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Ski club team dominates Peak to Valley

Snow shortens day two course, but race goes ahead

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When 27 cm of new snow drops on your race course, with winds of up to 200 km/h clocked in the start area, all you can do is adapt.

That’s what the organizers of the Appleton Rum Peak to Valley race were up against last week. Day one of the race was perfect, with great conditions from the start at the top of The Saddle to the Creekside base – a vertical drop of over 1,550 metres.

Day two was considerably more challenging. The alpine lifts never opened, which meant the course had to start about 275 metres lower down the mountain at the top of Old Man. As a result, despite the snowy conditions, top times were well over a minute faster on Saturday.

This year the top team was, for the third year in a row, from the Whistler Mountain Ski Club. Racing in the 144 and Under group (combined age of racers), three men and one woman completed their Peak to Valley runs in a combined time of 21 minutes, 41.16 seconds.

Team WMSC included Linas Viatkus and Phil Beauregard, who raced on Friday, and Julie Prud’Homme and Sead Causevic, who raced on the Saturday. All of their times were in the overall top-seven on their respective days.

Less than nine seconds back of WMSC was team Swiss Movement, which logged an overall time of 21:49:89 – competing three age groups above the WMSC in the 200-224 category. Swiss Movement included Janine Linder-Joris and Alain Rey on Friday, and Eric Rey, and Robert Joris on Saturday.

Third place overall went to team Fleck-Less, racing in the 180-199 group. They finished in a 22:12.51, over half a minute back of the WMSC. Fleck-Less included Liz Thompson and Tom Prochazka on Friday, and Kent Wills and Dave Newton on Saturday.

In terms of individual times, Brian Bennett of the Blue Ice Wrecking Crew was the fastest male on Friday with a time of 5:38.68, followed by Jeff Hume of Hoopla in 5:39.82, and Alain Rey of Swiss Movement in 5:47.82.

On Saturday, Hoopla’s Jamie Finlayson – a former member of the national development team and current manager of the UBC Thunderbirds team – was the fastest skier in 4:17.30, over five seconds faster than Chris Kent of Wild Willies. Kent’s time was 4:22.35, which itself was almost 13 seconds faster than the Sead Causevic’s 4:35.06 for the WMSC.

For the women, Janine Linder-Joris of Swiss Movement was fastest on Friday in 6:12.96, followed by Liz Thompson of Fleck-Less in 6:18.85 and Kary Firstbrook of Team Spirit in 6:24.64. Day two belonged to Alyssa Wilson of Best of Both in 4:55.82, followed by Michelle Yeates of Jimmy’s Angels in 5:00.92, and Stephanie Sloan of Whistler Brewhouse in 5:06.63.

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