After two days of gorgeous blue skies and sunshine that tided over two World Cup races, the 2010 Subaru Velocity Challenge reluctantly came to a close earlier than expected on Sunday, March 7. Already faced with gusts of wind and a chilly overcast day, event organizers decided to wrap up the event after a racer fell on the track during the second run of the day.
After skiing about two-thirds down the run, Ismael Devenes from Switzerland lost control and skied off-course on the Headwalls. The crowd of spectators gasped as Devenes wobbled, fell and skidded through the netting to the left side of the track. Fortunately, the netting slowed the momentum of his descent. A volunteer standing close to the track immediately skied over to Devenes to make sure he was okay. Devenes was able to sit up just a few seconds after he came to a stop. Just as quickly, members of the event’s medical team were there to tend to him. He sustained a hand injury because of the fall.
“We have the best trauma workers on site so Ismael would be just fine,” reassured volunteer Pat Wellington.
The previous day, Klaus Schrottshammer from Austria almost suffered a similar fate but was able to perform an amazing recovery after skiing off-kilter for a split second. Skiing on one leg, Schrottshammer regained his balance and had no trouble skiing down the remainder of the track.
View footage here.
Three races were scheduled for the Velocity Challenge run on the last day of the event, but under the circumstances, the race had to be cut short after one successful run.
For the Velocity Challenge race, the fastest competitors in each category will be awarded $500 prize money from Peaks Media Inc, SPIN Newsmagazine and Headwalls Mechanical . This year, $200 will also be awarded to the fastest rookie competitor, sponsored by Sun Tower Electric. The Velocity Challenge speeds don’t count towards World Cup points.
Sun Peaks’ Blade Cleaver won the rookie title with 151.82 km/h, just 0.81 of a second ahead of his younger brother Cruize.
Karine Dubouchet-Revol from France was the fastest woman in the Women’s Speed 1 category with a speed of 169.01 km/h.
Austrian skier Gunther Foidl was once again the top racer in the Men’s Downhill category. His speed was 161.61 km/h.
Italy’s Ivan Origone won the Men’s Speed 1 Velocity Challenge race with a speed of 174.11 km/h.
The dinner and awards ceremony will be held tonight at the Sun Peaks Resort’s Village Square at 5 p.m.
For the complete results, visit www.velocitychallenge.com.