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Racing : U14 Slalom on Exhibition at Mont Cascades. The Exhibition is definitely more challenging that Vorlage’s Lookout trail that the kids raced slalom two weeks ago.

101 : Marking Month #101 in MadPat’s SkiStreak.

Racing 101 : Outside ski, look ahead, hands forward, don’t lean back, upper body separation. Racing today on Exhibition will underlined the importance of the fundamentals.

It didn’t take long for the small parking lot next to the World Cup lodge to fill up. I managed to find one of the last spots and the police will give you good fine if you park on the side of the road. Of course there is a much bigger lot on the main side. This side where the racers and coaches wanted to be. The NCO team was training on the Competition side of skier’s right of the Exhibition/Competition trail. Mont Cascades U16s kids were getting ready for speed camp and training Super G on the twisting Hogan trail.

It was a cold -18c morning, but at race time the temperature up to -8c and overcast. The surface was carveable, but the steeps were hard pack and icy. The slalom course had about 45 gates on the 140-meter course which pretty much from the top of this side of Mont Cascades. The pitch of the trail, the course turned to ice. Kids are going to have to attack, not ski on the backseat and make sure they are standing on that outside or it going to be DNF over.

Once the race was over it started to snow pretty hard. After finishing to help for the teardown, I managed to get a few runs down Hogan. The trail hadn’t seen much traffic due to training earlier in the day during the day and was now covered with a fresh layer of snow. I didn’t feel like checking out the Gratton trail nor the other sides of Cascades. It had been a long day and this was enough for me.

Pictures courtesy of Kunstadt Sports

Emelyn


Sierra, winner by an 8-seconds margin and 16-seconds ahead of 6th place


Sam, winner for the boys was the only one faster than Sierra today

More pictures from the Cascades race on Kunstadt Sports’ Facebook page

Cascades U14 Slalom Results Ladies
1 SMITH, Sierra MARIE 49.70 45.38 1:35.08
2 LEDUC, Charlotte ASM 53.44 49.88 1:43.32
3 BELANGER, Juliette ASM 53.10 50.25 1:43.35

Cascades U14 Slalom Results Men
1 DUFF, Sam CALAB 49.25 43.88 1:33.13
2 CLARK, Tyler MARIE 50.49 45.45 1:35.94
3 KISLICH-LEMYRE, York FORTU 50.84 47.81 1:38.65

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Day’s Log

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First day after the first real rain event and real icy conditions since mid-January. The thaw/rain event only lasted for one day, but the damage to the surface was done when the temps went back down to the Winter freeze. We didn’t look that much snow, it just became rock hard solid.

Most of the locals hills were closed during the rain on Friday, but not Mont Ste-Marie. The hill was host to the regional U14 speed camp for the last three days. Skiing Super G in the rain until they stopped at noon. The MSM is the further race from Ottawa which also happens to have the earliest registration. This made it a rough morning. Some racers barely had time to get everything dry for this morning race: a giant slalom. As I was waiting for the team to show up at the lodge, MSM had setup a large TV with the Olympics on. What great timing, it was the start of the Sochi’s Men Slalom’s first run. A few of the athletes and coaches watched the start of the slalom, including one coach that participated in the last two Olympic Slaloms.

By the time the Edelweiss racers arrived from Ottawa, it was time for me to leave for the coaches meeting at the bottom of Cheval Blanc. The meeting was finished at the time inspection was opening up. A quick rush to the top with the HSQ then down fast the Outaouais trail for inspection of this GS course. It would seem more trees were cut as the starting area was larger plus they was a larger traverse from Betsy to the start of the GS course on avoiding the narrow part of Outaouais run.

As mentioned in previous years for the U16 race: the Outaouais course is full of rollers. You have to be ahead and not sit back or you’ll get in trouble. Although this course wasn’t as dramatic as last year’s U16 GS: they were still a few close calls and a few more DNFs. The fastest girl in the region didn’t complete a run: flying off a roll in the 1st run eventually not finishing and bouncing off the hill with her face in the second. Even if she easily won all previous races, coaches were mentioning that was only skiing at 85% at those race and now was pushing on giving her full 100%. Wow!!! Edelweiss girls skied a much better second run: Emelyn was just missed out on making the Provincials in Quebec City. At the end of the day, we got to watch the final run of the Olympic slalom. Great timing!!!

