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No fooling, banked slalom’s coming to Sun Peaks on April 1

 | March 30, 2012

Even without a Velocity Challenge speed skiing event this year, thrill seekers will have a chance to giver at the inaugural Sun Peaks Resort Bluebird Banked Slalom on Sunday, April 1.

Oronge Boardshop and Sun Peaks Resort (SPRC) have been discussing establishing a local tradition of banked slalom racing on home turf for a few years, and 2012 is the year to get it going.

“We’re going to build a banked slalom course off the Crystal Chair,” explains Devin Knopf, events coordinator for SPRC. “We wanted it to be in the spring, be warm, and have a real festival atmosphere.”

And, a banked slalom does inspire excitement from a broad range of skiers and riders.

“All of the events that we always put on . . . are all really heavily freestyle oriented and this opens up a whole different type of rider for the banked slalom,” says Kent “Koach” Thiessen, co-owner of Oronge Boardshop and vice president of the Bluebird Day Fund. “The (skiers who don’t ride the park) basically don’t really have an event besides the Velocity, and it’s a bummer that the Velocity didn’t get to run this year. Definitely, that excitement is rolled right into the banked slalom.”

The course will begin at the top of Blue Line run, and flow into Crystal lift line, giving Crystal Chair riders a prime spectator’s seat to the event.

Seth Worthen, slopes manager for the resort, explains that building the course in the alpine, rather than lower on the mountain makes sense for a spring event.

“Consistency up in the bowl is always quite good in the springtime and we have lots of (snow),” says Worthen. “Anywhere we can use the natural terrain we will, and a large section of (the course) will be cat built.”

This will be the first of what event organizers hope will be a long history of banked slaloms at Sun Peaks.

The race’s after-party will be sponsored by Molson Canadian, and will be held on the patio at Bottom’s Bar and Grill.

“The fun factor on this event’s just going to be through the roof,” says Thiessen. “There’s a whole bunch of chirping going on now too, which is deadly, about who’s going to be faster than who, so it’s going to be exciting for sure.”

Registration for the event is open until Saturday, March 31, but is limited to 100 competitors.

Waiver signing and bib pick-up will occur in the Village Day Lodge from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 31. Entrants must be 19-years or older to compete.