For this trip, the team split up. We had 13 Track Attack and Junior racer skiers participating in an exchange with the Nakkertok Nordic Ski Club along with 7 skiers from Nelson Nordic Ski Club. On Tuesday evening, those who weren’t participating in the exchange piled into the van for a quick drive to Kelowna (those on the exchange had left on Monday.) The next day (and by this I mean 3 o’clock in the morning,) we headed to airport for a pretty smooth trip to Ottawa despite some delays due to mechanical issues with our flight from Vancouver. Once we arrived, we picked up our rental car (thanks to John Langstone and Greg Mark for driving us to rental car pickup) and drove to the house we would be renting for the weekend. Unfortunately, Daniel got sick just before we left, so he remained at home. David stayed with a friend, Eric rented his own accommodation, and the Nakkertok exchange people stayed with their homestay families. In the end, it was only Michaela, Molly and I along with Bob, Fred and Dave in the house.
On Thursday, we headed out to the tracks for pre-race training and ski testing. Luckily, we had nice snow and about -10°C temperatures for racing all weekend, so the wax techs didn’t have to deal with anything too crazy and the athletes had good racing conditions. Friday’s classic sprint for open categories and prologue race for younger categories was a success. It was a beautiful sunny day and we saw some good results. For some of the exchange skiers, it was their first big NorAm event. Saturday was another great day followed by Sunday’s snowy pursuit and wave start races. The wave start was a new experience for many skiers. In this race format, racers go out in groups of 10 at 30-second intervals. This prevents too much craziness on Nakkertok’s narrower trails. Overall, we saw good representation from Black Jack skiers over the weekend both on and off the podium.
A huge thanks goes out to John and Greg for providing us with waxing equipment over the weekend and for shuttling us to and from the airport. Thanks to the Nakkertok exchange families for providing the Black Jack and Nelson racers with such great hospitality. It was a fun experience for all those involved! Thanks to Nakkertok Ski Club and all the volunteers for putting on such a great event. And of course thank you to Dave, Bob, Fred and Ken for waxing, driving and providing the whole team with such great support. Now onto BC Championships in Kamloops!