Whistler Cup opens the doors with super G's
Australian Oliver Thompson dampened Canadian festivities as the 20th Annual Whistler Cup opened with a couple of K2 super G's and K1 slalom/giant slalom combinations Friday (April 6). Canadians did collected positions two through four behind K2 SG winner Thompson, highlighting the day for the local fans.
In women's super G the win went to Switzerland's Lorena Kaeslin with Leichtenstein's Jessica Hilzinger in second and Guro Hvammen of Norway third. Canada's top placing was Stephanie Currie, in fifth.
The K1 men's combined was won by local skier Finn Iles, ahead of Japanese skier Hayata Wakatsuki. Kuba Sudonericky, of Canada's Devil's Glen Country Club program got third.
The K1 women's combined was won at Asami Katagiri of Japan with Carlotta Saracco of Italy second and Chelsea Kumono, also of Japan, in third.
The K2 Men's SG was a highlight with Vancouver's Cameron Alexander in second and James Crawford, of Toronto but skiing out of Whistler, in third.
“I'm stoked,” said the Australian winner, Thompson. “My run was pretty good. It was a bit nasty, but it was quick. ... No regrets, go hard or go home.”
Alexander said he was “extremely happy,” with his placing. “It was pretty sketchy in some parts. On the first jump I landed on the flats, got a bit too much air on that, but otherwise I felt really good the rest of the way down.”
Crawford said he had battled nerves and, “...made some mistakes that I could easily not have made.”
Currie said in her race starting in bib 24 made any serious challenge “really rough. The level of competition is really high. You have the best youth skiers from multiple countries, so obviously they're going to bring it to all the races. You just have to have confidence in yourself and go for it.”
Kaeslin said it was “super perfect” to be one of the top 14 year old skiers in the world while Hilzinger seemed a bit disappointed. “I could,” she said, “have skied a little bit faster.”
Tina Maze, a past winner at the Whistler Cup, gave the opening address to the young athletes. The U.S. did not send a team.
Photo of Cameron Alexander via Alpine Canada