Whistler skiers strong in memorial downhill 

The Bob Parsons Memorial Downhill has been a Whistler fixture since 1980, giving young racers from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island an opportunity to compete in a real downhill on a real downhill course.

Bob Parson was the original Weasel Worker. He was chief of course for the 1975 and 1979 World Cup downhills scheduled for Whistler but cancelled due to poor weather. But he made his biggest impression on the hundreds of junior ski racers he came in contact with over the years, teaching them how to bootpack, manicure a downhill so that it was safe, and then have fun with speed.

Whistler athletes did well in this year’s Parsons Downhill, held last weekend on the Lower Dave Murray course, winning 14 out of 36 medals.

In Saturday’s race, Carley Stobbart of the Grouse Mountain Tyees was the top women’s J1 (ages 17 to 18), followed by Whistler’s Anatastasia Skryakina, and Shelane Wiseman of the Mt. Washington Ski Club.

In the K2 category (ages 13 to 14), Whistler Mountain Ski Club racers Kendall Benbow and Alison Leighton – Bob Parsons’ granddaughter – finished first and third. Katherine Benjamin of Grouse was second.

The top K1 racers (ages 12 and under) were Georgia Simmerling of Grouse, followed by Whistler’s Haley McLeish and Katherine Cape.

In the men’s competition Marcus Waring and Jeffrey Alpaugh of the Mount Seymour Ski Club finished first and third, while Nicholas Gobin of Grouse took the silver. Waring’s finished 11 seconds ahead of Gobin.

Julian Simmerling of Grouse was the top K2, followed by Jeffrey Star of Cypress Ski Club and Jerry McArthur of Whistler.

Conrad Pridy and Rey Stanislas of Whistler were the top K1’s, followed by Robbie Paterson of Seymour.

On Sunday the races continued in slightly tougher conditions, with Courtney Paterson of Seymour taking the top spot in the women’s J1 race, Whistler’s Anastasia Skryakina repeating in second, and Carley Stobbart of Grouse in third.

In the K2 race, Katherine Benjamin of Grouse was first, followed by Kendall Benbow and Mila Rusimovich of the Whistler club.

The K1 race went to Georgia Simmerling of Grouse, followed once again by Whistler’s Haley McLeish and Katherine Cape.

In the men’s races, Marcus Warring of Seymour took the top spot in the J1 race for the second day in a row, this time by a 10-second margin. Once again, Nicholas Gobin of Grouse was second and Seymour’s Jeffrey Alpaugh was third.

Julian Simmerline repeated as the top K2, followed by Jerry McArthur of Whistler and Jeffrey Stahr of Cypress.

Mathew Holler, Taylor Self and Conrad Pridy were the top K1 racers, all from Whistler.

In the Master’s downhill, held on the same course, Wendy Harrison was the top over 30, and mary Gillespie the top over 40.

In the men’s race, the 20 to 29 went to Daniel Moore, the 30 to 39 to Scott Elder, the 40 to 49 to Steve Fleckenstein, the 50 to 59 to Butch White, and the 60 and over to Bob Switzer. All were representing Whistler

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