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Wild Rumpus Sports

Sovereign Lake Spring Fling: May 15 to 18


The Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre as seen on April 26, 2015: sunshine at last, with more snow clouds approaching in the distance. (Photo: Gerry Furseth)

The Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre as seen on April 26: sunshine at last, with more snow clouds approaching in the distance. (Photo: Gerry Furseth)

The Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre in the southern interior of British Columbia is changing it up for 2015, with significant changes to the traditional May snow camp week.

New for this year’s Spring Fling Ski Weekend from May 15-18 is a ‘casual’ sprint race, similar to the Canmore’s Frozen Thunder sprint last year where everyone gets three heats.

Also new is the requirement that skiers register by May 10 at Zone4.  If the weather or an insufficient number of registrations forces the club to cancel, fees will automatically be refunded.

FasterSkier went to inspect the trail conditions on April 25.  The skiing was great in fresh falling snow during the morning, but accumulating snow made for a more challenging afternoon.  It was a hard wax day for classic, but at the warmer end of the wax box.

If you are feeling the urge to get some snow time to kick off the new training year in style, there are two options for visitors.

Elevation Camp

Train high and sleep high by staying at Silver Star resort.  The advantages are more elevation (the accommodations, like the ski trails, are just above 1600 metres), convenient access to the National Altitude Training Centre (weight room, climbing wall, movie theatre), and a ten-minute drive to skiing.  It is also the cheapest time of year to stay at the resort, as there is too much snow for the mountain bikers and not enough snow for ski in/ski out.

High/Low Camp

Sleep low and train both high and low by staying in the town of Vernon, 1,250m (4,100 ft) and 25 minutes drive below the ski area.  The advantages are easy beach access for swimming (because no one works on their tan anymore, right?) and lots of mountain biking and road biking options.  The big elevation difference delivers spring conditions on the mountain and summer in the valley bottom.

— Gerry Furseth

Canadian Nationals: Somppi, Browne Take 50/30 k Titles

  Saturday marked the final day of racing at the 2015 Canadian Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay, Ontario. With temperatures dropping into the minus teens, under blue skies and strong winds, local favorite Michael Somppi of the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) and Canadian National Development Team, originally from Lappe Nordic, racked up his third gold medal in the men’s 50-kilometer freestyle mass start. Somppi beat veteran and 2014 champion Ivan Babikov of the Canadian World Cup Team by 28.2 seconds in 2:05:18.8. Kevin Sandau (AWCA/NST-Dev.) came in third (+47.2). “I felt great skiing today,” Somppi wrote in an email. “It was a hard race but I was surprised I was able to win without going to my absolute limit. It was just an amazing feeling coming into the finish with the home crowd cheering me on. Maybe that’s what helped me feel so good today and really, this whole week.” By the 20 k mark, the peloton narrowed down to a small…

Canadian Nationals in Thunder Bay: Day 2-4 Recap (Updated)

  (Note: This post has been updated to include comments from Michael Somppi.) On Sunday, the second day of racing at 2015 Canadian Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay, Ontario, local favorite Michael Somppi of the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) and Canadian National Development Team, originally from Lappe Nordic, racked up his second-straight gold in the men’s 10-kilometer freestyle interval start on his home trails. He beat his Lappe Nordic team-sprint teammate Andy Shields by 34.3 seconds to do so with a winning time of 23:09.4. “The 10km skate was my best performance of the year,” Somppi wrote in an email. “I wanted the win and I started the race like it was a sprint qualifier. The conditions were fast and I did my best to keep my speed high on the faster sections of the course.” While Shields, of NDC Thunder Bay, posted the fifth-ranked time at 5 k,…

Lappe Nordic, RMR Claim Team Sprint Titles at Canadian Nationals

The Lappe Nordic team of Andy Shields and Michael Somppi won the team sprint at the 2015 Canadian Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The pair won Saturday’s race with a time of 14:04.59. They were followed by the Foothills Nordic team of Jess Cockney and Kevin Sandau, who trailed by 2.53 seconds. In third were Colin Abbott and Knute Johnsgaard of Whitehorse. They crossed the line 5.85 seconds behind the winning time. “Somppi and I had a really good day,” Shields wrote in an email. “Our strategy was to have me push hard on the second and third legs to get a comfortable gap so Somppi could cruise into the finish … It’s absolutely thrilling to win for the home crowd here in Thunder Bay. A great start to the competitions for the fans. I’m glad my form came together for today’s race and it should bode well for…

Canada Winter Games: Relay Golds for Ontario and Quebec

Ontario was victorious in Saturday’s men 4 x 5-kilometer relay while Quebec earned gold on the women’s side on the fourth-and-final day of cross-country skiing at the Canada Winter Games in Prince George, British Columbia. At the Otway Nordic Centre, Benjamin Wilkinson-Zan, Scott Hill, Jack Carlyle, and Evan Palmer-Charrette put together a winning time of 48:14.9 for Ontario, ahead of the men in blue representing Quebec (Dominique Moncion-Groulx, Julien Lamoureux, Philippe Boucher, and Raphaël Couturier), which placed second (+43.4). British Columbia’s Julien Locke, Colin Ferrie, David Palmer, and Geoffrey Richards took third (+1:35.1). In the women’s 4 x 3.75 k relay, Katherine Stewart-Jones, Andrée-Anne Théberge, Anne-Marie Comeau, and Marie Corriveau notched a win for Quebec in 41:25.4. They edged British Columbia’s silver medalists Katie Weaver, Molly Miller, Hannah Mehain, and Eliza-Jane Kitchen by 32.6 seconds, and the Yukon team (Kendra Murray, Hannah Deuling, Natalie Hynes, and Annah Hanthorn) finished 44.2 seconds behind the winners in third. Relay results: Men’s 4 x 5 k / Women’s 4 x 3.75 k  — François Léger Dionne

