Locals registration for Test of Metal sells out 

For the second year the Test of Metal held a locals only registration for Sea to Sky riders, limited to 200 spots in the 2009 edition. This year all 200 spots were snapped up in two hours and 15 minutes, well before Friday’s deadline.

The rest of the spots, some 800, will go on sale on Jan. 1 at 6 p.m. Organizers are expecting the race to sell out in about two hours, based on interest from past years.

The locals registration was held after registration for the 2007 race wrapped up in less than an hour, and several locals that compete each year were unable to register online before the last spots went. The locals registration ensures that people who live in the Sea to Sky corridor will always be represented in the event, which takes place on June 20, 2009.

The race is 67 km long, and includes over 1,200 metres of climbing and 35 km of singletrack trails.

According to race president Cliff Miller, the locals spots were spread over the corridor, with residents from Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton jumping at the opportunity to bypass the free for all on New Year’s Day.

To register on Jan. 1, visit www.testofmetal.com. The action starts promptly at 6 p.m. and it may take several tries to get through. Find a high-speed connection, and maybe coordinate your efforts with friends by phone or in the same Internet hub because you can enter up to four names when you get through. Have your credit card ready.

Again, pro elite entries do not have to register by Jan. 1, and can register until much closer to the race. Email signup@testofmetal to register as a pro elite.


Canadians strong in U.S. snowboard grand prix

Calgary’s Dustin Craven was the top Canadian in the opening U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix at Copper Mountain this past weekend, placing fifth behind Americans Louie Vito and Steve Fisher, Finland’s Antti Autti, and Daniel Friberg of Switzerland.

Although he’s not a member of the national team, the result qualified Craven for a spot in the world championships in Gangwon, South Korea this year. Only one other Canadian has qualified so far, Squamish’s Brad Martin. Martin was 13 th at Copper Mountain.

Craven is a regular at pro events in Whistler, and is best known for a win in the Showcase Showndown pipestyle competition in 2007 at the age of 17.

“Usually he does more backcountry (snowboarding) but he wanted an opportunity to eventually contend for the Olympic team,” said national halfpipe coach Tom Hutchinson. “He did very well today.”

Martin was somewhat disappointed with his result, and the condition of the pipe.

“The pipe was a bit slow because of yesterday’s snowfall,” said Martin. “Still, I executed my elements. I was cautious in the first round then did my big tricks in the second.”

Squamish’s Justin Lamoureux finished one spot back of Martin in 14 th place. Charles Reid and Whistler’s Neil Connolly were 20 th and 21 st , Crispin Lipscomb 28 th , Gabriel Dussault 30 th , Brendan Davis 44 th , and Ryan Rausch 50 th to round out the top-50. More than 116 riders took part, although some of the top riders were conspicuously absent, participating in a pro quarterpipe competition in Japan that went to Shaun White.

On the women’s side, Whistler’s Mercedes Nicoll — who has been training at Copper since the start of the season as it was the first pipe to open in North America — also earned a berth on the world team, as did Charmaine Ironside by finishing 14 th and 16 th respectively. Alexandra Duckworth, Katie Tsuyuki and Dominique Vallée were 25 th , 26 th and 34 th .

The win went to U.S. veteran Kelly Clark, followed by Soko Yamaoka of Japan, and Hannah Teter of the U.S.


Wolfpack looking for four points in last two games

The Squamish Wolfpack entered the last two weeks before the Christmas break on a mission to earn 10 point, and improve their standings against the fourth place Delta Ice Hawks. With two leading scorers on the injury list, Ross Pattison and Whistler’s Josh Schaubroeck, it was a tall order but the Wolfpack may pull it off with three wins in their last five games, including two four-point games against the Ice Hawks.

At press time the Wolfpack had 24 points, six back of Delta in the Tom Shaw Conference. To make the Pacific International Junior Hockey League playoffs in their first year the Wolfpack will need to finish fourth or better.

Squamish beat the Ice Hawks 4-3 on Dec. 6, lost 4-1 to the Aldergrove Kodiaks on Dec. 10 — a game they should have won — but rallied in their next game against Ridge Meadows on Dec. 12. They kept things relatively close against the second place Grandview Steelers on Dec. 13, then beat the Ice Hawks by a decisive 5-2 on Dec. 16.

Squamish will get another crack at Aldergrove on home ice this Saturday night, 7:15 p.m. at Brennan Park Arena, and will face a tough away game against the North Delta Devils on Monday, Dec. 22 before taking a break for the holidays.

The Wolfpack will pick up their season in Whistler in January, hosting the Port Moody Black Panthers at Meadow Park Arena on Friday, Jan. 2 at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for youth and seniors.

Port Moody is currently sitting third in the arguably weaker Harold Brittain Conference. The Wolfpack have only played the Panthers once this season, winning that match-up 4-2.


WMSC hits the gates on Sunday

The Whistler Mountain Ski Club will play host to the first Coast Zone race of the season with a pair of one-run giant slalom events. The events are scheduled for Whistler Mountain, and are open to racers in the K1 (age 11 and 12), K2 (13 and 14) and J1 (15 and 16) age groups. Medals will be presented for each of the two GS runs, and the skiers with the lowest combined times in both races will also be recognized.

The Coast series is sponsored this year by Teck Cominco and The Vancouver Sun.


Tickets on sale for Telus Winter Classic

Tickets are on sale for the 17 th annual Telus Winter Classic, a fundraiser for the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation that includes a variety of events both on and off-mountain. Tickets are available to the individual events, including the Whistler Winetastic wine tasting reception on Friday, Jan. 23 and the Fire and Ice Gala and auction at the Roundhouse on Saturday night.

Teams can also enter, enjoying all the events including a “Match Your Time” race on Saturday. Events include a chance to ski with a pro, an après party, lift line priority on Saturday and a breakfast buffet.

To purchase tickets or book a team, call 604-938-7321, or visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/wbfoundation.

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