This is the last weekly update of the season. We’ll send out April’s newsletter next week, and then you won’t hear from us again until May (unless there is some spring or summer news flash). Below you’ll find the scoop on nationals, internationals, smiles, racing suits, the banquet, biathlon races, and more!
Today is the last day to register for the 30th Annual Vancouver Island Loppet! Don’t miss the opportunity to challenge yourself, your family, and your friends to a good long ski. Did you know, BC Nordic magazine reported that the VI Loppet is one of the most popular loppets in BC? If you see some racers from away, be sure to wish them luck in the loppet this weekend.
Visit the Loppet webpage for Loppet details, and register on Zone 4. Best wishes for a good loppet!
Finish your ski season in style--at the loppet! photo: Brent Reid
Everyone who has borrowed a racing suit, please remember to return it to the ski club.
You can return it:
Thank you to Jae Yon Jones for all the hard work she’s put in organizing the suits.
We had a most enjoyable banquet last Thursday! The house (Florence Filberg Centre) was full, the tables were laden with food, and with Andy Brown cleverly mastering the ceremony and Don Chamberlain skillfully working the audio-visuals–the whole evening went swimmingly.
Highlights of the evening include Annelise Henckel and Alexandra Apedaile serenading their coach Tim McGrady with their song “My Favourite Coach” to the tune of “My Favourite Things,” and a table full of Rabbits nearly bringing the house down! Program leaders Alix Wilson, Marilyn Atkinson, Berend Henckel, Tim McGrady, Coach Dave, and Len Apedaile recognized all their hardworking volunteers–and gave out their 2012 awards. The awards themselves were beautiful hand-crafted objects of polished wood ornamented with ski paraphernalia and engraved plaques, and they were created by our talented Coach Dave! Devos Maya Swift and Madeleine Guimond made a presentation in English and French to their chaperones Berend Henckel, Tim McGrady, and Cheryl Adebar who took them on a week-long cross-country adventure in Quebec earlier in the season,… and the Junior racers washed the dishes.
JR Captain Michael Ravensbergen presents teammate Alec Stapff with the team MVP award. photo: Larry Reynolds
2012 Strathcona Nordics Award Winners
Jackrabbit leader – Alix Wilson
Coach of the Year – Tim McGrady
Rabbit Volunteer of the Year – Sarah Henckel
Official of the Year – Chris Stapff
Masters Coach of the Year - Cliff and Linda Haylock
Fastest Woman on the Mountain – Sylvia Watkins
Fastest Man on the Mountain – Michael Ravensbergen
Coach Dave Dedication Award – Jamie Wasteneys
One-Inch Award (for exemplifying skiing kaizen) – Brian Stamp
MVP Award – Alec Stapff
Most Improved Racer – Andy Brown
Fine Whine Award – Larry Reynolds
Most Injured Racer – Marilyn Atkinson
Grip Award (for most tenacious skier) – Matthew Salmon
Marilyn Atkinson Sportsmanship Award – Charlotte Mohtadi
Marilyn Atkinson Sportsmanship Award – Tallon Noble
Special Volunteer Award – Alison Stocks
Many thanks to Alison Stocks for pulling this fun event together! We hope to see you all at next year’s banquet.
A masters recreational group enjoying the view from the top on their last day of the season. photo: Tanya Austin
It’s cross country skiing with a twist! On Sunday April 1st, Greater Vancouver Orienteering Club invites you to navigate the trails of Whistler Olympic Park using a map!
In orienteering, participants are given a detailed topographical map, which they use to navigate between marked check points. At each check point hangs a white and orange flag and a small electronic box. Participants carry a small timing stick that they insert into the electronic box, which records the time they visited the check point.
The first race will be a short individual event. There will be 3 courses available, depending on your ski ability and orienteering experience. After that will be a relay race in teams of 2. There will be a mass start (so all the first leg skiers will start together), which always livens things up!