Canada Winter Games: Two Gold and a Silver for Quebec in Skate Mass Start

Raphaël Couturier, of St-Jean-Chrysostome, Quebec, and Anne-Marie Comeau, of Abitibi, Quebec, notched victories in Thursday’s men’s and women’s 15- and 10-kilometer freestyle mass starts, respectively, on the third day of cross-country skiing at the Canada Winter Games in Prince George, British Columbia. At the Otway Nordic Centre, Couturier crossed the finish line in 35:13.6, with a 7.7 seconds lead over Evan Palmer-Charrette, of  Thunder Bay, Ontario, in second, and David Palmer, of Rossland, B.C., in third (+ 12.2). This was Couturier’s second medal after a bronze in Monday’s 10 k classic interval start. On the women’s side, Comeau stopped the clock at 26:36.1, collecting her first medal at these Games. After losing Monday’s 7.5 k classic interval start by less than a second, Katherine Stewart-Jones, of Chelsea, Quebec, edged Maya MacIsaac-Jones, of Athabasca, Alberta, by one tenth of a second, for second place (+21.2). Stewart-Jones collected her third silver medal at these Games. Annah Hanthorn,…

Canada Winter Games: Ferrie, Jackson Win Classic Sprints

Colin Ferrie, of Kimberley, British Columbia, and Jenn Jackson, of Mihurst, Ontario, both came out on top in Tuesday’s classic sprints, on the second day of cross-country skiing at the Canada Winter Games in Prince George, British Columbia. At the Otway Nordic Centre, Ferrie took the gold on the 1.5-kilometer course in 3:29.57, edging Scott Hill, of Toronto, Ontario, in second (+0.13) and Simon Lapointe, of Gatineau, Quebec in third (+0.76). With her winning time of 3:50.97, Jackson, also the fastest in qualification, topped Katherine Stewart-Jones, of Chelsea, Quebec, by 1.90 second, and Marie Corriveau, of Quebec, Quebec, in third (+2.66), in the women’s 1.4 k classic sprint. Results: Men’s 1.5 k sprint | Women’s 1.4 k sprint — François Léger Dionne

Canada Winter Games: Day 4 Biathlon & Day 1 Cross-Country Recaps

On Friday, Feb. 20, the biathlon races at Canada Winter Games in Prince George, British Columbia, ended with the traditional relays at the Otway Nordic Centre. On in men’s 3 x 7.5-kilometer relay, the province of Quebec took gold, ahead of Alberta and Ontario. Félix Bérubé-Larochelle, of Lac-Mégantic, Zachari Bolduc, of Laval, and Teo Sanchez, of Wakefield, combined for the win in 1:04:25. Fifty-five seconds behind were Alberta skiers Jakob Chambers, Adam Runnalls and Ben Churchill, of Calgary. Ontario’s third-place finishers Jason Richard Lawton, of Orleans, Toby Quinn, of Thunder Bay, and Alexandre Dupuis, of Ottawa, finished 2:07 back from the winners. In the women’s 3 x 6 k relay, British Columbia was victorious over Quebec and Alberta. Tekarra Elissa Banser, of West Kelowna, Claire Agnes Lapointe, of Pince George, and Emily Maria Dickson, of Burns Lake, triumphed on home soil with a time of 1:00:06. Quebec’s Charlotte Hamel, of Sherbrooke, and sisters Sarah Poisson-Grégoire and…

Day 2-3 Biathlon Recaps from Canada Winter Games (with Photo Gallery)

Matthew Hudec, of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, and Leilani Tam Von Burg, of Ottawa, Ontario, notched victories on Tuesday in the men’s and women’s 10- and 7.5-kilometer biathlon sprints, respectively, on the second day of biathlon at the Canada Winter Games  in Prince George, British Columbia. For Tam Von Burg, it was her second win in as many races so far at the 2015 Games. The next day, Alexandre Dupuis, of Ottawa, and Emily Maria Dickson, of Burns Lake, B.C., started second and rose to first in the men’s 12.5 k and women’s 10 k pursuits. At the Otway Nordic Centre on Tuesday, Hudec topped Dupuis by 24.5 seconds and Jules Bernotte, of Sherbrook, Quebec, in third (+34.8) for the men’s sprint win in 26:18.8. The next day, Dupuis won the men’s pursuit by 18.9 seconds over Hudec in 35:45.4. Just 0.9 seconds back from Hudec, Teo Sanchez, of Wakefield, Quebec, placed third. Tam Von Burg collected a 55-second victory…

Sandau, Nishikawa Top Both Distance Races at Eastern Canadian Champs (with Photos) 

Note: This recap has been updated to include the correct time back and note Jenn Jackson’s crash in the women’s A-final. Kevin Sandau and Emily Nishikawa racked up two more wins apiece this season at the NorAm Eastern Canadian Championships this past weekend in Gatineau, Quebec. Sandau and Nishikawa, both Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) and Canadian National Development Team (NST-Dev.) skiers, swept the men’s and women’s distance races, respectively, on Saturday and Sunday at Nakkertok Nordic. On Friday, Jan. 30, Michael Somppi (AWCA/NST-Dev.) won the men’s 1.5-kilometer freestyle sprint and Heidi Widmer (AWCA/NST-Dev.) topped the women’s 1.4 k sprint in soft, deep snow after about 10 centimeters (4 inches) fell the night before. Somppi went on to place second in Saturday’s 15 k freestyle and third in the 10 k classic mass start. He qualified for the sprint in sixth, 2.59 seconds behind the top men’s qualifier Sébastien Boehmler-Dandurand of the Pierre-Harvey…