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National Training Centre AGM slated

Sports briefs: Ski Callaghan opening; FIL World Cup opener; Enduro website launched

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The Freestyle National Training Centre on Blackcomb Mountain is pushing ahead.

The project, which will build a moguls training course, as well as a judges' stand and an airbag training site, remains on track after Vail Resorts' purchase of Whistler Blackcomb, organizers said. The centre will be built on the Catskinner run, next to the existing Nintendo Terrain Park.

As part of the next step, the Whistler Blackcomb Freestyle Ski Club will host its first annual general meeting and information session on Dec. 4 at 4 p.m. at Le Chamois Hotel. Anyone interested in becoming involved with the project is encouraged to attend.

The club is still looking for a sponsor or donor to purchase naming rights to the centre for 10 years as part of the $925,000 it is looking to raise. The project got a boost last year with a $300,000 donation from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation.

Another $300,000 is needed for the project's first phase, which will help start building the site so it is operational next December, as well as to help with the purchase of the airbag.

The second and third phases have been priced out at roughly $325,000 in total and will cover the cost of grading the airbag site, purchasing additional equipment and adding snowmaking capabilities.

Those looking for more information can visit www.whistlerblackcombfreestyle.com/national-training-centre or contact info@whistlerblackcomb.com.

Ski Callaghan opening Nov. 24; first race coming Nov. 27

Thanks to Callaghan Gold, there will be some options for those itching to start the cross-country skiing season on time.

The stored snow, which was spread at Whistler Olympic Park late last month for local clubs to train on, melted down a bit thanks to warm and rainy conditions throughout November, but roughly 800 metres of the loop remains and is suitable for skiing.

As natural snow accumulates, more terrain will become available. As well, activities like tobogganing, fat biking, snowshoeing and baseboarding will be offered as conditions become favourable. Trail conditions will be updated daily at skicallaghan.ca.

The Callaghan Gold trail will be accessible from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends, with the exception of Nov. 27 for the Teck BC Coast Cup race.

The race, hosted by Hollyburn Cross Country Ski Club and the park, is the first race of the season and is designed to be a fun way to get racers back in action for the year.

Younger racers will traverse a 400-metre course with distances going all the way up to 5.25 kilometres for adults. Competition begins at 11 a.m.

Those looking to register can do so at zone4.ca/reg.asp?id=13650.

Whistlerites in Winterberg for World Cup opener

Reid Watts, Matt Riddle and Adam Shippit are among the Whistler contingent in Winterberg, Germany for the FIL World Cup opener this weekend on Nov. 26 and 27.

Watts joins men's singles competitors Mitchel Malyk and Sam Edney while the Riddle and Shippit team joins Tristan Walker and Justin Snith. Kim McRae, Alex Gough and Rachel Klassen will represent the women.

The FIL will once again live stream the World Cup and World Championship races on its website, www.fil-luge.org. Those interested in watching the action will have to stay up a little late, however, as Saturday's racing starts at 1 a.m. and Sunday's begins around 12:45 a.m.

Enduro World Series launches detailed data website

Fans of the Enduro World Series (EWS) now have more information about their favourite riders available.

This season, the top 100 male riders, as well as the top 30 women, top 10 under-21 men and top 10 masters carried Quollectors — devices made by South Dakota-based Quarq — which use GPS data to measure their location and speed. The riders were able to compare their performance against other riders to determine where they did well, or perhaps not so well, in a given stage.

The tour has now created a website, available at www.enduroworldseries.com/gps-rider-analysis, where fans can compare up to five different riders at once.

"I'm so excited about this new service — it's going to add a whole new dimension to our races. It's going to let people not just discover the results of the race, but understand exactly how it unfolded, stage by stage," EWS managing director Chris Ball said in a release. "For fans of the sport it's going to bring a whole new layer of interest to each race and for the riders themselves it will offer an invaluable service. In terms of a racer understanding their own performance, I don't think there's ever been a more valuable tool."

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