Skiers at Sun Peaks last week had a pair of packed days as part of the BC Alpine FIS Coaches Cup on Nov. 21 and 22.
Instead of a single two-run race per day, the event squeezed in a pair each day. Whistler Mountain Ski Club alumnus and current BC Team racer Ella Renzoni excelled on the first day, with a pair of giant slalom races. Renzoni started with a strong sixth-place result in the morning event before skiing to victory in the afternoon, including posting the top time in the fourth and final run of the day.
"It was a pretty hectic (time)," Renzoni said. "We were pretty tired, but I knew it was the last chance to have a home-advantage race under my belt. Me and my teammate Nicole (Mah) just went for it and we finished up 1-2, which was amazing."
While endurance was one factor for her winning out, so too was Renzoni's familiarity with low-visibility conditions that helped her navigate the course. The fog eventually got so thick that the men's event scheduled for later in the day was cancelled.
"At that point in the day, it was actually quite foggy," she said. "It was fine for us, because that's what we're used to, so we were pushing it with normal conditions."
In the slalom event on Nov. 22, Renzoni took 12th (and sixth among under-21 racers) in the morning event but did not complete the afternoon race.
Considering that a number of senior competitors were peppered among the starters, Renzoni was particularly happy with the festival, all things considered.
"It's a great start to the season and we're trying to peak late in the season," she said. "It showed what our preseason did for us and how our season is going to be."
Renzoni's on-snow training began with a pair of difficult training camps, as Chile didn't have much snow when the team arrived, while in Austria, the local mountains had "pure ice" conditions.
"It was a great way to see what the most challenging conditions we'll have all year will be like. It gave me some confidence knowing that if we can do it in the preseason, then we can definitely ski it during the season," she said.
As she competes primarily on the NorAm Cup circuit this season, Renzoni will build up to this year's U19 nationals, where she hopes to stand on the podium at the year's end.
"I just want to keep performing and then the results will come at the end of the year," she said.
Fellow WMSC alumnus and provincial teammate Myles Kowalczyk took fourth in the men's giant slalom but did not finish either slalom race.
A third WMSC skier, Kyle Alexander, was also named to the six-racer provincial team last week, but did not compete at Sun Peaks.
Full results are available online at www.bcalpine.com.