Local freestylers shine at Timber Tour stop 

Fifteen medals for Whistler-Blackcomb Freestyle Ski Club

click to enlarge PHOTO BY ROB ARMSTRONG - Up in the air Chase Ujejski takes flight during competition at the first Timber Tour stop of the year.
  • Photo by Rob Armstrong
  • Up in the air Chase Ujejski takes flight during competition at the first Timber Tour stop of the year.

Much of the Whistler-Blackcomb Freestyle Ski Club's competition fell at the first Timber Tour stop of the year.

Head coach Sarah Hogg said conditions at the event, held from Jan. 16 to 18 at Apex Mountain Resort southwest of Penticton, weren't always ideal, but it didn't prevent local skiers from making off with 15 medals.

"The moguls were icy and we haven't really had a lot of mogul training here because we haven't really had the snow," she said. "We're so used to such a killer park here, it's hard for anywhere else to compare to our hill."

Rushing the podium a combined six times, brothers Luke and Kai Smart led the club's medal haul.

Luke Smart, the defending U16 national big air champion at just 14, took the gold in that event at Apex while also earning silver in slopestyle and bronze in moguls. Smart is in contention for Team B.C. for Canada Winter Games, but is currently in fifth place in a heated battle for four spots.

Making a return from injury and competing in the U14 level, Kai Smart, 12, followed his brother's footsteps to big air gold while taking silvers in both the slopestyle and moguls events.

The club's other gold medal came courtesy of Maya Schwinghammer, who won the U14 female moguls event to go along with showings of fifth in slopestyle and sixth in big air.

In the same division, Sofia Tchernetsky scored silvers in big air and slopestyle, while Raine Haziza (slopestyle), Josephine Howell (big air) and Ava Dunham (moguls) all came home with bronzes.

Other podium finishes came from U14 boys' competitor Kai Martin, who was second in big air and third in slopestyle, Chase Ujejski, who was third in the U16 boys' slopestyle, and Charlie Armstrong, taking third place in U16 boys' big air.

In all, 22 WBFSC athletes took part in the competition. Cut-and-dried results aside, Hogg was glad to see several athletes trying new tricks and displaying the instruction coaches have given them this year.

Full results are at www.bcfreestyle.com.

Hogg and the rest of the club will have the opportunity to make the most of their comfortable conditions next month when the Timber Tour makes its sophomore stop of the year here in Whistler from Feb. 6 to 9.

"I hope we'll have that hometown advantage," she said. "Hopefully there will be a little more snow between now and then."

Longboard festival dates announced

Longboarders should have anything but a long face.

The fifth-annual edition of the Whistler Longboard Festival has been plugged in for Sept. 18 to 20 at Whistler Sliding Centre.

The main race will take place at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and will feature athletes from 20 countries.

The course features 11 corners and eight hairpin turns. Those interested in signing up to take part can do so beginning April 4 at 10 a.m at www.internationaldownhillfederation.org.

R/C league plans meeting

Area99 Radio Control Racing League is getting set to kick off its 2015 season.

The group, formerly known at the Area99 R/C Racing Club, will hold an information session Saturday, Jan. 31 in the Creekside parking lot. The meeting will start at 4:30 p.m. and anyone interested is welcome.

The 20-event season is set to open Sunday, Feb. 8 with a driver meeting and track setup beginning at 5:30 p.m. Entry fees are $2 per vehicle. Spectators are welcome.

In a release, league founder Nick Coward said he hopes to create a circuit that "welcomes all types of R/C vehicles and allows drivers to compete against each other on a level playing field regardless of skill or equipment."

Race sites are confirmed on the group's Facebook page (Area99 R/C Racing League) and Twitter page (@Area99RC) at least an hour before each race.

Coward noted the circuit is seeking sponsorships and a permanent home.

Those looking for more information about the league can contact Coward at area99rc@gmail.com.



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