Snowboard club continues to top province 

The Whistler Valley Snowboard Club (WVSC) has been busy lately, competing in local competitions and provincial contests organized by the B.C. Snowboard Association.

Picking up where they left off last season, the club has so far been successful in putting athletes on the podium. If all goes well, a number of boarders will be going to Mont Tremblant in March to compete in the national junior championships.

"We’ve been competing hard, and our guys have been doing really well," says WVSC coach and founder Rob Picard. "Some haven’t been finishing as well as they could be, but there has been a large overall improvement in the level of ability I’m seeing, and the kids are having fun with it.

"We’re spending a lot of time in the terrain park, and in the halfpipe trying things. Almost too much time, really. The kids go all day."

According to Picard, the club has grown to over 60 members this year, and a number of former club members, including Tyler Massey and Tim Orr, have stepped up into leadership roles and help with the coaching.

"They’re really talented riders, and the other kids look up to them. They’re positive and fun and are good at coaxing the others to try new tricks, or go a little bigger.

"The level the kids are riding these days is just amazing. It literally leaves me breathless to see what they’re doing out there. They push each other, but in a positive way. Everyone progresses."

One of the athletes to watch for is Whistler’s Sarah Kopinya, who is turning 16 this week.

"She’s a hard worker and she’s managed to pull of some incredible tricks in the halfpipe. When she’s on her game she wins," says Picard.

"Right now she’s working on inverted tricks, and she really pushes the other girls, so the whole level of competition is going up. We have a solid girls team and it’s only going to get better and better."

This weekend members of the club will take part in a NorAm competition at Cypress Mountain, including a halfpipe, snowboardcross and parallel giant slalom.

"Some of the kids have Olympic aspirations, and this is a way to get some FIS points and ease into international competition," Picard says.

The club’s most recent contest was a halfpipe series at Mount Seymour last weekend, which they attended with a host of other Whistler boarders.

Friday, Feb. 8 Results

Men 19 and Over

1. Dan Raymond (Whistler local)

2. Ryan Rausch (Whistler local)

3. Adam Gendle

4. Andy Cantelon (Whistler local)

Men 15 to 18

1. Brady Compton

2. Tyler Massey (WVSC)

3. Colin Banks

4. Francois Ligeti (WVSC)

5. Jeff Peperdine (Whistler local)

6. Aaron Shapiro (WVSC)

7. Tyler Quarles (WVSC)

8. Johnny Lyall (WVSC)

9. Tim Orr (WVSC)

10. Marc Mains (WVSC)

Men 14 and Under

1. Chris Astofooroff

2. Vinny Ligeti (WVSC)

3. Dustin O’Ferral

4. Matt Schuster

5. Jamie MacFarlane (WVSC)

6. Tylor Macmillan (WVSC)

7. Max Ritchie

8. Jeremy Wallace (WVSC)

Women 19 and Over

4. Debbie Christianson (Whistler local)

Women 15 to 18

1. Sarah Kopinya (WVSC)

2. Jessica Kimura

3. Stephanie Just (WVSC)

4. Katelynn Scott (WVSC)

Saturday, Feb. 9 Results

Men 19 and Over

1. Ryan Rausch (Whistler local)

2. Andy Cantelon (Whistler local)

Men 15 to 18

1. Colin Banks

2. Aaron Shapiro (WVSC)

3. Francois Ligeti (WVSC)

4. Tyler Quarles (WVSC)

Men 14 and Under

1. Chris Astofoorof

2. Lucas Debari

3. Vinny Ligeti (WVSC)

4. Tylor Macmillan (WVSC)

5. Jamie MacFarlane (WVSC)

Women 19 and Over

3. Meghan O’Brien (Whistler local)

Women 15 to 18

1. Sarah Kopinya (WVSC)

2. Katelynn Scott (WVSC)

3. Julia Saddler

Women 14 and Under

1. Kelsey Galt

2. Wendy Lloyd (WVSC)

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