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Today’s special: club races with a side of sunshine

The Summit Lake Ski Hill club races have been an annual traditional competition.

  • Thu Mar 3rd, 2016 9:00am
  • Sports

RYAN WILLMAN

The Summit Lake Ski Hill club races have been an annual traditional competition whose history stretches deep into the life of our little village on the lake. It has been suggested that an early version of the competitive event predates the skill hill itself, as some local memoriescan recall ski jumping up on Huffty Mountain and “Eddie the Eagle” type ski jumping on main street, when post flood water levels provided aslope for daredevil long jumps on wood skis. The actual club competition was moved up to Summit Lake Ski Hill sometime during the 60s,when the t-bar was run by an old VolkswThe Summit Lake Ski Hill club races have been an annual traditional competition whose history stretches deep into the life of our littlevillage on the lake. It has been suggested that an early version of the competitive event predates the skill hill itself, as some local memoriescan recall ski jumping up on Huffty Mountain and “Eddie the Eagle” type ski jumping on main street, when post flood water levels provided aslope for daredevil long jumps on wood skis. The actual club competition was moved up to Summit Lake Ski Hill sometime during the 60s,when the t-bar was run by an old Volkswagen engine, and has been hosted there ever since.agen engine, and has been hosted there ever since.

With the amount of historical clout the club race totes around, the cancellation of last year’s event due to less than favorable conditions wasmet with exacerbated disappointment by community members and racers alike. A similar fate threatened the 2016 event when a week ofwarm weather softened the snow enough to begin the unwanted appearance of dirt patches on the face of Summit Lake Ski Hill. Organizerswere hesitant to cancel the event for a second year in a row and waited until the Friday before the Sunday, Feb. 21 event to make the gameday decision to push ahead.

“If we take too many breaks, people forget,” reasoned high school ski coach and volunteer Frances Swan.

The gamble relied heavily on the cooperation of the weather, as any further increase in temperature would compromise the race course andthreaten the safety of the racers. On Saturday morning a rush of curious volunteers, racers and organizers arrived at Summit Lake to find averitable ice field, as the soft snow was met with an overnight flash freeze that created a hard, intimidating surface on the hill. Theconditions had swung from one end of the safety spectrum to the other, but clear skies and hints of sunshine cheered the hearts of theorganizers with the promise of softer conditions by the afternoon. The race was given a green light and volunteers set to work inspectingand maintaining the three race courses; a giant slalom and a super G course for the skiers, and a giant slalom course for the snowboarders.

Philanthropic efforts by numerous volunteers and positive spirits of event participants shaped an exciting day for racers from five to 65years old who spent a sunny afternoon shredding down the courses at top speeds.

At the conclusion of the day, the Summit Lake Racers provided commemorative hardware for the awards, and presented medals to the topthree racers in each age and gender category.

The club races also provide the opportunity to award three local memorial trophies, which were created to honor the memory of thoseindividuals who in their lifetime dedicated their time and effort to grow the sport of downhill racing in Nakusp.

Nakusp Secondary School students Angus Jackson and Taryn Watson were the recipients of the John Glenboff and the Tim Markholmmemorial trophies respectively. These two awards are presented to the fastest ski racer and the fastest snowboard racer in the catchmentarea of SD 10.

The Teanne Jones trophy was created to recognize the fastest Nancy Green racer who participated a the club race. This year ColbyMackintosh earned the right to have his name included among a long list of previous winners. Nancy Green racers range in age from five to13 years old.