 10 th .
The Bob Parsons Memorial was created in 1980 to give young skiers an early opportunity to train and race for speed events before advancing to the next level. Some programs in Europe introduce speed training at the age of seven, while in the past Canadian skiers did not train for speed events until the age of 15.
The overall Bob Parsons Memorial Plaque is presented to the top male and female with the lowest point total over two days. J1 Ben MacLean was the top male for the second year in a row, and Brynne Benbow was the top woman.
The week before Benbow was presented with the K2 Gold Cup after racing against the top K2s from B.C. and Alberta in slalom, giant slalom and super G.