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After a 1AM arrival from March Break with the last two days on both side of the QuébecVermont border: it was time to get up real early and head for Edelweiss to work for the Masters Finals. For the second year in a row, I wasn’t in it. Instead of playing with the camera as role of photographer like last year’s Finals at Cascades; this year I had a drill and some gates.

As the previous weekend at Edelweiss, I was working the race. However a Masters’ race is easier going than the U16 Championships. The whole family was out for this one. Morgane and the other U14 and U16 racers were going to forerun the first of either the GS or the Slalom runs. After two days of pain in her knees, Morgane was feeling better. Morgane would have been 3rd fastest girl if she could enter the race. Maybe in a few years? 🙂

To my surprise, the race was being held on Zoomer instead of the initial planed Strief. They were some concern that Strief was going to be real fast with hard conditions, so they was a decision on making it safer for everyone. The conditions were bullet proof. The start was set just above the pitch. Dan also set the course in order to contour problem spots with little snow on Zoomer with made an interesting line for GS and the Slalom. The slalom was going across the upper pitch then lined up to one of the quad chair pylons.

Last year I made 24 runs during the race: this year it was 10 over 6:40. The Masters Finals are always fun: its day time, not freezing cold and dark. After the race people have time to chill or make a few runs before heading inside to the end-of-the-season door prizes.

Instead of repeating Gary’s detailed description of how it went down; I’ll quote the Ottawa Masters Ski Association prez for the most of the rest.

The Edelweiss Finals

Wow! What perfect model for how to run a great race!

The day started chilly, -12.5C by my thermometer. Light clouds and lots of sun. The temp held, climbing only to -8C throughout the day. The conditions were perfect for a ski race. Groomed corduroy, hard fast snow and great viz.

In the morning, the scene was humming. Gates were going up. At the finish hut, they set up score boards, outdoor PA for time announcements, aligning the beam and hay bales.
They set up a corral and then, they decided to expand it. I head Pat say they were doing it for Gary. I piped up and said “Thanks Pat, that’s awfully thoughtful of you” To which Pat replied, “Not you, Fast Gary.” Hmmmm. So I guess that makes me, what? Aahhh, Slow Gary? The Presidents Curse strikes again.

The World Cup points race was on the line. Benoit was leading the series all winter and wearing the yellow bib. But Gary J, with 5 wins in a row was slowly catching him up. By Saturday morning, the deficit was cut to 28 points, which meant Gary had to win 2. It was looking good but then Bob showed up. Everybody knows Bob is strong in the Slalom and he was there to win.

The Ladies division was pretty much clinched by Kathleen and Carmen, but the bronze was still open for the taking. Sarah was holding that spot, but she was out west. Erin was coming back from a soccer injury. Could she do it?

The World Beer Cup Points was led most of the season by Vladimir. He has been training like a madman. As the defending beer cup champion, he was looking repeat with back to back wins. Never been done before. The beer points is the most volatile division, you just never know who’s get it all together and win the 100 points on the day. In this division more than any other, it is never over, till it’s over. Only about 150 points separated 1st from 5th. Would Greg Z or Chris Z step it up? Would Vlad choke on the foam?

At the end of the day, who took it?

This is what happened on Zoomer that day:

Podium GS race Mens / Ladies / Beer Points:
Gold JONES, Gary / DEVOST, Karine / MALEY, Shane
Silver BERNIER, Benoit / CONNELLY, Kathleen / DESAULNIERS, Roger
Bronze SUDERMANN, Robert / HALL, Erin / PACHNER, Martin

Podium SL race Mens / Ladies :
Gold SUDERMANN, Robert / DEVOST, Karine / WISMER, Laura
Silver JONES, Gary / WISMER, Laura / MALEY, Shane
Bronze BERNIER, Benoit / PORTER, Carmen / SUDERMANN, Robert

So Gary won his 6th race in a row in the morning, but finished 2nd to Bob for the slalom. Although Ben made it on the podium for both race, it wasn’t enough to maintain is lead. Gary finished ahead of Ben by one step on the podium in both races.

In the Ladies, past Canadian Masters Champion Karine took a break from being a busy mom to show to everyone that she still had ‘it’ winning both races.

Here is who won what at the end of the year Banquet:

2013 Ladies Champions:
Gold CONNELLY, Kathleen
Silver PORTER, Carmen
Bronze HALL, Erin

2013 Mens Champions:
Gold JONES, Gary
Silver BERNIER, Benoit
Bronze BLEW, Brian

2013 Beer Points Champs:
Gold ZULIANI, Chris
Silver MARTINCEVIC, Vladimir
Bronze DUVAL, Melanie

2013 Dave Gowan Award:
This years award winner is an individual who has been with the masters organization for a few years now and is a stalwart member of the new skool gang – the group of young, fast, die-hard skiers, out to make us grey hair bifocal wearing fuddies wish we were in the bar. He attended 10 out of 12 races. He was one of 4 racers who improved his beer points handicap in both disciplines. His sense of humor and Masters spirit was set when he raced in a Green Morph Suit at Cascades.
The deal clincher was set when he flew home on the Red Eye from Cuba landing at 5AM so that he could attend the finals. Leaving someplace warm, to race in the Finals? Now that’s dedication to the craft! And that’s why this years winner is:
Chris Evans

The staff and members of the Edelweiss Race Club pulled out every stop and delivered an amazing race. The races were set perfectly, started on time. The course crew were efficient and friendly. The lunch was excellent and prompt. The bar party was great. Thanks a lot to JS, Ken, Jonathan, Patrick and the rest of the Edel Race team and staff.

Good Job, Well Done.

I hope you all had a great season and you all come back next year for some more Ottawa Masters Ski Racing Fun!

This was the end of the Masters racing, but my daughter still had one race to go. The following day was another early start with the U16’s Dual at Calabogie Peaks. Another early morning where everyone had to be at Calabogie Peaks for 7:30am for that Sunday race and they are a good 60 minutes from our house in Ottawa. Courage…it is the last race.

Full Slalom Race and Beer Points results
Full Slalom Race and Beer Points

20130316_edelweiss

Pictures courtesy of the Ottawa Masters Ski Association

John
John Irvin, founding members of the Ottawa Masters

Reg
Dominique and Sophie at registration. It couldn’t happen without them. Note some of the door prize behind

Shaun
Shaun Fripp, Canadian Ski Hall of Fame member and one of the founding members of the Ottawa Masters

Fripp
Shaun and Kim Fripp – uncle and nephew, both member of the Canadian Ski Team at one point (Kim for Ski Jumping at the 1976 Olympics). The Fripp family have been called Ottawa’s Von Trapp Family 🙂

Skis
Skis are race ready

Forerunner
Morgane and the other U16 Edelweiss Team Forerunners

Start
The race is about to start with veteran Peter Kunstadt in the gate

Gary
Gary J on his way to win the Championships

Combine
Combine Alpine and Breakdancing?

Kim
Kim looking at the results and repeating the Masters’ Motto : “The older we get, the faster we were

Group picture
Group picture

Click HERE to see the rest of the album from Ottawa Masters Edelweiss Finals.

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