Snowboarders brave the cold at RBC Riders Race

Falling temperatures sapped participation at the RBC Riders Race at Mount Sima on Sunday. A few boarders took their practice runs, but disappeared before the start of the race as the chilly winds on the mountain cut through

Falling temperatures sapped participation at the RBC Riders Race at Mount Sima on Sunday.

A few boarders took their practice runs, but disappeared before the start of the race as the chilly winds on the mountain cut through to the bone.

In the end, five started the race.

“It was pretty fast, rough and cold,” said Tim Schirmer, 10, the fastest boarder on the hill Sunday. “There was a lot of powder spilling in your face.”

Not only did Schirmer take home the fastest time, he was the youngest to compete, all alone in the 10-and-under division.

“I’ve been snowboarding for almost nine years,” said the 10 year old. “I stood on a snowboard when I was two years old.”

The event was a point of pride for Snowboard Yukon, being the first coed competition of the year. In a division all by herself, Talia Woodland, 13, competed in her first snowboarding competition, producing a best time less than two seconds behind open boys third-place finisher, Sam Schirmer.

“(I was) kind of sad because there were no other girls,” said Woodland. “You’d think more people would come out, but it’s like, ‘Good job guys.’”

The RBC Riders Race is a national program. The intention is to draw people to the sport by emphasizing fun and the fundamental skills.

“The course is based on a snowboardercross or boardercross course,” said Mary Binsted, head coach with Snowboard Yukon. “There are gates that you go around and bank turns – we had a roller, we had a jump. So riders are working on both their jumps and their speed – all aspects of snowboarding.”

“I’m not used to turning in a half-pipe,” said Woodland. “I can go fast when people don’t have to tell me when to turn.”

Alidas Jamnichy won the open boys division, followed by Nick MacDougall.

“I think it was a great success,” said Binsted. “Everybody in the program was 13 or under, so that speaks to the future of snowboarding in the Yukon.

“Next year we hope to run this sort of program every weekend but in a coaching format. It’ll be like a team they can join and ride every weekend with a coach.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com