Approximately 300 athletes from across B.C., ranging in age from five to 75, will be in West Kelowna this weekend for the 2013 Teck B.C. Cup 2 cross-country ski races.
Close to 50 skiers from the host Telemark race team, junior development, biathlon and ski league programs will compete in the two-day event on Saturday and Sunday. Some of the strongest cross-country skiers in Canada, including those who train at the Callaghan Valley National Development Centre in Whistler, are competing after just returning from the Junior and U23 World trials in Thunder Bay.
The objective of the Teck B.C. Cup series is to bring skiers from all over the province together three times during the season for a weekend of competition and fun. Points are accumulated over the three BC cup races with aggregate awards presented at the end of the season.Saturday’s races are sprint format.
Individual qualifiers starting at 9 a.m. determine the starting position for sprint heats. Designed for maximum spectator enjoyment, the heats see fast-paced racing with as many as six skiers abreast. Racers have to be fast out of the gate, try to get in front and stay focused as passing on a tight course can cause caught edges and wipe-outs with a side-by-side sprint to the finish. The top skiers in each heat move up within their category while the bottom skiers move down to ski against other skiers from other heats.
Sunday morning’s event starting at 10 a.m. consists of an individual start free (skate style) race. Distances range from 1km for the youngest participants to 10km for the Masters Men.