Whistler contingent set for Dew Tour 

Wilson eager to get campaign underway

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BRENDAN MACKAY - set to fly Local freestyle skier Taylor Wilson is excited for the Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge, Colo. beginning this Thursday (Dec. 10).
  • photo by Brendan MacKay
  • set to fly Local freestyle skier Taylor Wilson is excited for the Dew Tour stop in Breckenridge, Colo. beginning this Thursday (Dec. 10).

Taylor Wilson and a significant number of other local freestyle athletes are keen to get the 2015-16 season going.

Speaking from Colorado, the 19-year-old halfpipe specialist said conditions were looking beautiful as he and the others prepared for the Dew Tour event, which will be held from Dec. 10 to 13.

"Training has been great. We've had four days of training so far," Wilson said on Dec. 7. "You have time to get your run down. It's all a pretty perfect set-up.

"It looks really good. The pipe's in perfect shape. It's definitely the best one I've ever skied."

Wilson will be making his debut at the Breckenridge-based competition, but could be set to impress. He won the halfpipe competition at the Sony SnowCrown in March and also put up top-10 showings in both big air and slopestyle in 2014-15.

"It'll be pretty crazy. There are a lot of people who are really good, so it's definitely going to be a pretty good show," he said. "I'm stoked to be a part of it."

Wilson said he's soaking in the experience, though he's feeling a few nerves here and there going into the season premiere. However, hanging out with fellow Whistler residents Riley Culver and Teal Harle, both slopestyle athletes, has been enjoyable for him.

"The atmosphere is pretty good. Everyone is in a good state of mind. Everyone's having fun. Honestly, it's going to be pretty crazy and everyone's a little scared, but first comp of the year, it's just good to be back into it," he said.

With the season just getting going, Wilson explained he's looking to establish a baseline for the next few months, setting the tone with a strong showing in a major event.

"I'm not working on anything too crazy, just trying to get a good run, go big and get good grabs, make it look good," he said. "My goal for this contest is just to land a run I'm happy with. It's a judged sport, so it's all up to them how I place, but if I do what I want to do, then I'll be happy."

With a long offseason from competition, Wilson doubled down and sought to add muscle during the summer months to better prepare himself for the quick-but-packed campaign. He feels set for the task of making an impression on the freeskiing world.

"I definitely spent a lot of time in the gym training, getting strong for skiing everyday," he said. "The offseason went pretty well and it was a long break, but I'm ready for the season and I'm really stoked."

The superpipe semifinals will take place at 11 a.m. on Dec. 11 with the finals going at 3 p.m. the following day. Whistler's Simon d'Artois and Squamish resident Mike Riddle are among the Canadians competing.

The women's freeski superpipe finals take place at 8:15 a.m. on Dec. 11 with Whistler resident Cassie Sharpe and Squamish resident Roz Groenewoud taking part.

Harle and Culver are the sole locals competing in the freeski slopestyle contest, with the semis at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 10 and the finals at 10 a.m. on Dec. 13.

As for the women in that event, Whistler's Yuki Tsubota will throw down in the final at 8 a.m. on Dec. 12.

In terms of snowboarders, Darcy Sharpe is the only Whistler resident on the docket. He'll do his thing in the slopestyle competition. The semis are at 11 a.m. on Dec. 11 while the finals wrap up the Dew Tour slate at 12:45 p.m. on Dec. 13.

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