The rainy weather last Friday and Saturday (Feb. 6 – 7) prompted organizers of the 35th Annual Bob Parsons Memorial Race to cancel the downhill discipline.
Weather cleared sufficiently on Sunday (Feb. 8) to hold the first Super G race and at press time, the second race was looking good for Monday (Feb. 9), thanks to the tireless work of more than 100 volunteers.
“The Parsons race organizing committee would very much like to thank all those volunteers who came out to work so hard to ensure the races came off fairly and safely,” said Whistler Mountain Ski Club (WMSC) chief of race Doug Jevning. “There were Herculean efforts. People often say there should be a Parsons race every weekend because at every Parsons race, it snows. This year we got the precipitation. We just didn’t get the temperatures. Last year we had too much snow, this year we had too much warmth.”
Sunday had challenges of visibility with fog, but the course crew worked hard to keep the track consistent for all the athletes and in some cases, shovelled snow to bridge the small flowing rivers running down the slopes. Both boys and girls races were completed with hopes to repeat that performance on Monday.
As a result of missing the downhill, the Parsons Champions — the highest performing male and female U16 racers — will be crowned solely from the combined totals of the two Super G races, which have now been sanctioned as provincial series races. At press time, only female results from the first Super G were available with Brooke Lukinuk from Big White in the lead with a time of 48.09. The highest placed U16 girls were Ella Renzoni in third (48.53) and Katie Fleckenstein in fifth (49.41). Mollie Jepsen was following in seventh with Erin Dawson in 10th.
Jevning couldn’t speak highly enough of the efforts of organizers, volunteers and Whistler Blackcomb for assisting with grooming and snowmaking to make the event possible. Title sponsors TECK and Silver Wheaton were also praised for their continuing support of ski racing at the club level in British Columbia.
“The Parsons Memorial race will continue as long as the WMSC continues,” said Jevning. “We are so indebted to the Parsons family for the history and the family’s efforts for promoting ski racing in British Columbia, particularly in the Coast zone.”
World Top 10 for Cooper Bathgate at Junior World Freeskiing Championships
Friends and families stayed up late on Saturday night to watch the live webcast of the three male Whistler Freeride Club athletes representing Canada at the Junior World Freeskiing Championships in Grandvalira, Andorra.
Cooper Bathgate managed to make the top 10 in sixth place, recovering from a cliff drop landing at the last minute. Jackson Bathgate and Liam Peiffer both crashed on their runs, but still managed to place 17th and 18th respectively in the field of 28 skiers. France’s Arthur Raskin won the title.