The Miele B.C. Cup received a nice surprise when Red Mountain Racer Sasha Zaitsoff returned to the West Kootenays to enter the four-day race.
Organizers didn’t expect Zaitsoff, who has been racing in the World Cup with the national ski team, to race this week.
“I found out Friday morning when he came in and gave me a big hug,” said race director Laura Frye.
The Balfour resident and member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team didn’t disappoint. Zaitsoff raced to two first-place finishes in the Men’s Giant Slalom on Saturday and Sunday flying down the course in snowy conditions with a combined time of 1:52.01 Saturday and a time of 1:42.20 Sunday.
He followed that up Monday with a great initial run for top spot in the Slalom, but a mistake in the second go through put him well back.
Tyler Werry finished second to Zaitsoff in both GS races but got the better of him on Tuesday, winning the slalom while Zaitsoff finished in third. Broderick Thompson of the B.C. ski team came second.
Other than a huge dump of snow on the weekend, that actually hampered efforts to get the courses in tip-top shape, the event was a great success.
“It’s been going really well,” said Frye Tuesday. “We’ve had some little challenges but overall it’s been good and racers are getting some good times and points so everybody seems to be happy with it.”
The snow created soft and slow conditions on the weekend, where racers prefer the hard and icy runs for speed. However, thanks to a lot of work from a small but hardy group of volunteers, the races went off without a hitch.
“The people that have been maintaining the course have been working like dogs because they have to clear off the snow that piles up,” she said. “If it was nice, hard conditions, the number of volunteers would have been perfect but when you get a lot of snow, it creates a lot of work for the people that are there. But the volunteers that are here are doing an amazing job and keeping the course in good shape for the racers.”
Thompson also came first in the Men’s Slalom on Monday followed by Kevyn Read and Filip Gigic.
Charlie Field won the women’s GS on Tuesday, followed by Whistler’s Kelly Steeves and Victoria Michalik, while Jennifer McIntyre of Lake Louise finished first in the GS Monday. Vanessa Alboiu came second and Field third. Field also placed second in the Slalom on Sunday behind Jocelyn McCarthy.
Red Mountain Racer Una Trivanovic had two top-twenty finishes, placing 16th in both the GS and Slalom.