By Andrew Mitchell
There was a modest turnout on Sunday, Jan. 22 for the first of two Atomic Supercross events of the season on Blackcomb.
Without enough racers in some categories to have the normal elimination rounds, some groups of competitors competed against each other for three rounds to determine the overall winners.
Aeron Westeinde was the only competitor in the Ski Girls 13 and Under category.
Zack Astle, Stevie Kopyt and Nelson Languedoc faced off in three rounds in the Snowboard 13 and Under group. Astle won two and finished third in another to take first place, while Kopyt placed second after finishing second twice and first once. Languedoc was third.
Shawn Clarke raced unopposed in the Ski Boys 14-16 category.
Four girls took part in the Ski Girls 14-16 race. Ariana Stufano won all three heats with her fast starts to place first overall, followed by Erin Kerr, Lonnie Wake and Merritt Paterson.
There were six girls in the Snowboard Women 17 and Over race, allowing for a semi-final race and the finals. Christine Feleki finished first overall, followed by Clare Smith and Tara-Lee Rodier.
One of the busiest categories was the Ski Boy 13 and Under Group, which had 16 racers in four intense heats.
In the first round Devin White and Simon Louwe edged out Nicholas Wetaski and Matthew Gage; Logan Pehota and Jake McGregor edged out Colin Westeinde and Robin Wengner; Nicholas Geddes and Fraser McGaw edged out Curtis Gage and Andrew Doraty, and Tyler Allison and Jake Balzarini edged out Alex Geddes and David Mellor.
In round two, White and Pehota moved on to the finals in one heat, and Fraser and Allison moved on in the second heat, and the other semi-finalists were relegated to the small final.
Devin White took the win ahead of Fraser McGaw, Logan Pehota and Tyler Allison. Colin Westeinde won the small final to place fifth.
In the Ski Men’s 17 and Over group there were enough participants for two heats. Jason Fridrik and Mike Stewart edged out Kurt Hemington and John Andree in the first heat, and Stephen Wojtowict and Will Dawson edged out Damien Freemantle and Matt Black in the second.
Fridrik went on to win the finals, followed by Wojtowict, Stewart and Dawson.
There were 14 athletes in the Snowboard Men’s 17 and Over category, allowing for a quarter-final, semi-final and finals.
Rolland Hould and Chris Tasker edged out Mike Raddatz in the first heat; Jeff Drummond and Andrei Mortila edged out Scott Powell and Ryutaro Nakauchi in the second heat; Dan Fear and Geoff Vail edged out Wade Susheski and Takeshi Kawai in heat three, and Janvier Doire and Glen Kelly finished ahead of Michael O’Rourke in heat four.
Of that group, Hould, Drummond, Doire and Vail would make it through the semi-finals to finish first through fourth respectively. Kelly won the small final to finish fifth.
The second Atomic Supercross event is scheduled for March 25-26, also on Blackcomb. The cost is $30 to register in advance at Whistler-Blackcomb Guest Relations, or $35 on the day of the event in the Rendezvous.
The race is open to both skiers and snowboarders, with categories for all ages. All participants will be eligible to win draw prizes, including a pair of Atomic skis or an Atomic snowboard.