Adapting for fresh powder at annual race

Canadian Olympic champions Ashleigh McIvor, Nancy Greene Raine and Kathy Kreiner-Phillips were on hand giving competitors advice for their runs. SPIN Photo.


With a blanket of fresh powder covering the mountain, participants in the 22nd Annual TELUS Nancy Greene Alpine Classic had to adapt to the snowy conditions for their race on Saturday, Jan. 27.

After a beautiful sunny practice day the afternoon before, Mother Nature decided to test organizers and racers with over 20 centimeters of fresh powder falling on the ski and boardercross course throughout the day.

“As per often when you hold a big event at Sun Peaks it snows and everybody else loves the snow but it complicates for a race. We just adapt,” said Nancy Greene Raine, director of skiing for Sun Peaks Resort LLP.(SPR)

Due to snowfall, the first runs of the day were unable to use the electronic timers so race volunteers kept competitors running through as practice for the afternoon competition.

In the afternoon the 22 teams each chose their fastest racers to start their run rather than relying on seedings from the morning.

“When the first racer starts the timer will be tripped and when the third racer goes through that will determine the time of the race,” said Joan Wilson, race volunteer.

Along with additional practice in the morning, racers were able to get advice from Canadian Olympic champions Kathy Kreiner- Phillips, Ashleigh McIvor and Nancy Greene Raine. For one lucky group who was unable to attend the practice session on Friday, they had a course inspection with 1976 giant slalom gold medalist Kreiner-Phillips.

Ashleigh McIvor gave Tammy Ulmer some pointers before she headed out on the course. SPIN Photo.

“We inspected it and Ashleigh McIvor, who’s the Olympic gold medalist from Vancouver 2010 in ski cross, was also going by and gave us some good pointers,” said Kreiner-Phillips. “About just really visualizing the whole course in your mind before so you know where every roll is, where the turns are so it just gives you more confidence before you go just knowing that.”

Commenting on the weather conditions Kreiner-Phillips said: “It’s more of a powder day but you know that’s skiing, just go with the flow.”

Despite the technical challenges Sun Peaks residents Katie Schmid and Matthias Schmid were the overall fastest skiers of the day. In the TELUS Cup (sport category) Newport Holy Shutes, Powder Ventures Alpine Alayers, Sun Peaks Resort LLP Team #2 were the three fastest teams. While in the McSporties Cup (Masters category) Young In Spirit, Dave’s Speed Demons and Newport Maniacs took the top spots.

A total for funds raised for the Sun Peaks Health Association through registration and following silent auctions will be available in the coming days.