05/10/2019 The Canadian Masters’ 2018/19 race season concluded at Panorama, BC, on 31 March 2019 after an amazing two weeks of racing in the Rocky Mountains.
At the 2018 Nationals, in Panorama, President Lloyd Sevack floated the trial balloon of juxtaposing the Rides of March (RoM), the annual Western Championships and the 2019 return of the Masters’ Nationals to Panorama Mountain Resort, on back to back weekends in an effort to maximize Canada-wide participation in both events. That balloon didn’t just float….it soared to a new high through almost 13 days of blue sky visibility and consistent race-ready snow.
Eastern athletes began arriving at Nakiska on Monday March 18 to take advantage of three days of Claudio Berto’s pre-race coaching. On three successive days, being Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we trained SL, GS and SG on Mapmaker (race hill) with video analysis of each session. By the end of the week, attendance was bolstered by nine racers coming from the east; almost nine more than in recent memory! The program on Friday was two SG races on Mapmaker, top to bottom, on a 45 metre set with perfect conditions that held without softening or major ruts for almost the entire two full races. Saturday was a GS that saw most of the field successfully take and land “significant air” off of “coaches’ bump” in their first run, albeit with varying degrees of grace and speed! The second run was tamer but still demanding and the entire field finished the day happy and healthy. The banquet and early awards presentation took place on Saturday evening with the usual Albertan beef buffet served by Nakiska. The SL on Sunday saw less optimal conditions with soft snow, drizzle and FOG! The Albertan coaches had set two SL courses on Saturday afternoon. We inspected in the fog and those of us running early in the race competed in the fog but in typical Albertan fashion, the sun came back for the second run!
Wow! What a week BUT no time to sit back and relive the race series because training at Panorama began the next morning.
Those of you who trained and competed at Panorama last spring will remember the ambience of the village, the quick and easy lift access to the race hill, the interesting, undulating terrain on Oldtimer, and the firm but excellent snow conditions. This year was no different. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday there was GS and SL training offered on Oldtimer. Most of the Easterners, some of us Albertans and BC racers took advantage of that training. Thursday, as usual, offered two timed SG training runs. On Friday the Canadian Alpine Masters’ Championship (CAMC) series began with two SG races, with a strong contingent of 20 racers coming from the east! The GS on Saturday was once again run in perfect conditions on a fast, fun, Masters’ friendly course that held up so well that only minor tweaks were needed for the second run. Following the usual banquet and silent auction on Saturday evening the final race of the series was the SL on Sunday morning.
The Canadian Masters’ race season essentially came to a close on Sunday afternoon on the plaza at Panorama Mountain Resort, after the final medals were awarded. A select few of those entered managed to successfully complete the four races and to add Overall medals to their collection. The “Champion of Champions” awards were presented to Irene Collins (Alberta Masters) and Philip Beauregard (Whistler). The Dave Murray Cup award went to Alberta with a perfect score of 400 points.
Over two weeks of training and racing there were essentially 66 (RoM) and 69 (CAMC) entries; some people don’t race SG and some people don’t race SL. Some of the Albertans only raced at Nakiska; some from BC and the East only raced at Panorama. Overall our entry numbers were significantly higher for both Nakiska and for Panorama than they were last year.
Go to our Canadian Masters’ Alpine Facebook Group where you can find many albums and photos from both events: https://www.facebook.com/Canadian-Alpine-Masters-Group-159361306153/
Also, many videos taken by Derek and Claudio have been uploaded to the Alberta Masters’ Ski Club video library at https://albertamastersskiclub.smugmug.com/
The Nakiska and Panorama races were, without doubt, the most successful conclusion to the 2018/19 Canadian Masters’ race season. I know that many of us have already thanked the ski areas for hosting us, the race officials for putting up with us and we thank the following:
- Derek and Claudio for their 16 days of non-stop coaching through sun, fog and adversity.
- Phyllis Kennedy (Race Secretary a.k.a. Cat Herder extraordinaire!) for keeping all of the minutiae in order at Panorama.
- Sharon Chadwick, albeit injured, still did the results for the Nationals remotely, as well as the Mike Wiegele Eastern Championships and the Mansfield Masters’ Cup earlier in the season.
- Lloyd for persisting in his vision of back to back race weekends.
But just to make sure that nobody’s contribution was missed …….THANK YOU!! It was awesome!!
Patty Edgar| Western Canada Director
Canadian Alpine Masters | Maîtres Alpin Canadiens
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