The Whitewater Ski Team travelled to Fernie, earlier this month, for its first U14 race of the season.
The team brought 21 athletes, the most that the team has travelled with for this level of competition for many years.
The athletes were aged 10 through to 70-years-old with two maser racers — Bobby Swan and Leigh Brousson.
This was a three-day event with a day of GS and two days of Slalom, and competitors came from all over the Kootenays and as far away as Calgary.
“Whitewater is producing some of the best free riders and ski racers in the province and I believe that is all about having fun in the mountains and the pure love of skiing,” said head coach Dylan Henderson.
The weather in Fernie was a major factor with a dump of fresh light powder on the first day, rain and sleet on the second day, and 80 km/hr winds on the third day.
The athletes competed through it all and showed that a great ski racer has to overcome adversity to meet their personal goals.
The team showed that they can compete with the best of the best with some great results. In the U12 group there was Henry Leishman hitting the podium with a third place finish, Troy Bellman took fourth, Yael Oosthuizen was seventh, Liam Lazier and Nathan Gaffran both had an eighth and Coda Punchard a 13th.
The girls started with Aliza Jones in fourth, Zarah Murray eighth, Sophie Hickson and Gretchen Lewandowski 13th , and Sierra Pardoe with an 18th
The U14s did well with Liam Jones in sixth, Arlo Henderson in 11th, Garrett Waterfield in 13th and Noah Gaffran in 15th.
The U14 girls had Oso Punchard in eighth, Cheyanne Stevens in 13th, Kiley Waterfield in 18th, and Phoebe Lazier in 20th.
For the U14s this was the qualifier for the 2014 BC Winter Games in Mission.
The local team had four athletes selected including Liam Jones, Oso Punchard, Stevens, and Kiley Waterfield.
The Whitewater Ski Team started the season with a goal to grow the team and it has been a rip roaring success! The team is bigger than it has ever been with 78 athletes and looks to continue on this path of success.
The next away race is Red Mountain on February 7 to 9.