Despite the snowstorm on Sunday, 52 young racers, ages 5 – 11, managed to make it out to Manning Park for the ‘Nancy Greene’ Coastal Zone race.
Young skiers from Manning, Hemlock Valley, Seymour and Grouse along with their coaches and families all hit the slopes to have fun, build on their skills, and participate in some great racing.
“Hosting and sponsoring this event for the Manning Ski Club has meant a great deal for our club,” said executive member, Jeff Irwin. “This club has grown and developed over the last few years providing the opportunity for children to learn and grow in a fantastic winter sport.
“This was in fact the vision Nancy Greene had after she had won her Olympic Gold Medal in the sixties. The Manning Ski Club along with ski clubs at virtually every mountain across Canada now provide the foundation skills from which all world class skiers in Canada have previously participated in.
“It has been approximately 20 years since the last zone ski race was held at Manning and it was a goal of ours to bring these races back to Manning. By doing so we not only promote the Mountain Resort but we provide our kids with the opportunity to race and have fun with kids from the other mountains who are also learning the same skills.
“Of course with all the organization that goes into hosting a race the one element that is out of our control is the weather and Sunday provided quite a test for our organization and to all the volunteers that make this happen,” added Irwin.
“We had one of those winter powder days everyone always dreams of getting to the ski hill but for a ski race it means everyone has to work harder to keep the course in a clear condition for all the skiers,” added Irwin.
“Our volunteers for this day were amazing as they all battled an endless snow storm and pulled off a well run race…. The visiting mountain teams were especially impressed and indicated that this was the first time many of them have been to Manning and they would definitely be coming back.”
In the E1 category, aged 5 – 8, four race teams were fielded including a joint Manning/Seymour team, a Hemlock team and two Grouse Mountain teams.
The Grouse Tyee ‘Screaming Eagles’ team took first place with the combined Manning/Seymour team coming in second. Hemlock Mountain finished third and the second team from Grouse Mountain finished fourth.
Manning Ski Club racers included Jeremy Preston from Hope; Kalea Richardson; Hope, Sam Petrina; Vancouver, Jonathon Hinton; Vancouver, Darby Link; Hope, and Tyler Hampel, of Abbotsford.
In the E2 category, ages 9 – 11, Manning skier Amber Feaver, of Chilliwack, took first place for nine-year-old girls and Ethan Hampel, from Abbotsford, placed second for nine-year-old boys. In the 10-year-old girls category, Emma Link, of Hope, placed fifth.
In the 11-year-old girls category “the podium was dominated by Manning skiers,” adds Irwin. Charlotte Pavelick, from White Rock, placed first, Sarah Irwin, of Hope, placed second and Georgia Petrina, of Vancouver, placed third.
“In the boys 11-year-old category we had Manning skiers Evan Durrant, from Langley, placing first and Nicholas Cimbaro, of Princeton, placing second,” added Irwin.
The main race was sponsored by Rio Tinto, Alcan and BC Alpine, and at the “local level we are supported by the Manning Park Resort,” added Irwin. “In addition George Preston of Hope partnered with ICBC and the Hope Crime Prevention Society to set up a speed trap for the kids…. All skiers had the chance to go for their top speed on a steeper section of the mountain.”