Sports » Features

Strong start for Whistler Nordics Loonie series

Twice participants as expected


The inaugural event of the Whistler Nordics Club loonie race series took place on Thursday, Jan. 12 with a field of 45 cross-country enthusiasts – more than double what the organizers were expecting.

The first race, sponsored by the Riverside Junction Café and Out On A Limb Landscaping, included a 5.5 km sprint course under the lights at Lost Lake.

The fastest woman was Pemberton’s Sydney Van Loon, who completed the course in 23 minutes, 26 seconds. Aurelie Germann was second in 24:00, while Sylvie Allen was third in 26:56.

For the men, the winner was Florian Beliard in 20:01, followed by Matt Bodkin in 21:55 and Lee Harrison in 22:20.

There was also a 13 and Under race on a shorter 2 km course. Bobby Bunbury was the top male in 12:30, while Akiko Clarke was the top female in 16:58.

The Skier of the Week award went to Matt Ryan, one of the top mountain bikers in WORCA’s mountain bike Loonie series in the summer. It was his first time ever on skate skis, and he was still figuring out how to get his hands strapped into his poles when the race started. He compared his skate style to Elaine Benes’s dance moves on the sitcom Seinfeld.

This week’s race is sponsored by the Rim Rock and Citta. Sign-on is at 5:30 p.m. outside the Lost Lake ticket booth, and the course will be announced before the start. The race gets underway at 6 p.m. The cost is $2 to take part, as well as a $25 membership in the Whistler Nordics.

If you are interested in sponsoring a future Whistler Nordics Loonie race, contact Carolyn Rodger at 604-932-5030.

Volleyballers win division at tournament

Last weekend Wild Wood Women’s Volleyball Team placed first in Tier II at the Frostbite Rally in Victoria, beating top-ranked Shadow in a showdown final that went to three games. The Wild Wood won the third game by a narrow 15-12.

The team credits the play of middles Maeghan Thomas and Vesna Rukavina, the passing and power hitting of Julie Rockweell, Kirsten Homeniuk and Wanda Chalk, and strong sets from Sue Eckersley and Laura Wetaski.

The next tournament for the team is in Victoria in February.

The Whistler Whoosh women’s volleyball team also took part in the tournament, playing in Tier I. They were 1-1-1 in the round robin, and ended up playing top-ranked Team Ichiban in the playoffs. Ichiban won the game, and Whoosh settled for fifth place.

The team included Mairi Smith, Sue Oliver, Myrna Iaconnetti Bush, Olga Achiardi, Karine Serra, Mel Bernier, Shelley Leddingham, Kylie Spicer and Marie-Claude Lajoie, along with coach Bill Sirota and team physiotherapist Mark Borslein.