The conditions? We always get weather at Mont Ste-Marie, either snow and freezing cold. Today was just normal, except the snow conditions. Let just say that they closed the Rideau Canal for skating today and redirected skating to the Outaouais trail. Holy blue sheets of ice!!! Almost no skiers where skating on the Cheval Blanc side, everyone was on the main Vanier hill. But to repeat the saying: “There is no bad snow, just bad skiers!!!”

MSM U14 Giant Slalom Results Ladies
1 THOMAS, Sophie VORLA 43.80 42.05 1:25.85
2 LEDUC, Charlotte ASM 44.82 42.54 1:27.36
3 TAN, Sophia CALAB 45.90 42.07 1:27.97

MSM U14 Giant Slalom Results Men
1 DUFF, Sam CALAB 42.29 38.62 1:20.91
2 GUIMONT, Eric VORLA 42.53 40.36 1:22.89
3 MARLER, Aidan MARIE 43.57 39.87 1:23.44

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Wakefield to Chelsea;
Vorlage to Camp Fortune;
Lookout to Canadian and Chute;
Slalom to GS.
Only 20 kilometers apart, but different difficulties.

The first weekend of racing in the Outaouais Zone was here.

I accompanied the small team of Edelweiss Ski Team U14 to their first race. This was also my first race as a coach.

Saturday : Slalom on Lookout at Vorlage – Looking for snow

A quick 30 minutes up Autoroute 5 which will soon connect to directly to Vorlage. My anxiety was kicking in, but not as bad as my first race 7km away at Edelweiss last Wednesday. The word at the coaches meeting was that the snow was thin on Lookout so the kids couldn’t inspect the course by side-slipping. They were allowed to slide in and out to inspect the line. The course was also set according to where there was enough snow depth, which was a bit challenging for the course setters: you could see that they hit the ground at many places.

The thaw and rain had closed the run; the snow crew managed to make enough snow to open it for race day. There was a huge frozen water puddle at the side of the finish line. Not as bad as the parking lot which could have been turned into a huge skating rink. I almost killed myself walking with my ski boots to get my skis. As I rode the old double chair, they were still a few old style snow guns blowing on the old T-bar line. Vorlage is a great family and beginner ski area, probably one of the two best on the Ottawa region with Pakenham located West of Ottawa on the Ontario side of the Ottawa River; no wonder that I bumped into fellow Master racers with young kids at the hill.

Old double lift, nice lodge…until recently, there was also a pair of old T-bars. I realized that the steep T-Bar only had the cable left. It’s a shame, I remember riding that thing when my daughters were young. At that time I gained much respect for my mother as she often rode T-Bars with me, especially the mandatory steep North side T-Bars at Tremblant.

The racers did a few runs on Birch Valley waiting for course to open for inspection. The surface was a mixed of frozen granular with a small layer of fresh snow. Jon was joining me for the morning, but first he had to drop his youngest at Edelweiss and then return to Vorlage. Jon as three kids in the program, the former parent rep for the Club has moved into the Head Coach position. His two other kids were racing at the U16 race at Cascades. He radioed me when he was back at Vorlage. Funny, but fellow coaches at Edelweiss thought they heard me on the radio. The distance between Edelweiss and Vorlage is less than 4km as the crow flies. The course held up fine throughout the day and didn’t rut up as feared. The surfaces were slick and good edges couldn’t be undersold. Finished the day with a run to the Lodge via Golden and the Cream Puff pitch in order to avoid all the skating…especially when you don’t have any ski poles. Edelweiss girls had great results for first year U14 racers.

Pictures courtesy of Kunstadt Sports

Sarah


Emelyn


Sierra, fastest girl. The fastest boy wasn’t in the picture gallery.