This event is open to all ages and abilities, both of skiing and navigation! Beginners are most welcome, and we will give instruction before the event starts.
Where: Whistler Olympic Park, meet at the wax room in the Biathlon Stadium
When: Sunday April 1st at 10:30am
Cost: Adults – $10, Juniors (U.20) – $5, Family max. – $20
Trail Pass: Required – Must be purchased from Whistler Olympic Park
All participants must register online by Friday, March 30.
The 2012 National Cross-Country Championships wrapped up in Quebec last weekend, and though we didn’t take a team there this year, Andrea Lee had our club name posted in the top ten (of hugely competitive fields of more than 55 of the best senior women racers in Canada!) in four national events. Andrea captured two medals in the university circuit–a gold in team sprints and a silver in the interval start 5km classic.
Andrea trains and races with the National Development Centre-Thunder Bay Team and the Lakehead University Team, but her club is always listed as the Strathcona Nordics. Andrea’s strong results also contributed to BC’s overall aggregate third place of the 11 provinces and territories who competed. Congratulations to Andrea Lee!!
The Canadian National Ski Team enjoyed a stellar year on the World Cup circuit. Here are some highlights from Cross Country Canada (CCC):
You can read more on the CCC website.
Click on the link to see my photos from the BC Midgets Champs in Kelowna on March 3/4.
You can download the hi-res photos by holding the mouse over the photo on the right and clicking on the file icon. Click on “slide show” for full screen viewing.
I surprised Eva and Matthew Salmon by “showing up.” It was a thrill to be a support for the large contingent of Strathcona Nordics, second in numbers after Hollyburn Ski Club. The Telemark Ski Club in Westbank has a fantastic network of trails for a long cruise without too many steep hills. I enjoyed 2+ hours of skate skiing on Friday before the crew arrived and on Sunday afternoon, without repeating any trails each day.
Many of our club members enjoyed the biathlon race last Sunday. Xander Swift, Max Brown, Maya Swift, Madeleine Guimond, Michelle Adebar, Tallon Noble, Kylie Adebar, Nicole Adebar, Sally Brown, Alec Stapff, Alex Brown, Jamie Wasteneys, and Michael Ravensbergen all enjoyed the opportunity to ski and shoot. It turns out that we have some real “markswomen” in our club with Nicole Adebar hitting 9/10 targets and Sally Brown getting 8/10. Good work girls!
Thank you to the Vancouver Island Biathlon Club for inviting us to your race!
To-date, Thrifty Foods has paid $1,870.47 to the club based on 5% of purchases that our club members have made using their Smile Cards. Well done everyone! Keep using those Strathcona Nordics smile cards. Thank you to Berend Henckel for organizing this fundraising intiative!
This week, find news on the Loppet, ICC clinic, feasting at the banquet, corrections, biathlon, books, bottle drive, and more.
Registration is open! Visit Zone 4 to register and end your ski season in style. The 30th Annual Vancouver Island Loppet takes place on Saturday, March 31! Look for details about the event on ourLoppet webpage. Check out the photos in the slideshow too! Email info@StrathconaNordics.com to volunteer.
Don't miss the fun and games in the annual Rabbit Tourney this Sunday, March 18.
Our annual wind-up Rabbit Tournament is only days away–and at the moment the weather forecast shows favourable conditions! It is a super-fun day, both Saturday and Sunday Rabbits get together on Sunday, March 18 for a series of activities in a carnival-like atmosphere.
Rabbit volunteers–So far we have 35 volunteers to thank for the festivities, but we are in need of two or three more bodies to help with Bunny Rabbit and Jackrabbit Stations. If you are able to give a hand, please email Alix Wilson right away – firstname.lastname@example.org!
