The competitions were a tremendous success and plans are underway to repeat the same format next year! Many thanks to Stoneham for the race organization and course crew, and to Jean-Rene de Varennes for his work in organizing and promoting the event. We will look forward to seeing everyone again next year!
Two weeks ago saw 86 competitors from eight different countries compete at the Canadian Masters’ Alpine Championship (CMAC) and FIS Masters’ Cup (FMC) held in Stoneham, Quebec. While CMAC happens each year, this represents the first time since 2008 that Canada has played host to a FMC competition. The combined events drew competitors from Canada, USA, Japan, Switzerland, Australia, France, Italy and Germany competing in a total of six races (2 in each of the super giant slalom, giant slalom and slalom disciplines). As per FIS rules, the field was split into three categories: A (men 30-59 years old), B (men 60-89 years old) and C (women 30-79 years old). Stoneham proved an excellent venue with great hills, well run races, and a “made in Quebec” joie de vivre.
The CMAC kicked off on Tuesday, 18 February, with SG training runs for all interested competitors. This provided athletes with a chance to test out the hill and refresh their SG skills. The racing began on Wednesday, 19 February, and with an overnight dump of snow, saw 62 competitors reaching speeds of up to 90km on a slightly soft track. Two separate SG races were held and the hill and race crew did an excellent job of clearing loose snow and ensuring safe running conditions for both races.
Thursday saw cool and sunny conditions with overnight temperatures reaching -32˚C for the first GS race. The two run race saw all three categories (A and B/C) running the same course. The race counted as both a CMAC and homologated FIS race. The 70-second course combined a steep and icy top section with a fast lower section that put a premium on tucking and gliding skills.
Friday saw even colder temperatures prevail with overnight lows approaching -35˚C for the first slalom race of the series. The race was held on a steep hill with separate courses for category A and categories B/C. Both courses were technically challenging with rutty conditions prevailing for the final competitors on each run. This race also counted as both CMAC and FMC events.
On Friday night, a fundraising and catered awards banquet was held to cap off the CMAC event. Overall age group winners were also feted with a shot ski and fun was had by all. The Champion of Champions awards, based on handicap results, went to Lisa Ballard Dinsmore (USSA Masters) and Pepi Neubauer (USSA Masters).
The second FIS slalom race was held on Saturday and once again, the course was steep with a technically challenging set for both the A and B/C categories. There were many DNFs and DSQs as the field struggled to finish the 40-gate course.
Sunday saw an early morning (7:30am) start for the final FIS GS race under much warmer, albeit somewhat foggy conditions. Once again, the course featured a steep technical section up top with fast gliding conditions further down the course. The sun came out for the second run and was much appreciated for improved visibility.
The series wrapped up with an awards presentation held at the bottom of the hill prior to athletes departing for home. The race series at Stoneham was expertly staged by the Stoneham Ski Club and has firmly established the presence of Canada back on the FIS Masters’ circuit. Overall, it was a challenging race series, and provided the international field with a true taste of Quebec culture, food, drink, enjoyment of winter and specifically the sport of ski racing for life.
Short English CCAP.Tv interview
Long French CCAP.Tv interview from minute 17:40-26:00
Report submitted by Jaime Hugessen