The Canadian Alpine Ski Team and Alpine Canada have been without a major automotive sponsor after their longstanding partnership with Pontiac GMC expired this year, but Audi Canada announced on Monday that they would step up to the plate with a long-term sponsorship of their own.
The company, based in Ajax, Ontario, will support alpine, para-alpine and ski cross programs through 2014 - the year of the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The new partnership was effective immediately.
"We are delighted to partner with Audi Canada," said Alpine Canada president Max Gartner. "Audi has a long association with the sport of ski racing as title sponsor of the FIS World Cup and we look forward to continuing our winning tradition in partnership with a brand we have long admired."
By sponsoring Alpine Canada, Audi will have booked real estate on some of alpine and ski cross's biggest stars, including world champions Erik Guay (downhill), Chris Del Bosco and Kelsey Serwa (both ski cross), as well as Olympic ski cross champion Ashleigh McIvor. The alpine time will also get stronger this year with the return of several athletes from injury, including 2009 world champion John Kucera.
Alpine Canada currently has two "gold" partners including Audi, with the other being the Osisko Mining Corporation based in Quebec. "Summit" level partners include Canadian Pacific, Hermes, Spyder and Telus; "Official" partners are Mike Wiegel Helicopter Skiing, Kenwood, Cold-FX, Air Canada and Sport Chek; funding partners are Own The Podium, the Government of Canada, Alpine Canada's Podium Club and the Alberta Lottery Fund.
Paddler off to Hawaii
Cheryl Skribe of the fledgling Whistler Rowing Club is heading out with a Canadian team to the Open Ocean World Championships taking place in Hawaii next week.
Paddling an outrigger canoe, the team will start off with a 42km race from Maui to Molokai on Sept. 17, warming up for the 66km paddle from Molokai to Oahu.
The team is the current world champion in the sprint and long distance outrigger races.
Semenuk third at Red Bull District Ride
The World Freeride Mountain Bike Tour wrapped up its world tour with a street event in Nuremberg on Sept. 9 - one of a handful of top tier "Diamond" level events. Whistler's Brandon Semenuk had already locked up the overall title but went hard in Nuremberg anyway to take third overall in that contest. Martin Soderstrom of Sweden placed second, while British rider Sam Pilgrim took the win.
Other Canadians in the final were Anthony Messere, who placed seventh and Darren Berrecloth in 11th.