The 2019 Dreadnaught Race Season kicked off last weekend with the U12-U14 zone races and Race Organizer Donna Briggs says the Dreadnaught team is preparing for a busy two weeks of racing.
Volunteer Lloyd Steeves also presented Kimberley Alpine Resort with the Mountain Resort of the Year award last weekend, which was awarded to KAR at the Goldie Awards in September of 2018. Husband and wife duo Steeves and Briggs also won the Volunteer of the Year award.
Coming up this weekend are the U14-U16 Kootenay Zone Races, followed by this FIS Speed and Downhill races, Night Slalom, the U16 Super G and Speed races, and new this year – the Alberta U16 Speed Camp.
The FIS Speed camp takes place from Monday, Jan. 28 until Thursday, Jan. 30, with FIS races taking place from Thursday, Jan. 31 until Tuesday, Feb. 5.
The U16 Speed Camp takes place on Thursday, Feb. 7 and Friday, Feb. 8, followed by the U16 Super G races on Feb. 9 and 10.
The U16 Alberta Speed Camp follows on Monday Feb. 11 until Wednesday, Feb. 13.
“All of these races are going to be really well attended,” said Briggs, adding that close to 300 racers, volunteers and supporters will be in town over the next few weeks. “It’s not as crazy as last year (when the NorAms were in town) however we’ve got a solid two weeks of racing with three different events.”
Next year Kimberley will host the Nationals for Downhill and Super G, which Briggs explained was on the docket for this year however many of the European teams couldn’t fit it into their racing schedules.
The Dreadnaught team is also introducing a Night Slalom event during the U16 speed camp, which will see racers face off in a head to head battle alongside a laser light show.
“It’s going to be a really fun event just for those participating in the U16 category,” said Briggs.
This year the team has lots of volunteers and Briggs says she’s happy to see more local people in training.
“It’s a tough job and volunteers need to be well trained and confident. We’re starting to train more people locally and it’s exciting to see those locals take on key roles,” she said.
She also said that the gender gap within racers is starting to grow smaller, compared to a few years ago when just a few women were competing.
“We’re seeing that gap close, at these events anyway, and it makes things even more exciting. I’d say we have a 60/40 split of men to women,” said Briggs. “We’ve got some really good local contingents and a really great team from southern Ontario, who came for the first time last year and are excited to return.”
Competing teams include the Kimberley Dreadnaught Team, Alberta Provincial Ski Team, Banff Alpine Racers, Kootenay Zone Team, the National Training Centre team from Calgary, Okanagan Ski Team, Ontario Alpine Teams, Quebec Ski Team, Red Mountain Racers, Sunshine Ski Team, Vancouver Ski Team, Whistler Mountain Ski Team, Sugar Bowl Team from California, Japanese Ski Team and members from the Windermere and Panorama teams.
Briggs adds that she’s happy to see that several locals are being represented nationally in ski racing, including Jamie Casselman and Zoe Chore who are racing for the Canadian National Alpine Development team, Cranbrook’s India Sherret who is racing for the Canadian Olympic team and Nick Cooper who is Head Coach of the BC Alpine team.
“They are all locals and it’s a pretty good representation considering our small town [and] area,” said Briggs.
She says that none of the races would be possible without the help of volunteers and sponsors.
“A huge thanks to our sponsors: Sandor Rentals, KAR, Trickle Creek Lodge, Mountain Spirit Resort, Peak Investments, Dynamic Funds, Purpose Funds and BMO Investments.”