The Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club hosted the 30th annual Schuss Boomer downhill race over the weekend.
“It went really well,” organizer Heidi Westfall said. “Everyone had successful races, we had a great auction and we had lots of participants. Everyone had a fantastic time.”
Thirty-one teams totalling just under 100 skiers and snowboarders took to the Twinkle Toes run at the top of the Skyline chairlift in an attempt to win a myriad of prizes.
As always, the majority of riders dressed in costume and placed the emphasis on fun over competition, though there were a few out to settle some old scores.
“There are a lot of long time rivalries,” Westfall said.
“Most of us have been skiing against each other for the better part of 25 years. There are lots of friendly family rivalries. It shows that this is a sport that you can do for your entire life.”
But the majority were there for the camaraderie and the fun.
“I’m here to enjoy myself,” Schuss Boomer veteran Debi Smith said, of the Powder Dyers. “This year everyone has gone to town with their costumes, there’s been a lot of effort put in.”
The big prize was awarded to the team that, after their first run, guessed the closest total time on their second run. The ZZ Boomers won the competition and six Central Mountain Air tickets, with a guess that was just .20 seconds off their total time.
The Schuss Boomer Dream Team took home first place in the fastest team event, while Claire Challen finished as the fastest women’s skier and Phillipe Bernier was the fastest male skier.
Elise Dube, David Anthony and Brady Stokes had the fastest snowboard times.
After each team finished their second run, the teams retreated to the lodge for dinner, drinks and prizes.
Westfall, who has been organizing the event for years, was thankful for the support she received putting the event together.
“As usual, the town of Smithers turned out to support the race. It’s a great testament to the ski club, the ski community and the community at large. We had great volunteers and the race course was packed. It helps our club gain exposure and it’s an event that no other club in B.C. or Canada can boast.”
There was also a silent and live auction after the completion of the race.
Top prizes included a day of heli-sking, donated by Last Frontier and a day of cat-skiing donated by BV Electric and Skeena Cat-sking.
The club estimates that they’ve raised between $9,000 to 10,000 that will go directly to the club, though no official total has been tabulated.
Fun race (closest guessed time)
1) ZZ Boomers (Norma Stokes, Dick Eastmure, George Stokes): .20 seconds 2) Wildu (Tyler Wilson, Andre Dube, Elise Dube): .23 seconds 3) We Go This! (Patrick Dunbar, Trent Schibili, Jeff Hume): .38 4) Queen of the Mountain (Jayson Chaplin, Greg Graham, Ryan Holmes): .66 5) Team Fan-Tucking-Fast-ic (Jeremy Roscoe, Erin Hall, Larua Bakermans: .81
Team race times:
1) Schuss Boomer Dream Team 2) The Meat 3) Blown to Smithereens
Individual best times (all age groups)
Need for speed (women’s):
1) Claire Challen: 130.93, 2) Erin Holtzman: 1:33.45, 3) Heidi Westfall: 1:37.9, 4) Chantel Wickson: 1:39.57, 5) Janet Wilson: 1:54.25
Need for speed (men’s): 1) Philippe Bernier: 1:26.42, 2) Gary Huxtable: 126.5, 3) Jeff Hume: 1:27.14, 4) Cormac Hikisch: 1:28.21, 5) Peter Krause: 1:30.01
1) Kalum Huxtable: 1:37.98, 2) Liam Buchanan: 1:44.8, 3) Liam Huxtable: 1:47.82
1) Andres Person: 1.30.69
1) Chantel Wickson: 1:39.57, 2) Kallien Smale: 1:59.9, 3) Clara Marko: 2:42.47.