Whitewater racers perform well on Kootenay home course
The Whitewater Ski Team hosted the largest ski race that’s been at Whitewater in the last 10 years this past weekend.
The event featured 121 racers, more than 100 volunteers, 20 coaches and another 100 parents who all came together to make this happen and brave the chilly conditions.
Athletes came from as far away as Calgary, and ranged in age from nine to 69. There were 62 racers from Fernie Alpine Ski Team, more than 20 racers from Red Mountain, racers from Kimberly, Salmo, Summit and of course a huge group of over 20 very enthusiastic racers from Nelson’s own Whitewater Ski Team.
This was a large, higher level event, with four slalom courses, taking place over two days.
The race was held on Bonanza ski run, with the finish line being only a short distance from the lodge. There was some fabulous racing.
The event had two officials from BC Alpine overseeing the event, and the local team was able to run its brand new $6,000 digital timing system with a generous donation from Kal Tire.
Whitewater Ski Team posted some excellent results, showing they are a serious ski racing club competitive with the larger clubs such as the Fernie Alpine Ski Team which has more than 200 racers.
On Saturday, Whitewater’s Jamis Beattie finished first in the Mens U16 race. He clocked a smoking 1.07 in the challenging two-run slalom race. Harper Henderson finished ninth.
Whitewater’s Shannon Osak grabbed gold in the Womens U18 race. Her father Paul Osak (the former ski team president), was the awards presenter on Saturday night, and he beamed placing the gold medal around her neck.
Nelson’s former alpine ski Olympian, Bobby Swan, finished first in the Masters race, while Leigh Brousson of Nelson finished in second.
On Sunday Jamis finished second in the U16 Mens race, while Henderson finished fifth and was awarded most improved for his race.
Swan won again in the Masters race, while Brousson finished second.
In the Womens U18 race, Nelson’s Paisley Randell grabbed the gold, while Shannon Osak came in second
In the U12 and U14 categories, there were two races each day.
In the Boys U12 races on Saturday, Alex Murray finished 10th and 15th, Arlo Henderson 11th and 10th, Garett Waterfield 13th, Henry Leishman 14th and 14th, Yael Oosthuizen 16th and sixth, Nathan Gaffran 16, Kell Digiacomo 17th and 12th, Troy Bellman 18th and 17th, and Ronan Gray 11th.
In the girls U12 races Saturday, Kylie Waterfield finished sixth and seventh.
In the boys U14 races on Saturday, Liam Jones finished fourth and 10th, Isaac Gray 10th and 14th.
In the girls U14 races, Oso Punchard finished fifth and 12th, Savanah Leishman seventh and 19th, Cheyanne Stevens 22nd and 25th.
In Sunday’s action for the Boys U12 it was Arlo Henderson eighth and ninth, Ronan Gray ninth and 12th, Garrett Waterfield 10th, Troy Bellman 13th and 17th, Nathan Gaffran 15th and 14th, Henry Leishman 16th and 16th, Kell Digiacomo 17th and 19th, Yael Oosthuizen 19th and 10th.
In the Girls U14 on Sunday Kiley Waterfield finished sixth and seventh.
In Sunday;s Boys U14 races Liam Jones 13th, Isaac Gray 14th and 18th, Noah Gaffran 20th.
Results from Sunday;s Girls U14 included Oso Punchard 10th and 22nd, Savannah Leishman 11th and fourth, Cheyanne Stevens 23ed and 28th. Leishman was also given the most improved medal for her fourth on her second run and Punchard received the most improved award for her race in Saturday.
Whitewater Ski Team coach Dylan Henderson was very pleased with how well the race was organized and how his up racers performed.
“This shows that Whitewater is a serious ski racing venue that athletes want to come to- they love Nelson and skiing at Whitewater,” said Henderson. “This weekend also shows that we have a very competitive ski racing program that is producing some very talented ski racers.”
Visiting racers raved about Nelson, Whitewater, the quality of the snow and just how friendly everyone was. Fresh Tracks Café hosted a banquet Saturday night, and in the words of one visiting racer “that was the best food I have ever eaten.”
The officials from BC Alpine gave organizers a glowing recommendation, commenting on just how many volunteers we had and how our race was so well run.
Next on the racing circuit is a Nancy Greene Ski League Race this Sunday at Red Mountain for ages 5-12.
If you have the desire to have fun on the snow, learn to ski extremely well and become part of a wonderful group of racers, and parents, visit the team’s website at whitewaterskiteam.ca or contact president Tracy Punchard at (250) 505-5090.