By Mary Clayton, Revelstoke Ski Club
The unseasonably warm weather has been causing a few problems for ski racing around the province but the Revelstoke Ski Club skiers are still out there, working hard and dealing with the conditions as best they can. The FIS team is currently in Kimberley where they attended a three-day speed camp last week and are now in a big six-day competition running February 7–13.
The speed camp was aimed at training for the downhill race scheduled for the latter part of the week. However, rain and warm temperatures halted the speed training after just a day and a half. Coach Gregor Druzina said the speed training was very good until the snow got too soft to safely run the event.
Now the actual race event has started, Revelstoke’s FIS racers are competing against athletes from the Alberta and BC Ski Teams, as well as 16 ski clubs from both provinces. There are also athletes from Australia, Denmark, Eritrea, Germany, Japan, Macedonia, New Zealand and USA.
At the time of writing, the first slalom had been held and the men’s race was won by Revelstoke’s Dominic Unterberger, currently skiing for the BC Ski Team. Mitch Smith, also on the Revelstoke team, came in 10th, an excellent result in challenging conditions.
Over on the women’s side, Revelstoke didn’t do as well, despite some fantastic skiing. Emily Unterberger was in a very strong position after the first run but unfortunately a small mistake in the second run had big consequences and she did not finish.
“The second run was not good for Revelstoke,” said Coach Druzina, explaining that a number of the racers didn’t finish due to conditions. “But I’m really happy with how they are skiing. They went for it. It wasn’t easy conditions but they’re looking strong and skiing confidently, which is what I like to see.”
In addition to the opening slalom, the Kimberly event includes a super G and a downhill race. However, the schedule is in flux and which events actually run will depend on the weather.
Closer to home, four of our 10-year-old ski racers attended a speed camp at Vernon’s Silver Star Mountain Resort over the weekend. Silver Star offers an excellent venue for an introduction to speed, despite the variable snow conditions. The course is very well designed, with strong safety measures. Our skiers managed to get 12 runs, with speeds from 75–80 kilometres per hour. Despite some high-speed crashes, they were all eager to get back up for more. True Revelstoke spirit!