SILVERSTAR BC CANADA
The OTHDH is an event which has been held for the last 32 years at Silverstar, near Vernon, which is an hours flight from Vancouver. The event consists of the Canadian Masters and the Canadian Downhill, which are individual racing, and the teams event for all ages. In the Canadian Downhill, we were listed in the 225 plus years category, which is the total of all our ages added up. One woman must be included in each team.
We had great weather for the first week. We had training Monday to Thursday, and Friday and Saturday were qualifying, which was carried out in ice-rain, low visibility, very cold, and the white stuff stuck to you. Sunday, being race day was a beautiful fine day. We were called Team Kiwi and consisted of Manager Annie Edmond Racers Graham Somervaille Phil Clemow Geoff Hall.
Our honorary New Zealand woman skier was Debbie Sigalet, who lives near Silverstar and has skied the OTHDH event every year except for one when she had a broken leg.
The team qualified Friday, so we had Saturday off free skiing. We skied most of the day in sunny but cold conditions on the backside of Silverstar, Putney Creek.
We didn’t think we really stood a chance in the teams event as the locals had combinations of very fast race skiers. However, we pulled off a second placing due to DNF in two of the fastest teams, which was really cool. Our team was consistent in race times, but we were no match this year for the locals who won the event.
Last year was supposed to be the last year of the event, but organisers some how came up with the cash to run this year. Costs were cut dramatically, no flash dinner at the Convention Centre, instead we had a “good ole fashioned” party at the Town Hall on the Sunday after the racing. It included speeches, medal presentation and the 2012 OTHDH video. Everybody had a real good time and it did not go on too long. It looks like 2013 will be a go as well.
Annie picked up the Supreme Award being the Harry Bell Award. This award is carefully chosen for services to the OTHDH event. As well as being our manager, she was Race Track Observer / Controller at various positions on the hill on training and qualifying days. Well done Annie.
Considering the amount of skiing we do, (except Phil) who does tours everywhere, we do very well. To get second in the 225+ downhill event was a real accomplishment. Annie’s award is second to none, and should be recorded as such in NZ ski records. It is outstanding.
As a team we are looking for new blood for 2013. I hope I am around when we can enlist Annalise to be our lady skier, that would give the Canadians a real fright.
This event is an absolute bonus for any speed event skier. One week of downhill training could not be accomplished anywhere else. These people have really got it sorted out, top race instructors. Gord and “the Dark”, are superb racers as well as coaches, their times would make you blink.
The skiing at Silverstar is awesome and uncrowded, endless ski runs,. It is absolutely fabulous to get out on long skiis, some runs being long enough to get some real speed up, even some blue runs get scary on long skiis. Gypsy Queen is a rambling blue run and exciting on long skiis, being super fast at the bottom. Nothing better than being out early morning, with freshly groomed runs, and your tracks being the first. A great place to get to know downhill skiis. The acceleration and speed you can get is something else. A must to do, if you are to ski the downhill training week, and then the downhill races. The early morning runs down Far Out onto BX from 8.30am – 9am are spectacular on long skiis (from the top of Comet to Silverwoods). The cross country road at Silverwoods will give you practice at airborne antics as you will need that skill for leaping off the road at Main Street on the downhill course. Good luck with keeping the skiis on the snow. You can’t do this in New Zealand. The experience is worth it If you need a ski thrill, keep in touch, Team Kiwi needs you. It’s such a buzz, keep February 2013 free, give us a call. Let’s meet and make 2013 OTHDH another outstanding event. A little tip, bring your NZ Ski Race Rego as it saves $60 at registration.