This year, the Western Canadian Championships were held in Prince George, BC. It began with a long drive to PG on Wednesday February 17th. Colin and David met the team in PG that night, and Simon Lapointe and Alexis Turgeon from Skinouk joined the team for the weekend. The next day, we headed out for a ski to check out the trails and get ready for the freestyle individual start on Friday. The trails were slushy with ice underneath accompanied by that lovely pulp mill smell. We chose our skis for the race, and then headed back to the Camelot Inn for some pasta and a swim in the salt-water pool.
The first races on Friday were successful with fast skis coming from the awesome wax techs. In the open men’s 10 km category, David Palmer, Alexis Turgeon, Colin Ferrie and Scotty Fraser placed 11th, 12th, 14th and 15th respectively in the senior men’s rankings. In junior men, Daniel Merlo placed 17th. In junior girls, Michaela Mclean and Sage Robine placed 7th and 8th respectively in their 7.5 km race, while Sophie Edney landed a 10th in juvenile girls 3.75 km. Jasmine Drolet placed 4th in Midget Girls 3.75 km and Remi Drolet won his juvenile boy 3.75 km race. Chiaki Yamamoto and Simon Lapointe opted out of racing for the day. That afternoon, more swimming included some water polo, and Daniel provided the meat sauce for a fabulous pasta dinner.
Saturday’s races were classic sprints, which also went well for Team Black Jack. Results were good with an 8th for Chiaki, 8th for Daniel, 5th for Colin, 6th for Simon, 8th for Scotty, 9th for Alexis, 10th for David, 15th for Jasmine, 23rd for Sophie, 7th for Michaela, 11th for Sage and 1st for Remi. There were some problems with lots of tough competition, but overall it was a good day. A special congratulations goes out to Simon for possibly qualifying for the World Cup Tour de Canada. More swimming followed that afternoon and everyone ate lots of dinner to get ready for the longer, classic mass start races the next day.
On Sunday, everyone was beginning to get a bit tired but great skis and races were still a part of the day for team Black Jack. The open men started off the day at 9:00 am with a 20 km race. David, Colin, Alexis, Scotty and Daniel placed 5th, 9th, 10th, 13th and 14th respectively in their categories. Unfortunately, Simon had some waxing difficulties and pulled out of the race. Next, Chiaki headed out on her 15 km race finishing 4th in junior women. Jasmine finished 4th in the midget girl’s 5 km race and Sophie landed 16th in juvenile girl 7.5 km. Sage placed 7th in the junior girl’s 7.5 km category, while Michaela had quite a spectacular crash forcing her to pull out of the race. Remi got first in his 10 km juvenile boy’s race. The day’s conditions were very fast and icy in the shade, but soft in the sun. Since most of the courses were in the forest, downhill corners were the cause of numerous crashes throughout the day. As the races wrapped up, the team packed up and we headed out of Prince George after a quick bite to eat. The drive home was long with a stop in Cache Creek on Sunday night.
Thanks to Dave, Edouard and Super Cool Fun Guy Bob for the fast skis, keeping us fed and for driving. Thank you to the parents for the pre-made meals. Also, a big thanks to Otway Nordic Ski Club for the great, despite the lack of snow. Next, Black Jack heads to Canadian National Championships in Whitehorse, NWT.