Whistler masters strong at Canadian championships 

Whistler Ski Club members won six or the 14 Masters Combined Championships decided at Sun Peaks April 6-8, and did very well in the individual events.

Women captured four medals in the super G and GS and five in the slalom. Men took five medals in the super G, seven in each the GS and the slalom. The top female performers were Anna Zach, Mary Gillespie, Wendy Morrison, Cathy Zeglinski and Wendy Harrison. Men winning medals were Owen Owens, Gar Robinson, Douglas Deeks, Patrick Duffy, Herbert Grubel, Bob Switzer, Bob Hughes and Dave Johnston.

Whistler skiers did particularly well in the over 60 age groups, where there were few entries. They also did well in the younger age groups against a large field of racers from around B.C. and the rest of Canada.

The super G course was one of the longest of the season, running virtually the entire length of the Sundance quad chair. Times were around one minute, 30 seconds for the average racer.

After the first two races, the super G and GS, Team B.C. was in the lead for the coveted, brand new Dave Murray National Masters Cup. Unfortunately the slalom course on the final day was icy and turny – just made to suit the Team Ontario skiers.

A couple of Whistler skiers gave it some extra effort in the slalom, with Switzer going back to the tuning room at lunch to put a 3-degree bevel on his edges. Johnston pushed so hard he broke a binding on the skis he borrowed for the second run.

In the end, using a complicated formula to reflect wins in relation to the number of entries in each group, the race organizers computed that Team Ontario narrowly beat out Team B.C.

Following the races Jules Lajoie said, "I think we should organize better into a stronger Whistler racing group, led by a mission statement, guided by strategic goals and an achievable action plan. Our mission statement can be very simple: To repatriate and keep the Dave Murray Cup. It belongs in Whistler and should never go east of Hope again!"

The event was held for the first time at Sun Peaks this year with the help of the local ski club, assisted generously by Nancy Greene Raine’s organizational skills and experience.

Organizers hope to stage the event annually in the future. The superb organization of the races and conditions on the hill will certainly tempt this year’s participants to return next year and encourage their friends to join them. Whistler Ski Club members, especially those in the younger age groups, would enjoy meeting and competing against Masters from the rest of Canada.

For full race results see www.bcalpine.com .

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