Whistler’s d’Artois podiums at freestyle World Cup

Also in sports briefs: Kokanee Valley Race Series returns, Canadian women shine at Whistler ski jumping contest, Santa Day hits WB slopes Saturday

It was a successful day for the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team at Friday’s Halfpipe World Cup event (Dec. 8), held at Copper Mountain in Colorado.

Calgary native Noah Bowman landed in the silver medal position, edging out Whistler’s Simon d’Artois into third place. Alberta freestyle veteran Mike Riddle followed in fourth.

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“I was really excited to put down my first run and come out strong,” d’Artois said in a release. “It’s unfortunate that I wasn’t able to put down my second and third runs like I would have hoped but I’m excited. I managed to land my new right double 1080, which I had previously competed but hadn’t put down.”

The podium performance was a repeat for Whistler Freestyle Club alum d’Artois following his bronze-medal win in New Zealand in this season’s World Cup opener. d’Artois earned a 89.20 for his first finals run.

Next up, Bowman, d’Artois and Riddle will all be looking to continue the momentum in Breckenridge, CO for the 2017 Dew Tour, beginning on Wednesday (Dec. 13).

Kokanee Valley Race Series kicks off Thursday

With ski season well underway, the Kokanee Valley Race Series is set to make its return on Thursday (Dec. 14).

Open to skiers, telemarkers and snowboarders, the series has been offering Whistler Blackomb guests and passholders the opportunity to race recreationally for over two decades. This year’s series is comprised of seven events, set to take place on different locations across the resort’s terrain on Thursdays throughout the season. The series opener will be a giant slalom.

Unlike many of the elite contests that take place on the resort’s slopes, these races require no previous race experience from participants. Snow sport enthusiasts of all levels are welcome to participate in the variety of age and gender divisions.

Entry fees are $35 per race (or $30 for participants who pre-register online or through Guest Relations before race day), or $120, which includes an adult lift ticket. Racers can also purchase a race series pass for $175, which covers entry to all seven races.

Each race will be followed by a Kokanee awards party at the Hilton, set to feature draw prizes and a video playback of the race.

If you’re looking to brush up on your race skills before getting between the gates, WB’s Gatebusters race training program is also returning this season. The adult lesson pass program takes place most Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the season, although drop in options are also available.

For more information, go to www.whistlerblackcomb.com/events-and-activities/events/2018/kokanee-valley-race-series.

Canadian ski jumpers represent at Whistler FIS and Continental Cup

It was a solid turnout at Whistler Olympic Park over the weekend for the biggest ski jumping event hosted by the venue since the 2010 Olympic Games.

The Canadian women dominated over the first day of FIS Cup competition, with a podium sweep. Abigail Strate took first, followed by Natalie Eilers in second and Atsuko Tanaka in third. Strate followed up her win with a second victory in the next day’s event, while Tanaka flew to second. Eilers dropped one position to fourth.

The results weren’t quite as favourable for Canada in the men’s Continental Cup, with Canada’s top finish coming from Matthew Soukup in 47th place on Saturday (Dec. 9), and from Joshua Maurer in 52nd on Sunday (Dec. 10).

Dress like Santa Day returns to Whistler Saturday

Do you have a Santa suit hanging in the back of your closet, just waiting to be dusted off for the holidays?

If so, make sure it’s ready to go for Whistler Blackcomb’s annual Dress like Santa Day, taking place this year on Saturday (Dec. 16).

Skiers and snowboarders are welcome to dress up as Santa — or Mrs. Claus — to hit the slopes. And, if you’re up early enough, the festive apparel might even earn you a free ski day. The first 100 people to line up at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Saturday dressed in full North Pole attire will be awarded a free lift ticket. The lineup starts at 7 a.m.

All skiers and riders dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus will also have the opportunity to upload the Whistler Village Gondola at 8 a.m., then ride to the bottom of Emerald Express for a group photo and giveaways.

For more information about Dress Like Santa Day, visit whistlerblackcomb.com/events-and-activities/activities/christmas-season-in-whistler.

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