First Nancy Greene Race of the season at Whitewater a success
by Graham Tracey
Whitewater Ski Team’s record athlete enrollment for 2015 seems to be paying dividends already, with the first stop on the Rio Tinto Alcan Nancy Greene race series at Whitewater being declared a complete success.
“This was our best Nancy Greene race yet,” exclaims head coach Dylan Henderson.
“We owe it to an army of volunteers, the unbelievable support of Whitewater Ski Resort, and of course, our amazing racers.”
More than 170 young athletes under the age of 14 came to Whitewater from Red Resort, Phoenix Mountain, Salmo, and Summit Lake.
The sun was shining, the course was firm, and the Silver King lift churned out an endless stream of eager young racers spurned on by the promise of speed, glory, and hot dogs.
Athletes under 12 years of age are assembled into teams, and are awarded first, second, or third place ribbons based on overall team performance. This subtraction of focus upon awarding individuals creates a friendly atmosphere where skills acquisition and participation are at the forefront.
As the mother of two young racers commented, “The fun of skiing is emphasized without sparing the technical aspects of the sport.”
The course was a combination of quick slalom turns through stubby gates, and wider, GS-style turns through larger paneled gates.
Each racer had a chance to inspect the course before taking two timed runs. In between runs, most of the racers appeared to be off doing what they love best — skiing.
Whitewater Ski Team president Tracy Punchard emphasizes the growing appeal of ski racing in our region:
“It’s not about winning; it’s about learning, and having fun,’ Punchard said.
“We’re attempting to teach these kids not only the necessary skills they’ll need to be competitive, but to love the sport first and foremost. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this is our biggest enrollment year yet. Parents are seeing the value in this program for their children.”