When you might have thought spring was setting in here in sunny Whistler, BC, you couldn't have guessed that winter would hit back with vengance loading the slopes up of the wonderful white gold. Our Team rider Woody doesn't let anything get un-tracked.
Two weekends and two slopestyle comps in a row. Finn won 11 & under last week and 13 & under this weekend with some good kids in the mix from Vancouver. Highlight of his day today was stomping his first ever Misty 5 (corked 540) after trying it for the first time on Friday while sick as a dog and making it around 360. His winning run was: back lip 180, cab 1 tail, method, misty 5, back board- gap-backboard 180, front board, scoring him the highest point total of all snowboarders in all categories. Still undefeated in slopestyle.
We have a spot in the U11 Mt Baker Banked Slalom qualifier in a couple of weeks so that is the next big event we are looking forward to.
Big shout out to crew who put the event on at Pentagon Boardshop, Ride Snowboards, Spacecraft Headwear, Sabre Vision, Cariboo Brewing, K2 Skis, Full Tilt, Flow Snowboarding, 3Cs Outerwear, NXTZ, and Go Pro. Such an awsome day! Can't wait to see the next years course.
Finn decided to try a hand at Snowcross this weekend at the Whistler Blackcomb 13 & under Snowboard Cross event. There was a decent turnout of riders this time with some coming up from Vancouver.
Saturday was training and time trials where Finn posted the fastest time of any snowboarder by 2 full seconds. In Sunday's four on four heats he won top spot taking home the gold medal. Looks like BMX racing has a strong crossover value to gated snowboard racing, needless to say Finn was super stoked.
A hoo-rah to pow slashes and face shots, flip cup and beer pong, the 3 inch long green shag carpet from the Upside Down Boat and everyone who somehow managed to live there. Lastly and definitely not least, this one is to all of my nomadic, life surfer friends who are in the pursuit of Neverland.
We went to the Canadian Grand Nationals for BMX this weekend and he did really well. BMX racing is a mix of highs and lows and this weekend was no exception! In two years of racing Finn went 32 straight wins and blasted through Novice and Intermediate classes, finally moving to expert in late July. His first encounter with 8 experts was in Kelowna where he failed to make any of his main events. This is common for new experts, most spend a year or so adjusting to the new level of competition, often missing the mains.
This weekend was his second race event with the experts and there were a number of American kids up in addition to the Canadian regulars. This group has been dominated by five kids for some time and Finn was certainly not seen as a threat. On Friday he managed to make his main event and finished off the podium in a respectable fifth. Saturday was the last National points race of the year, Finn raced well and was on his way to the main when he got disqualified for moving over in the final straight. (all time low!). Sunday was the Grand National finally for the season worth more points (and bigger trophies) than all the other races. It was obvious Finn was out for redemption when he blasted out of the second moto in first beating a rack of the best racers. In the main event he was in third place behind two American kids when they crashed in the second turn. Finn managed to avoid them and pulled into first, in the third corner the #1 Canadian kid caught him and ran him up over the berm, his mountain bike skills kicked in and he monster trucked through the soft dirt and pulled back onto the track, losing some momentum but holding on for third place at the line. I think the dad's of the regular five were pretty surprised to see the kid with no national ranking and no team affiliation give their kids a run for the money. Next season will be interesting indeed.
As an aside Finn was also the top fundraiser in Canada for the Race for Life cancer research event. One of his bike mentors Nick Geddes was diagnosed with leukaemia this summer and he worked hard to raise funds for cancer research. He was recognized by the Children's Hospital with a trophy for his efforts.
What an adventure this World Champs has been! Crazy track, weather and Canucks!
I didn't start feeling good on the track until Saturday, I think with jet lag and just in my head a bit. I played my cards right this week though, being patient, getting on the flat pedals and practicing for the worst weather possible. The rain came hard on Saturday afternoon and through Sunday as it was supposed to. I had a pretty big crash in practice the morning of the finals, think my pinky finger is broken or dislocated, need x-rays when I get home, we're just pretty bruised up in general from the entire week.
The track got worse as the day went on. I knew that all the juniors were crashing in their finals, the conditions were horrendous. The track was the gnarliest I've ever seen it, just getting eroded and lots of slippery shale slabs coming through. It seemed to be ridden in more this year too and hard-packed in sections so it was harder to break through and form ruts to help guide you down. Like ice!
I decided that if I just toned it down a little, rode smart and stayed on I could get a good result. I didn't expect 3rd! But trying to stay on was not an easy feat, was soooo scary and I literally was, at moments, just hanging on like superwoman. Hit most of my lines and big jumps but I started sliding a bit before the very last 2 gravel jumps into the finish and didn't go for them, bit bummed about that as they were fun to finish off with, just didn't want to risk anything so close to the finish, I had almost made it down! Plus my goggles were caked and couldn't see much. And riding calculated, as i do mostly, paid off!
Congrats to Emmeline Ragot who absolutely slayed that track in Emmeline fashion and managed to stay on in the process. And to Rachel Atherton who managed a 2nd place despite a few crashes! Just goes to show how gnarly it was out there with all the rest of the top girls crashing out of medal contention. I guess at Worlds it's all or nothing for most. But for me, not being at the
World Cups this year, I just wanted a solid result. Got it! Woooo!
Congrats to Canada's Catherine Pendrel, World Champ XC! And Canada's Lauren Rosser for the bronze in Junior Women DH. Huge YEAH to Danny Hart who looked like he was just having an awesome time on his bike the whole way down. Props to all who rode, slid, tumbled their way down that track. It was ridiculous out there.
Thanks to the CCA staff for taking care of us: Dan, Geoff, Nick, Guy, Kelly, the mechanics. Was a great vibe on the team, stoked to bring a medal home for Canada and all of my supporters/sponsors! Thank you!