Rabbit reminders–Here are some important reminders to ensure a smooth event:
Rabbit games–Get ready for the “Monster Skis,” the “Snowball Biathlon,” the “Rabbit Relay Race” and more… Bunnyrabbits will participate in a separate set of stations. Our younger skiers can look forward to the “Egg and Spoon Race”, the ” Dress-Up Relay”, the “Balloon Toss” and more…these stations will be placed in the middle of the stadium.
Rabbit lunch–A hot dog and cocoa lunch will be served for participants and their families – please bring plates, cups and utensils to cut down on waste. In addition to the hot dogs and cocoa, participants and their families can look forward to pot-luck food. Potluck Families with last names starting with A-P are asked to bring healthy finger food, and those with last names starting with Q-Z are asked to bring healthy dessert/fruit.
Bottle drive–In conjunction with the Rabbit Tournament, we will be having a bottle drive to raise funds for the Club. So bring along your empties to pitch in to the club. Alternatively, return your empty bottles and cans to the Return Centre on Puntledge Road in Courtenay or on Anderton Ave in Comox, and tell them to give the proceeds to the Strathcona Nordics. Every little bit helps us to continue delivering great cross-country ski programs!
Rabbits & the End-of-the-Year Banquet
All club members are invited! Rabbit families, please RSVP to Alix Wilson (email@example.com) if you are able to attend on Thursday, March22!
Rabbits in the Loppet
We are looking for 2 or 3 volunteers to help out with the Cookie Loppet by either making cookie medals or setting up a “goodie station” halfway through the course as an incentive to our youngest loppeteers! If you are able to help out with either of these jobs on Saturday, March 31, please email Alix Wilson: firstname.lastname@example.org
All club members are invited to the End-of-the-Year Potluck Banquet at the Filberg Conference Centre in Courtenay (near the 5th Street bridge) on Thursday March 22! Here’s the schedule:
This is a potluck, so please bring enough to feed 10 people!
If your last name starts with:
Hope to see you there!
If you are wondering about the two new Scandinavian-looking skiers hanging around the stadium, they are actually Devo coaches Tim and Berend! True to their word, when one of their racers won a gold at the BC Midget Championships–they dyed their hair. Yay for our coaches!
Coaches Tim and Berend were true to their word.
This weekend, join in the Twoonie Races at 11am! All club members are welcome to join the fun! This weekend, it’s a Team Sprint, pursuit format.
Teams of two complete as many laps of the course as possible in 20 minutes. The course starts in the stadium and incorporates the 1st bench. Racers start on skate skis and, after completing a lap, switch to classic skis in a transition zone. After each lap, racers switch skis and technique.
Give your name to one of the Devo or Junior coaches at 10am to join in the fun! Pick up your bib at 10:30am in the lodge. The race starts at 11am.
Join us for the first course in the NCCP progression! This course is for anyone interested in coaching Jack Rabbits or Bunny Rabbits next year. Free to SNSC members!
The ICC (Introduction to Community Coaching) program is intended to provide parents and other novice coaches with basic information and a feeling of confidence as they begin their role as a coach. It is entry level, and there are no prerequisites except enthusiasm and the minimum age requirement of 14 years.
The ICC course is classroom based and gives the participant the skills to teach the Bunny Rabbits. There will be an on-snow Community Coaching (CC) course at the beginning of next season that will teach the skills needed to coach at the Jack Rabbit level. This ICC course is a prerequisite for the CC course.
Email email@example.com or contact Alison Stocks or Dave Battison.
Apologies to the Lamon family for the error in last week’s press–It was Ross and Stephen Lamon who placed 5th and 4th in the Sprints in their respective age categories. (Stewart Lamon did not race at the BC Midget Championships as there are no adult race categories.) Congratulations to Stephen and Ross on their excellent races!
The Vancouver Island Biathlon Club invites you to take part in their 2012 Spring Relay Biathlon Raceon March 25. Their instructors are available in the biathlon area on both Saturday and Sunday during practice times to help familiarise you with the biathlon rifle and shooting protocol. Everyone will receive an armband once they have gone through safety training and will not be able to start the race without one.