More pictures from the Vorlage race on Kunstadt Sports’ Facebook page

Vorlage U14 Slalom Results Ladies
1 SMITH, Sierra MARIE 48.52 46.81 1:35.33
2 THOMAS, Sophie VORLA 50.27 47.55 1:37.82
3 CARPENTIER, Maude ASM 49.78 49.72 1:39.50

Vorlage U14 Slalom Results Men
1 DUFF, Sam CALAB 46.79 43.51 1:30.30
2 CLARK, Tyler MARIE 47.58 45.41 1:32.99
3 KISLICH-LEMYRE, York FORTU 47.53 47.45 1:34.98

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Sunday : GS on Canadian & Chute at Camp Fortune – Iceline down Chute

It started snowing again. This morning’s drive to Chelsea was even a shorter. Camp Fortune’s Skyline is definitely a steeper hill with runs like Heggtveit, Swan Dive and The Chute. The U14 race was set from the top of Canadian then dropping down the narrow B-Net line couloir called The Chute, an especially intimidating hill to run a GS course. My daughter Morgane race down an icy Chute back in 2011. You almost had to wonder if Camp Fortune hadn’t traded their snow groomers for zambonis machine instead? It was hard just to hold on the icy slope during inspection. Racers had to inspect from the side behind the blue dye in the steepest part of the Chute.

All the main black runs on Skyline were slick if not down right icy. It was even more surprising that someone was skinning and going switchbacks up Heggtveit prior to the lifts opening.

Racers had to be ahead and stay forward, if not it could be the end of the race. Bindings also had to set right, as it was rough and many skis popped off. Snow started falling in the afternoon. The success rate in finishing is generally greater in GS compare to Slalom, but it wasn’t the case between both race this weekend. Sierra Smith smoked all the girls and boys by a huge 4-seconds margin. I raced at the same time as her mom, Julie Klotz, back in my university racing days, in fact the ex-Canadian team member is one of the girls with the most victories on the Quebec university circuit. Julie isn’t the only ex-National team member and Canadian champion; she is deeply involved in current ski racing in the Outaouais Zone. On the Fortune Race / Ottawa Ski Club side which has formed so many top rate racers; former and recent Canadian champs and World Cup racers Patrick Biggs and JP Roy have joined the club. In comparison the Edelweiss U14 team is extremely modest, almost as small as the one member U14 team of Upper Ottawa Valley.

Both Edelweiss girls only managed to finish one run each. There was definitely a few disappointed faces across the different teams. But they will be another race…as Edna Mode says, they have to pull themselves together for the next race…to success, to fight and WIN!!!


Emelyn


Girl crashing. They would be a huge delay to remove her from the hill


Sarah falling in the compression


Sierra Smith is the fastest racer today. Heading for her second victory of the weekend


Eric Guimond, first year U14 and winner for the Boys

More pictures from the Camp Fortune race on Kunstadt Sports’ Facebook page

Camp Fortune U14 Giant Slalom Results Ladies
1 SMITH, Sierra MARIE 35.70 35.14 1:10.84
2 THOMAS, Sophie VORLA 37.25 37.45 1:14.70
3 TAN, Sophia CALAB 39.10 38.72 1:17.82

Camp Fortune U14 Giant Slalom Results Men
1 GUIMONT, Eric VORLA 38.36 37.39 1:15.75
2 KISLICH-LEMYRE, York FORTU 38.58 37.74 1:16.32
3 MARLER, Aidan MARIE 39.14 37.26 1:16.40

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After a two-day Spring Break in the Green Mountains (Sutton and Mad River Glen), we were back in town for one last weekend of racing for adults and kids. Back-to-back Edelweiss Masters Final and the Final final race in the kids season at Calabogie before everyone get back to school and work.

A very short night for St. Patrick’s Day and Dual race at Calabogie Peaks. Tuning skis to fix Morgane’s race ski from that rock “hidden under powder” damage and a long drive for a very early arrival at the hill. It’s hard getting at the hill for 7:30am when you have more than a one hour drive. Let’s just say that I was pushing it … a bit. At one point, I remember passing a familiar minivan on Highway 17…good, we won’t be last from the club to make it to Calabogie. 🙂


Early morning look at the Dual Slalom Course

It was a cold morning for late March which was a good thing for the race. So it was the usual hurry up to get at the hill and wait type of day. Tara, Mrs. MadPat and I hooped on the chair just prior to 9am and started skiing corduroys run after run!!! We started skiing the long green Ole K&P which is the further run west then started moving right to left on the map skiing afterwards Fiddlers, Buckshot and Shanahan’s. My face and feet were slightly frozen.


Tara and Caroline


Tara going skiing moose imitation

At 10am we headed down towards Face of Tiger; I felt like I was skiing on pre-edge skis. The race start was set below the face. When I found out they was the race start was going to be detailed, I informed Caroline and Tara to continue skiing for a few more runs, because it was going to be awhile before Morgane’s turn. I wanted to set up for some picture of the kids.

