Despite the season's biggest snowfalls just before the weekend event crews and groomers from Whistler Blackcomb and volunteers from the Whistler Mountain Ski Club managed to stage all but two of the six races planned for the annual Parsons Memorial Super G last weekend.
The event is the only speed contest on the calendar for kids in the K2 age category (ages 13 and 14), and is held each year to give young skiers a chance to train for and experience the other side of ski racing - and to keep up to their European counterparts who start competing in speed events at a younger age.
The series dates back 41 years to the Whistler Bowl downhill races created by Bob Parsons. The 2010 race was the 30 th anniversary of the memorial race established in his honour in 1980.
There were six events on the calendar, but two were cancelled as crews worked to clear over 50 cm of new snow off the course.
Whistler athletes did well as always. In Friday's race the Whistler Mountain Ski Club women placed eight athletes in the top 10 and captured all three podium spots. Alix Wells of Prince George placed first in 1:14.40, with Whistler's Emma King half a second back in 1:14.90. Charley Field was third in 1:16.00. Others in the top 10 were Whistler's Elie Taillefer in fourth, West Vancouver's Celeste Pomerantz fifth, Vancouver's Kelly Steeves sixth, Coquitlam's Picabo Reeves seventh, North Vancouver's Rae Swette eighth, West Vancouver's Lexi Perry ninth and Prince George's Annie Reimer 10 th .
Only Lexi Perry and Annie Reimer were not members of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club.
The men's team captured nine of the top 10 spots on Friday, including a podium sweep. West Vancouver's Blake Ramsden took the gold with a time of 1:13.90, followed by Vancouver's Charlie Renzoni in 1:14.11 and North Vancouver's Brodie Seger in 1:14.19. Rounding out the top 10 were Grouse Mountain's Austin Llewellyn in fourth place, Anmore's Bryan Cadman fifth, Pemberton's Logan Pehota sixth, Richmond's Kyle Yates seventh, West Vancouver's Ben Bethune eighth, Pemberton's Dalton Pehota ninth and West Vancouver's Marc Leroux 10 th .
While it cleared up on Saturday morning, some soft snow made for a slightly slower course. Whistler women earned nine of the top 10 spots and the men placed eight in the top 10.
Alix Wells earned her second win for the WMSC on the women's side in 1:17.55, with Charley Field moving up to second in 1:19.78 and Picabo Reeves to third in 1:20.02. In the top 10 were Celeste Pomerantz fourth, Vancouver's Emma Swaffield fifth, Rae Swette sixth, Elie Taillefer seventh, Lexi Perry eighth, Kelly Steeves ninth and West Vancouver's Victoria Konantz 10 th .
Brodie Seger was first in the second men's super G in 1:17.32, followed by Charlie Renzonie in 1:17.45 and Blake Ramsden in 1:18.35. Austin Llewellyn was fourth, Dalton Pehota fifth, Ben Bethune sixth, Bryan Cadman seventh, Kyle Yates eighth, Grouse Mountain's Rory Thies ninth and Logan Pehota 10 th .
K1 athletes strong at Hemlock
The previous weekend the WMSC K1 team (ages 11 and 12) made the long trip to the Hemlock Valley Resort for three days of racing.
In the first one-run giant slalom on Friday, Jan. 8, the WMSC swept the women's podium with Stefanie Fleckenstein fist, Mikayla Martin second and Cheyenne Ling third. On the boy's side Riley Seger and Cameron Alexander were first and second.
On Saturday it was a two-run giant slalom. Stefanie Fleckenstein and Mikayla Martin once again took the gold and silver for the girls, with Riley Seger winning his second gold. He had a bad first run, but made up for it on his second run which was four seconds faster and gave him the win by just 14 100ths of a second.
Sunday was the slalom. Mikayla Martin took the win and her third medal, with teammate Stefanie Fleckenstein third. Riley Seger made it a hat trick on the boys side with his third win.
In the second slalom race Stefanie Fleckenstein and Mikayla Martin were second and third. The WMSC's Alex Gershon placed second.
Rio Tinto Alcan to sponsor Whistler Cup
With the economic crisis taking a bite out of sponsorship money, the Whistler Mountain Ski Club landed the federal government as its headline sponsor for the 2009 edition of the Whistler Cup international juvenile ski races. That left a void for the 2010 event, which was filled this week with the announcement that Rio Tinto Alcan had signed on as the title sponsor.
The Whistler Cup races will take place from April 9 to 11, with 400 juvenile racers aged 11 to 14, from up to 20 countries, taking part. Team Canada is the defending champion for 2010 after winning the Nations Cup for the first time in the event's 17-year history in 2009.