The race will be conducted in a safe manner, and everyone is welcome. They aim to have fun! Must be 11 years of age or older–no maximum age restrictions! Three loops of 1.5 km and 2 shooting bouts per person, 4 per team.
The deadline for entry is noon on March 22. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to register.
Did you know the American Birkebeiner is the largest cross-country ski race in North America? Author and skier Walter Rhein has written a book about it. InBeyond Birkie Fever he writes,
What is Birkie Fever? Cross-country skiers are hearty folk. The compulsion to race marathon-length distances in subfreezing conditions requires an eternally optimistic and fiercely independent spirit. The fear of blinding snow or paralyzing cold does not deter them, and it has been said that skiers do not merely laugh at adversity; they are completely oblivious to its existence. America’s greatest cross-country ski race is the American Birkebeiner or “Birkie” for short. Every year, thousands of people journey from all over the globe to Hayward, Wisconsin, for a world-class celebration of life, winter, and the competitive spirit.
You could win a signed copy of this book if you are skiing in the Vancouver Island Loppet!
If you come across cross-country ski related books that you find interesting–tell us about it. email@example.com
Bring up your empty refundable bottles and cans this Sunday! All proceeds go to the ski club–every little bit helps us to continue delivering great cross-country ski programs!
This week, read about the Devos big success and big fun at Midgets, the Rabbit wrap-up, a welcome, opportunities to refresh and feast, more smiles and happy returns, skier X, and more!
Our Devos at the BC Midget Championships in Kelowna. Read the thrilling "Strathcona Invasion" story below! photo: Richard Barry
End your ski season in style, ski or volunteer at the 30th Annual Vancouver Island Loppet on Saturday, March 31! Look for details about the event and registration on our Loppet webpage. Check out the photos in the slideshow too! Email info@StrathconaNordics.com to volunteer.
Skill Development Program Wrap -Up
This weekend will be the last regular Rabbits session for both Saturday and Sunday skiers! There will be NO session on Saturday March 17. Rabbits can expect to receive their booklets from coaches on Tourney Day – March 18. After your child has a chance to look through their booklet, you may have the booklet stored up the mountain until next winter by returning the booklet to either Alix Wilson or Liz Girard.
Thank you to all COACHES for your dedication to this program and for helping develop fantastic skiers!
Rabbit Tournament – Sunday, March 18
We are looking for family contributions to our Tourney potluck lunch as follows:
Reminder- NO NUTS! Thanks.
Thank you to all the very helpful parent volunteers who have made sure that planning is underway for the Ski Tourney!
Rabbits in the Loppet
Although not officially part of the Rabbit program, coaches encourage all Rabbits to participate in this event on March 31. A 2km Cookie Loppet for skiers six and under is a great event to get the little ones interested in racing – with a few treats along the way and a cookie medal at the end.
Some Cookie Loppeteers! photo: Brent Reid
Older Rabbits are also strongly encouraged to participate in this fun event to challenge and display the skills they learned this year in Rabbits on a 5km course. All skiers up to 17 years old can race for only $5! Registration closes at 11:59pm on Thursday, March 29th.
Parent volunteers are needed to help run the stations for this fun family event. If you can lend a hand, please let Alix Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or email info@StrathconaNordics.com
It’s a very fun event – hope to see you there, either skiing or helping out!
Note the change of time for this 3rd Coaching Refresher, which takes place on **Saturday, March 17 at
1pm** in the Stadium (to accommodate Masters Coaches). All coaches and prospective coaches are welcome, any ability, whether you are a veteran racer or starting out skiing with bunnies. Hope to see you there!
If you missed it last week–Join us this Saturday for the Skier X (aka “ski cross”) reprise in the Ski Playground at 1pm!
Get ready for the rush of Skier X in this Saturday's Twoonie race!
There will be hoops, bends, bumps, and obstacles to navigate as you race against an opponent. Sign up for a twoonie at the bottom of the Raven Lodge stairs at noon.
