By Chris Manhard, CVTC.
February has been a busy month for skiers at the Callaghan Valley Training Centre. On Friday, February 1st, the Centre’s nine racers began the month with a series of three races in Cantley, Québec, just outside Ottawa.
Kimberley’s Colin Ferrie scored the team’s first gold medal of the season in the classic sprint event at the Haywood Noram Eastern Canadian Championships.
The event was the first in a three-day stage race, which ended on Sunday, Feb. 3rd. Colin’s was one of many excellent results for the CVTC athletes on the day, setting the team up well for the rest of the weekend. All five CVTC Junior Men easily qualified from the heats to the finals with Kimberley’s Stefan Sander- Green finishing 15th overall. It was tough slogging on Day 2 of the three-day stage race event which continued with an interval-start skate race. In a combined field of 120 Junior and Senior skiers, Colin Ferrie was 8th junior (39th overall) and Stefan Sander-Green was 25th Junior (72nd overall). However, Sunday’s racing brought home more positive results for CVTC racers.
For the second time in the week, Colin Ferrie won a gold medal at the Haywood Eastern Canadian Championships. Ferrie finished as the first Junior, (18th overall) in the 30 km classic event. This moved him up through the pack and into second place (21st overall) in the 3-stage event. Stefan Sander-Green finished fourth junior, (25th overall) which was a season best finish for him.
CVTC coach, Chris Manhard, sums up the weekend as “excellent all around. There were some unfortunate mishaps, for example Stefan and team-mate, Sebastien Dandurand crashed in the sprint heats, but overall, everyone stepped up their game and we performed very well”.
The team stayed in Ottawa until the Monday afternoon to enjoy the sights: skating on the Rideau Canal and visiting the War Museum to name a few activities.
Once back at Whistler, the team attended Tuesday night Twonie races at Cypress Mountain. Proceeds from the twonie races go toward the Haywood ski nationals which take place at Whistler Olympic Park from March 23rd – 31st.
On February 16th the 9-member CVTC team made a quick trip to Kamloops for the Teck Okanagan Cup. Similar to the BC Cup in Kelowna in January, this event is critical to the centre to build a network of support in BC by providing motivation to the young junior skiers (and some masters skiers) and also for the CVTC athletes to learn more about the great province they’ve chosen to train in.
The trip was fantastically fun and provided some good results for the team. The Junior Men category was 100 per cent CVTC athletes, so they “swept” the top 5 places plus the top 4 places in the Open Men category. In the 10 km classic race, team-mate Sebastien Dandurand (Canmore) took the win over Kimberley’s Colin Ferrie and Stefan Sander Green. It was an excellent result for the former Nordic Combined athlete, someone who is only in his first year of classic ski racing.
The team travelled back to Whistler following the event to prepare for their journey to Grand Prairie, Alberta for the Western Canadian Championships.