The short delay, became longer and longer. We found out that there were a number of athletes that hadn’t preregistered or shown up, so organizers had to sort out the pairing in order to make sure racers skied against someone about the same caliber or not alone. All U14, U16 and U18 were invited to this special end of the year Dual.


Morgane’s first run


Stephen taking off


Adam letting his hand down


Filip heading towards the finish


Nick off the jump

Each skiers would be getting 1 run in each course paired up and race head-to-head in the same competition in a dual format. After over one hour delay to the start, the race was on. I’ve participated in a couple of Dual races in the 1980s and they are always spectaculars. It can be a bit nerve-racking for parents. Morgane started off strong in dual and was running neck-and-neck at one point, then she feel behind and landed hard after second jump, lost both skis and crashed hard with a face plant on the bullet proof snow. 😦

DIN setting!!! The DIN setting is a touchy issue, especially after she broke her leg in a crash when her ski didn’t release. She didn’t have any issues of skis popping off this season, but she didn’t race on Dual jumps either.

I increased the DINs for her second run. The course was getting rough in a few places, especially the gate at the biggest jump and landing area, many skiers crashed or lost their skis. She was more tentative and wasn’t as fast out of the start blocks on her second run. She completed her run and I was proud of her and her season, especially coming back from a major injury. By the time that all the kids got their two runs in, it was already 1pm. The fastest 8 per age categories would move on the elimination round.


The Start


Maddie and the coaches at the start


Shinning icy Face of Tiger and start of the Dual : Maddie on the right


Morgane’s second run


Xavier ahead, but…


…he would get a rerun.


A previous skier was hurt at the finish and Xavier is charging towards him. Xavier would make the Final 8 for the U14’s in the afternoon.


Chris’s first of 8 runs in the day. We would eventually get a bronze once it was all over.


Simon (left) would just make the Final 8 (U16) with this run


Lunch


A close team : Xavier, Morgane and Maddie

Once lunch was over, everyone gather to hear who would get to race in the afternoon. The matching was fastest against 8, 2 vs 7, etc. Two runs, the fastest combined time win and moves to the next round. Got it? Now the time for the maths. Let see…

8 skiers
x 3 categories
x 2 boys and girls
x 2 runs
96 runs in the first elimination round.
48 runs for the top 4.
48 runs for the Final and 3rd place.
Total amount of runs : 192

Rounding it up at one run every 30 seconds makes for a total of 96 minutes, but that is very generous considering the re-runs, race stoppages and rides back to the top. In fact, they were 16 skiers in the U18 category racers either, so…


At the start before the Elimination Round


Maddie (left) is in a tight race in the Quarter Finals


Xavier in the Elimination Round

It was about 2:30pm when they got started and Calabogie doesn’t have any night skiing. To speed things up, the top 4 were getting ski-doo rides up the slope along the 21-25 seconds course. By the time everything was over, the chair was closed. The two 4 racers in the day would have done 8 runs in the course for a total of under 3 minutes in their day, but make no mistake, ski racing is tiring and the were some close calls and a few crashes. The course was pretty beaten up with 192 runs, but it would have been so much worse if it wouldn’t frozen solid in the morning and the temps would have closer to a typical St. Patrick’s Day.


Few racers still racing – coaches and racers waiting for it to end


Snowmobile rides for the racers


Chris racing in the Semi-Finals


B Final, to determine who will get the Bronze. Both skiers are tired at this point. Chris lose his pole at the gate above the jump.


Chris skiing without pole and glove.


Second run of the B Final. Eight run for both of them. The margin was tight, skiers tired. Chris was slightly ahead when his competitor crashed.

The family got a bunch of runs in, Morgane stayed at the start to encourage some of her teammates that made the elimination round. As for myself, I got 6 before the race and only 3 more in the next 6 hours. I might not have gotten many runs, but a did get many pictures from the kids from the team.

The St.Patrick Après-Ski was back in a Kanata restaurant with the kids and some of the kids and parents from the U12 Championship race at Ste-Marie. Celebrating an excellence an excellent season and the last of the early early morning wake up calls.


End of the day and the race season


U16 Podium

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Days’ Log

MadPat’s Gallery :
Calabogie Peaks – March 17, 2013 – U14 & U16 Dual

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