The 27 th annual Canadian Masters Downhill races took part at Silver Star Mountain Feb. 11-13, and despite the number of former World Cup racers in the field it was a couple of Sea to Sky skiers that proved to be the fastest, and a Whistler team that placed first overall.
On the men’s side it was Pemberton’s Rick Lewon who proved to be the fastest in both races, winning the overall individual title. Meanwhile Whistler’s Liz Thompson placed first overall among the women.
Along with Stewart Smith and Tom Thompson, they also won the overall team event as Wild Lizzy, more than three seconds faster than the next team on the list.
“Lucky for us Tom is helping to coach the Canadian Europa Cup ski jumping team, and they were doing a lot of wax testing — there’s no better place to test wax than a ski jump in-run,” said Lewon. “We used a Canadian brand of wax called Mach 3, which was by far the fastest wax anyone was skiing on. Everyone else was laughing at us, but we were really happy we won with a Canadian brand.”
Lewon was a member of the national development team when he was sidelined with an injury, and shortly afterwards joined the pro alpine racing circuit where he stayed for about 10 years. Former Canadian downhiller Roman Torn, the defending masters champion, wasn’t at Silver Star to defend his title, but Lewon managed to beat Murray Smith, a former World Cup racer who had won the event five times before Torn.
“That was the highlight for me,” said Lewon. “I beat him by about 0.82 seconds, which was an eternity on that course, which is pretty easy. There wasn’t a lot of time between racers.”
Other Whistler racers in the mix were Gar Robinson, who won the newly created 80 to 84 category, and Jerry Stolar who finished first in the 70 to 76 group.
As well, Rob Boyd’s family entered three full teams into the tournament, while Rob himself was with the national team at the world championships. Tory Saarinen, who lives in Whistler, helped the Heavy Set Pets place second for the Boyd’s in the family category.
Whitney leads way in Nor Am downhill
In a field full of national development team members and athletes competing at the top levels in Canada and the U.S., Whistler’s Victoria Whitney managed to place seventh in the Nor Am Cup Downhill at Big Mountain, Montana this past week. Whitney was the top J1 skier (age 15-16) by 12 positions, and bested athletes that were sometimes five and six years older.
It was the best result of any Whistler athlete over the weekend, with other J1s finishing well back of the top-30 in most cases against a strong American Nor Am field.
Following the Nor Ams, the Canadian athletes headed to Sun Peaks for the Pontiac GMC Cup races.
In the opening slalom, Whistler’s Conrad Pridy, Stan Rey and James McLean cracked the top-15, finishing eighth, 11 th and 14 th respectively.
On the women’s side, Whiteney placed fourth overall and was the first J1. Calindy Ramsden also cracked the top-15, placing 13 th .
In the giant slalom, WMSC skiers Victoria Whitney, Jen Mah and Calindy Ramsden were sixth through eighth, while Julia Murray placed 14 th . Whitney was second among J1’s, while Ramsden was third.
For the men, Conrad Pridy placed sixth, Morgan Pridy was ninth and James McLean 12 th . Morgan Pridy was also the top J1.
Summit has solid lead with five weeks remaining
Team Points Total
Summit Sport 24 179
Slope Side Supply 26 152
Splash Nash Spas 25 146
Scotia Bank 20 127
Valley Bus. Ctre 11 126
Whistler Medical 29 116
Mountain Crests 21 111
McDonald’s 13 103
Affinity Sports 17 99
Hilton 9 96
IT Pharmacy 8 94
Meadow Park 4 94
Sun Dog Eyewear 21 89
VIP Holidays 0 78