Be sure to mark Thursday, March 22 on your calendar for the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club End of the Year Banquet! All club members are welcome to come to the Filberg Centre at 411 Anderton Ave in downtown Courtenay (near the 5th Street bridge). Join us for food, fun, and awards! Potluck dinner starts at 6:30 with awards to follow.
CCBC’s Ski Cross Country magazine is looking for photos. If you have some favourites that you took this past ski season, you can submit them. Find information on this link.
The Devo team had an excellent weekend in Kelowna at the BC Midget Championships March 3-4!
The 26 Devos, ages 9 – 12, made their presence felt at this important provincial tournament, which brings together the best young cross-country skiers in BC.
Early Saturday morning, head wax tech Andrea Stapff worked diligently with her waxing team of Stewart Lamon and Don Johnston in very difficult 0 degree, light powder conditions. Their work helped propel the team to some very strong finishes in the 2km classic race by all of the athletes–including a silver medal for Tallon Noble. In the afternoon, all of the relay teams performed well in the 4×1.5km with a bronze medal for the team of Ethan Wong, Connor McGrady, Tallon Noble, and Ross Lamon.
Rachel off to a flying start! photo: Richard Barry
On Sunday, the racers put on a very exciting show in the 300m and 400m skate sprints. Tallon brought home a bronze medal, while Ross and Stewart Lamon each placed 5th and 4th in their respective age categories. The eight girls in the 2002 category clearly demonstrated that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come on the provincial race scene. Amelia Wells brought home a gold and Annelies Henckel took the silver, with Emmy Stapff taking 5th in the very competitive 2002 girls 300m sprint final. Alexandra Apedaile received a technique award for her beautiful skating skills. Coaches Tim McGrady and Berend Henckel promised they would go blond if anyone brought home a gold, so thanks to Amelia, watch out for two blond coaches at Raven Lodge this weekend.
Finally, the team placed 3rd out of 18 in the club aggregate standings, which is outstanding for a relatively small, island club.
The coaches are extremely proud of all the racers and are thankful to the parents for making the trek to Kelowna and supporting the Devos and coaches at the race–and they are thankful to Dr. Andreas Conradi for helping to make the race suit program a reality. Coach Tim McGrady said, “It was so great to see the red and black of the Strathcona Nordics so prominent on the race course all weekend!”
Congratulations to all the Devos & their families and to the coaches!! Well done!
Welcome to West Coast Expeditions who joins us a club sponsor! You can learn more about West Coast Expeditions’ exceptional enterprise on their website.
Thank you to everyone using their Strathcona Nordics Thrifty Foods Smile Cards. Your purchases have raised $1592.96 to date for the racing suit program. Wow! If you shop at Thrifty’s and would like a smile card, contact Berend email@example.com
Here’s another way to help the club–if you are returning empty bottles and cans to the Return Centre on Puntledge Road in Courtenay or on Anderton Ave in Comox, you could tell them to give the proceeds to the Strathcona Nordics. Every little bit helps us to continue delivering great cross-country ski programs!
We are entering the last month of our ski season, and the trails look great! Look for news below concerning thanks, the Loppet, opportunities to refresh, and more.
Registration is open for the 30th Annual Vancouver Island Loppet, which takes place on Saturday, March 31! We have a new web page with Loppet information for you. Look for Coach Dave Battison’s info sheet on how to prepare for a Loppet on our loppet web.
If you don’t want to ski the loppet this year, you can get in on the fun by volunteering! There are many roles to fill, large and small, email us today! info@StrathconaNordics.com
We had wonderful weather for theBecky Scott Sprints last weekend! With the wind at their backs, all participants did a fantastic job skiing as fast as they could and cheering on the other members of their group. Congratulations to everyone who participated! A big thank you to all the parents who helped out with the Sprints–we couldn’t have done it without you!
