A week after a local snowboardcross racer won gold at the Canada Winter Games in Halifax, the exciting event takes centre stage at Red Mountain this weekend.
The B.C. Provincial Series snowboardcross competition makes its second of three stops this season featuring some of the top young riders in the province.
Snowboardcross features racers put through qualifying times on a windy, bumpy course, which determines the racers for the heat races. Heat races feature four racers competing with the top two advancing until a winner is crowned.
The action is fast and contact sometimes unavoidable.
But not only will local fans have an up-close lock at the exciting event, they’ll also watch two of the top young riders racing on their home hill.
Warfield’s Tommy Pitman, who won gold at the Canada Winter Games, and brother Mitch are members of the B.C. team.
Both competed at the 2010 World Junior Championships in New Zealand last August.
While Tommy was preparing for the Canada Winter Games, Mitch placed second in two provincial series races at Big White on Feb. 12 and 13. The brothers compete in the FIS (Federation Internationalle de Ski) category for the elite racers 15-years-old and over.
The other category is Open, which features a variety of age groups.
While the Pitman brothers will compete in the top category, the Red Mountain Academy’s snowboardcross contingent will also take part.
“We’ll have six or seven racers competing,” said head coach Connor Martin.
Three racers – Shawn Georgison, Tra Schalm and Myles Portolosezky – will compete in the FIS category while Davis Thompson, Liam Lafrance, Scott Griffeon and Isaac Ward will race in the U-14 class.
Sabrina Gauthier will race in the women’s FIS event.
This is the third season for snowboardcross at the academy, said Martin. However, he added the club hasn’t had a chance to test out the Red course.
“It would be really nice to have the track open earlier in the season for a little home hill advantage.”
The races will feature some of the legacy equipment the resort received from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
“The Olympic start gate is here,” said Martin, adding some of the course’s shaping tools came from the Olympic venue.
“The start gate is really nice compared to the one we had.”
After this weekend, the series returns to Big White for the provincial championships.