Norquay providing World Class Training and Racing

Apr. 01, 2024

Mid February a team of BAR coaches and volunteers carried snow making hoses to water Silver Legacy run at Mt Norquay.  Watering the surface freezes, creating an icy surface similar to that of most World Cup tracks in Europe.  Creating this slick base allows similar conditions from the first to the last racer with little change to the track. Sharp skis and an ever-adapting position on the skis are vital for a successful carved turn.

Mens’ Canadian Alpine Ski Team (CAST) made the most of epic training at Mt Norquay before heading to US as part of the World Cup circuit.  Athletes Asher Jordan, Justin Alkier and BAR Alumni Erik Read made the stop in Banff, to what was noted as the best training provided in Canada this season.   Local wildlife made an appearance holding up training temporarily, but a welcomed site.  Having this surface to train on at home, was an incredible opportunity not only for the CAST but also the future athletes of ski racing. 

Canadian Alpine Ski Team coach John Kucera passed on “I'd like to express my immense gratitude to Andre from Norquay and Pete from BAR for their invaluable support and collaboration in helping us setup a world class training session. Organizing training sessions on watered slopes in Canada presents significant challenges, and having partners like them who are willing to collaborate to make these opportunities a reality is truly fantastic.

Training on a watered surface is essential for athletes as they progress to the PSO and higher levels. Most races at the Europa Cup level and almost all races at the World Cup level are prepared with water, making proper equipment setup and confidence on slick surfaces crucial for success.

The training provided at Silver Legacy was not only exceptional for the Men’s World Cup Technical team, but it was also awesome to know that athletes from BAR, as well as other FIS-level athletes from Alberta, had the chance to train and experience what a world-class technical surface entails. These opportunities are incredibly valuable, and I am optimistic that, as a nation, we can continue to collaborate with our partners to create more of these opportunities, ultimately helping our athletes in reaching new heights of success.”

FIS Teams from around US and Canada travelled to Banff for some training on the icy surface prior to the March GMC FIS Cup Race Series March 2-5 hosted by Banff Alpine Racers.  Although challenging, every athlete made positive changes to their skiing that will benefit them in the future.  Athletes had a new appreciation for tuned skis, maintaining edge pressure and a deep line.

Mother nature finally delivered some well needed snow, as always on a race weekend!  Endless efforts by the volunteers, athletes’ and coaches to slip, move/re-set b-net, and evening cat rides to clear off new snow on the watered track.  Temperatures dropped and snow tapered off to allow races to go ahead.  4 days of racing, Slalom followed by GS - BAR E-team dominated with Jesse Kertesz-Knight with 4 wins over the weekend, Jake Kertesz-Knight three 2nd places and 4th, Kendra Giesbrecht top spot in both GS, and a 2nd in Slalom, Kyle McGown 9th, 6th in Slalom, 5th and 9th in GS.  BAR athletes Kiersten Wilde podium for U19 (three 6th place overall), Katrina Van Soest with two 2nd in GS, and Carmen Hannema with top ten in Slalom.

Norquay continues to support ski racing more that you know!  Runs named after legends of the sport, just to name a few - Giver Grandi - Thomas Grandi, Crazy Canuck - Ken Read, Rob Bosinger (Rob’s Run). Friday night Beer League racing a great example of Norquay’s love for racing, open to anyone game to compete against Norquay’s General Manager Andre Quenneville.  Norquay also the home of Canada’s longest running ski race, Bruno Engler - entering its 56th Annual Event! 

This season Banff Alpine Racers/Bow Valley Quikies (BAR/BVQ) will host 7 races including 2 FIS races, U14 and U16 Westerns alongside Lake Louise.  Last month BVQ hosted 180 athletes for Annual U12 Caribou Cup, each athlete completing at least 10 runs over the weekend, Sunday the fan favourite Team Relay Event on Sundance.  Coming up over 250 athletes will attend the BVQ Invitational with traditional and multi event races. Finishing the season off strong Rob Bosinger Memorial Weekend Head to Head racing - Bozo Cup open to skiers 17 and older, with categories for PRO, Amateur and Masters, followed by Kinder Cup for U14 and U16 athletes, where Rob Bosinger Scholarships are awarded to 2 deserving U16 athletes. 

So far it has been a great season of ski racing that is quickly coming to an end, we can’t wait to see what 2024/2025 brings for ski racing in Alberta.

Jesse Kertesz-Knight - Photo Mark Dzikowski

BAR Executive Director and U16 Coach Cody Schweiger

Erik Read - Photo John Evely

Kendra Giesbrecht - Photo Mark Dzokowski 

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