Watch them fly; ski racing in Kimberley

Night Slalom Saturday, Super G, Downhill next week

The Night Slalom

The Night Slalom

There is an elite group of skiers doing practice runs down the Dreadnaught at Kimberley Alpine Resort this week, in preparation for the Fidelity Cup Downhills and Super G’s, an event for U18 FIS athletes which begins on Saturday, January 30 with a night slalom.

This is the fourth year for the event, which is put together by Dreadnaught Ski Racing, an umbrella group encompassing the Kimberley Disabled Skier’s Association, Kimberley Alpine Team and Kimberley Alpine Resort.

They all chip in to produce a first class event, says Chief of Race, Lloyd Steeves.

“The event week started with the Speed Camp with 40 to 50 athletes spending three days (January 27 to 29) learning the dynamics involved in skiing speed events, like how to control air, gliding on the flats, absorbing compressions, and getting a great start and finish,” Steeves said. “Kimberley’s Dreadnaught Downhill race track provides the perfect developmental speed environment that allows athletes to learn in a safe environment while still being challenged with the features which can be found on most downhill tracks. To develop great downhill and super G skiers, events like this one in Kimberley are important confidence builders.”

Both the Slalom and the Downhills and Super G events are attracting athletes from clubs all over BC and Alberta as well as some international participants from Chile, Eritrea, Finland, GBR, Japan, Macedonia and Switzerland, he says.

The Night Slalom is very popular with the racers.

“Approximately 115 athletes will participate in that event,” Steeves said. “This event won BC Alpine’s best new event of the year in for 2013.  The athletes love the event under the lights and many return to this event annually and coaches note they love the event.”

The Night Slalom begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday and will finish around 8:30 p.m. Also this weekend there are two training days for the Downhill Race on Monday, February 2 and Tuesday, February 3. These races will be followed by Super G races on Wednesday and Thursday. Race time is scheduled for approximately 10:30 a.m. each day, though weather delays are possible.

You can watch all the racing without being on skis. The race finish is just in front of Sullivan Stone, where the Rosa Chair was situated. You can walk up and catch the finish, says Race Chair Donna Briggs.

“You can’t go within the fences but you will be able to see several gates and the finish from there and it’s totally possible to do without being on skis. The night slalom ends there too and that’s a great spectator event.”

There is a very strong committee of volunteers led by Steeves and Briggs organizing this event but a little extra help is still required. Gate judges are needed. All you have to be able to do is ski — you can be trained on site before the races. If you’d like to help out and get a front row seat to some great ski racing, contact Lloyd Steeves at 250-432-5325 e-mail:  lloydkim@telus.net or Donna Briggs at 250-427.3303 e-mail:  dbriggs@sandman.ca. You can also contact the volunteer email: skivolly@telus.net.

Here’s the schedule for the week:

Jan 27-29

U18 Speed Camp

Jan 30

Fidelity Cup Downhill Training 1 and Lite ‘em up on Main Night Slalom

Jan 31

Fidelity Cup Downhill Training 2

Feb 01

Fidelity Cup Downhill Race 1

Feb 02

Fidelity Cup Downhill Race 2

Feb 03

Fidelity Cup Super G Race 1

Feb 04

Fidelity Cup Super G Race 2