Becky Scott Sprints. photo: Oak Hills Images
This Saturday, skiers will notice a lot of new coaching faces in the mix as half of our regular coaches are away at the BC Midget Championships in Kelowna. Coaches will advise skiers affected by any subs. Please give yourself a few extra minutes to find and meet your substitute on time.
This weekend is also the deadline to submit colouring contests to Alix or Liz. We will submit our club’s top 5 to Cross Country Canada in hopes of designing the 2013 JackRabbit toque!
The much anticipated Rabbit Ski Tournament is now less than 3 weeks away. This fun-filled event isSunday, March 18th for both Saturday and Sunday Rabbits. It kicks off at 10am with events at stations in the Stadium until the end of season hotdog/veggie dog lunch, which is provided to complement the potluck veggie/fruit and desserts brought by Rabbit families. This year Rabbit families with last names beginning A-M will bring veggies&fruit and those beginning with N-Z will bring a healthy dessert. Please ensure all food is peanut free.
Tourney volunteers will be contacted by email next week regarding their role in the tournament, with detailed instructions for their position. We are still looking to fill a few Tourney positions – if you can lend a hand, please let Alix Wilson (firstname.lastname@example.org ) know as soon as you can.
Join us this Saturday for Skier X (aka “ski cross”) in the Ski Playground at 1pm! There will be hoops, bends, bumps, and obstacles to navigate as you race against an opponent. Pick your own opponent, or we can pick one for you. Sign up for a twoonie at the bottom of the Raven Lodge stairs at noon.
Learn more about coaching Rabbits this Saturday and Sunday at 10am in the Raven Lodge. There will be a short (15-minute) information session on the Rabbit program.
If prospective instructors are interested, this can be followed by an hour on the snow working on classic technique skills. This is an opportunity for people to gain confidence and/or to improve their skills. It is also a good time to talk about co-coaching and have input into the dates of the future coaching courses.
Devo racers and coaches are preparing for what Coach Tim is calling “The Strathcona Invasion!” This weekend, 26 kids will be travelling to Kelowna for the BC Midget Championships. This is the largest team ever attending Midgets from our club. The event is for BC’s 9-12-year-olds, who will compete in three races and attend a fun banquet. Best wishes for clear roads and speedy skis to the team and their families. Go team!!
There are only five days left to register for the Masters National Championships. Register by March 6 for this Masters-focused event, which takes place in Golden, BC from March 11-17. Visit their websiteto learn more.
Last weekend, Coaches Berend Henckel and Andrea Stapff travelled with racers Sally Brown, Kylie Adebar, Morgan Meckert, Avalon Wasteneys, and Oliver Barry to the BC Winter Games in Vernon. They joined other 13-15-year-old BC athletes and coaches for four days of racing and festivities.
Our BC Winter Games team represented us well! photo: BC Winter Games
Morgan said, “It was really fun, especially getting to know other BC racers who we usually only see on the start line!”
In racing action highlights, Oliver Barry and Morgan Meckert enjoyed 5th place finishes in the sprints; Avalon Wasteneys placed 4th in the individual start classic, and Avalon brought home a silver in the skate sprints! Congratulations to Avalon on her medal and to the whole team for representing our club well at these races!
THANK YOU to Christopher and Alexi Abele who put up and take down the Snow playground every Sunday for Rabbits! It is great fun for the skiers–and coaches too.
Due to the overwhelming enthusiasm at the second coaching refresher, there will be a third Coaching Refresher on Saturday, March 17 (the day before the Tourney). Meet in the Stadium on Saturday, March 17 at 10am.
All coaches and prospective coaches are welcome, any ability, whether you are a veteran racer or starting out skiing with bunnies!
The Junior Racers would like to thank Mount Washington Nordic and everyone who supported them in their waxing fundraiser last weekend. Thanks to your generosity, the team raised $342 in a few short hours!
Wax-o-rama 2012. photo: Oak Hill Images