Sorry for the delay in sending out this Update but I needed some time to find the right words.
Crews came off the mountain around 5 pm on Sunday. Goldie & Mike Stone continued grooming the entire course out fence to fence for the Norams. What structures, nets, equipment that weren’t required for the Norams, needed to come off the mountain. The Noram’s will use our DH start but their finish area is up on Timing Flats. From the final racer of the SuperG until dark and later, there was truly a flurry of activity including several helicopter lifts of equipment off the mountain. This work was made even more remarkable given the effort to get us SuperG race-ready on Sunday morning – it was another long, long day. Check out the Lake Louise Ski Resort webcam of the base area – not much of our World Cup is left……..but the Norams have excellent weather for their first training run.
Speaking of the SuperG – as Doug Campbell, said ‘That’s as close as I ever want to get to losing a race’. We were successful because of the FIS Pros’ confidence in our ability to deliver. With coaches looking upwards at a continuous snowfall, a buzz of Sled Dog activity – cats tilling out berms and spill zones, quads and snow blowers busy, rakes & shovels and slippers flying along the course, the 11 am start time was delayed an hour – to Atle’s hard start deadline of noon and then (wincingly) pushed back an additional 15 minutes to 12:15 pm.
O ya….I didn’t tell you that the race-ready SuperG start on Upper Wiwaxy had to be moved down to Coaches Corner because of weather concerns. Everything – tent & gear, start posts, Audi façade, Milka banners, timing equipment, TV & Timing cabling was shuttled down and where a new start bench had to be shoveled in. You want to see a motivated team – the Course Crew, Timing Crew, Swiss Timing, Infront, DX3 worked so well together. I was wowed as Gina’s ‘office’ was torn down, moved, re-assembled and was lit up in ~30 minutes. We are getting quite good at building starts – that was number 5 this year. Next year, we need to come up with a better naming convention for our starts. It was beginning to get a bit confusing there at the end.
The race itself may not have been the longest SuperG ever run but it was a race. On TV, it was an ‘event’ and it looked great. The loudest cheers were for our young Canadian racers but congratulations to the winner, the Swiss veteran – Lara Gut.
At Saturday night’s Public Bib Pick for the SuperG at the Chateau, we honoured our very own, Bruce Hamstead as the recipient of the 2016 Winterstart Award. In true Hammer fashion, he shared some of his thoughts on his love for ski racing and the need to support our National Team athletes. Later in the evening, he figured out that the Winterstart Award is a fine vessel for enjoying a cleansing ale. Good on ya, Bruce and congratulations.
To all of you – stay in touch. Send us photos you want to share with your fellow Sled Dogs. I will update the daily photo folders on our website. Over the next few weeks, all the Chiefs will be providing input on this year’s event back to the Executive Committee on where we can improve our event as well as to
improve your volunteer experience. You can pass along your own comments to your chief or pass it along to a member of the Executive Committee – myself, Darrell, Jim, Rob or Kelly. If you have a concern with the contributions of our many sponsors or event partners, please direct your comments to us and we will work to sort things out.
To the tireless Net Monkeys, you guys rock. For those Sled Dogs who are staying on (or returned) to help with the Norams, get them all down safe. For those of you, who have travelled home, share the Sled Dog spirit and knowledge with your local ski clubs. I know that a World Cup has many (many) trappings of an event that you won’t see at a club race but they still have a start, a finish, timing, a few B Nets, course workers…..and kids who have a dream to be on a World Cup podium.
With much pride – I say thank you to everyone for truly an extraordinary job so well done. Join us next year when we will be hosting the best ladies AND men’s skiers back at Lake Louise.
Brian – firstname.lastname@example.org