Star hosts Westerns

The Silver Star Mountain Resort and the Vernon Ski Club are hosting the 2011 Kal Tire K1 Western Championships this weekend.

Vernon’s Langdon Kersey prepares for a set of gates in a boys slalom event at Apex Mountain Resort.

Vernon’s Langdon Kersey prepares for a set of gates in a boys slalom event at Apex Mountain Resort.

The Silver Star Mountain Resort and the Vernon Ski Club are hosting the 2011 Kal Tire K1 Western Championships this weekend.

The fastest 11- and 12-year-old ski racers in Western Canada will begin competition today. A total of 170 athletes from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan will be competing in three events; Giant Slalom today, Slalom on Saturday and Kombi on Sunday.

“The Giant Slalom event will be held on Milky Way which can be seen from the Comet Express and Summit Chair lifts, making it easy watch this amazing competition,” said Vernon club program director John Armstrong.

“The terrain on Milky Way will challenge the competitors with rollers, steep pitches and high speeds. The Slalom event will be held on Big Dipper that incorporates rapid and fast turns that showcases the technical abilities of the competitors.”

Armstrong said the Kombi course combines both Giant Slalom and Slalom elements, but for the first time in Western Canada, skier cross features are added to the challenge. There are a variety of rollers, banked turns and jumps built into the course.

“Our Kombi course will set the standard for this event in Canada,” said Armstrong. “Numerous days have gone into planning and building this course, and we are charged up to put this event on.”

Spectators will be able to watch competitors take the speed jump above the finish line at the Main Street crossing at Big Dipper. All events are timed from start to finish determining the winners.

Several Vernon Ski Club athletes will compete in the event. The top tier qualifiers are Amelia Smart who is the Okanagan overall leader, Ravi Vliet, who is the Slalom leader, and Cinderella story Katie MacGillivray will compete even with a broken thumb in a cast.