The need for speed once again fueled the hearts of ski racers far and wide as they attempted to capture the coveted Schuss Boomer Cup this past weekend on Hudson Bay Mountain.
Celebrating the 28th running of the high speed event, the Schuss Boomer is one of the oldest recreational ski races in the province, second only second to Vernon.
With 21 teams competing and more than 60 racers on the mountain, numbers are up from last year. Not surprising, considering it was one of the clearest and sunniest race days in recent Schuss Boomer history.
“It’s a very rare sunny Schuss Boomer, but we deserved it and it made for a fun race,” said Heidi Westfall.
Classic rivalries continued to fuel the fight for the crown of fastest racer on the mountain. Known speed demons like Scott Marko, Cormac Hikisch, Eric Person and Jim Hinchliffe pulled out all the stops for a drink from the cup and of course bragging rights.
“Downhills are about skill they’re also about weight and the length of your skis and everybody has very particular skis to particular temperatures,” Westfall explained.
“So if the race was held at 6 p.m. somebody different would totally win. “Everybody knows who skis on what.”
In the end it was Person and Claire Challen taking the cake, with times of 1:21.95 and 1:24.52, respectively.
However, speaking volumes to the depth of skill on the slopes Saturday morning, Person and Hinchliffe matched each other in speed at 114 kilometres-per-hour.
Both were crowned as the fastest men on the mountain.
Ripping in at 106 km/h, Challen easily became the fastest woman on the hill, a crown she’s worn many times before.
Rounding out the victors circle were The Has-Beens, Erin Havard, Norma Stokes and Challen, who guessed the closest to their combined timed runs.
‘Good Time’ clocked in at second followed by the Wise Owls in third.
With 28 years now in the books Westfall is adamant about seeing the next 28 be as successful, especially with the milestone, 30th anniversary just around the corner.
The proceeds from the race go to support the Nancy Green race team which had 75 athletes participating this year, another sign that ski racing in Smithers will continue to develop some of the fastest skiers on the slopes anywhere the desire for speed still lives.