U12 Head Coach Mark Anderson and Assistant Coach Micaela Anguita led a group of enthusiastic racers at Whistler this past Sunday.
Despite starting out the day with a 1 hour wait to get up the Creekside Gondola, the Cypress U12 Team got in plenty of action at the NGSL Festival Skills Event on Sunday January 12 in Whistler. It is hard not to have fun at an event like this, with 5 different events, very little waiting and getting to watch each other go for it. Reports back were that the Cypress Team had a noticeably very high level of team spirit with lots of this cheering each other on; well matched with our equally noticed bright green jackets.

The 5 events or skill stations were: Speed Trap, Timed Skate Loop, Timed Start, Quick Feet (spiess), and a Dual Glalom. We went through them in 2 teams back to back: one lead by Micaela and one by Mark.

We started out on the Speed Trap. People got up to an enjoyable 65-75km/hr and came to a smooth, safe stop (as instructed).

Next was the Timed Skate Loop: This was done in a loop ending with a 30 meter uphill section that was steeper and longer than anything I had seen at an alpine event. Spectators could have mistaken this one for a Nordic sprint (with strange cumbersome equipment). Everyone went for it and kids were breathing hard at the finish line. Times were 22-35 seconds. There was much cheering going on to encourage to keep pushing for the finish.

Next was the Timed Start. It had a start gate and two GS gates and a finish line on a flat green slope. There were some pretty good looking starts with many able to leave their feet behind as the last thing to open the wand.

Next was the Quick Feet (spiess) which sees how many times you can switch your skis back and forth in about 15 meters. This was fun for those who have figured out the complexities of this demanding exercise/skill. Otherwise….not so much.

Finally, the Glalom event. It was setup as a dual but we mostly raced it individually. Our first run was predictably not that pretty to watch since there was no opportunity to look at the course and for a much needed basic line review. We had a chance to review line strategy after lunch and for the next run in the afternoon, many of the kids skied much better despite the course being much rougher than in the morning.

Immediately after our 2nd lap thru the 5 stations we went free-skiing off-piste on the Emerald Chair and Red Chair. The soft snow and moguls were ensuring that most had their turn at lying in the snow. We would have liked to ski in the Alpine but only Harmony was open with massive lines.

Congratulations to those that collected some hardware such as: Max in the Speed Trap, Cody, Martin and Jack in the skating, as well as Jack in the Quick Feet and Cody in the Timed Start. I have likely missed a couple of mentionables here and was curious to see and pass on the results to you all but was informed that they are not available. This is unusual for an event like this and likely reflects the reports I heard of some difficulties with calculating results and especially with inaccuracy and errors in the timing of the Glalom event. This was unfortunate given that the race was otherwise very well organized.

We had a fun, action-packed, productive day in Whistler. We participated with enthusiasm, cheered each other on, learned something, and we did some fun off-piste skiing afterwards (a rare and precious treat for this unusual season).

It was a good day. Congratulations to all that attended!!!!