A change in sponsorship did little to quash the excitement for nine young snowboarders at the start of a race series on Sunday.
Nine boarders came out to race in the Canada Snowboard Riders Program, formally RBC Riders, at Mount Sima.
“The under-15s were all new, which was fun,” said race organizer David Pharand. “This is the next slew of youth who are going to be involved in the next couple of years.
“We’re proud of all of them. If you look at the times, they were all so closely matched.”
Sunday’s opening race was a banked slalom event in Sima’s halfpipe. Each racer completed three runs with the fastest going towards the final placing.
Winners on the day include Haylie Grant for females, Asher Brault for under-15 boys and Nick MacDougall for open male.
Snowboard Yukon plans to hold two more CS Riders races at Sima this season on Jan. 27 and Feb. 10 (weather permitting).
CS Riders events are also planned for Watson Lake and Dawson City this season. Dates for those two races have not been finalized.
“I’ve gone to Watson the last two years. The same idea: banked slalom,” said Pharand. “Dawson is a new one to our bill.”
The Riders program is part of Canada Snowboard’s long-term athlete development initiative and is offered by “snow schools” across Canada.
Pharand was a first-hand witness to how motivated some of the racers were to get better.
“That little Bill kid (Bill Newkirk) kept walking up the pipe - he said he was motivated to hike up the pipe because he wanted to be stronger than his brother,” said Pharand. “He said he was going to be faster than a bear. It was awesome.”
1st Haylie Grant - 29.47 seconds
2nd Reanna Newsome - 31.20
1st Asher Brault - 27.60
2nd Bill Newkirk - 29.91
3rd Ethan Davy - 29.99
4th Saul Gale - 31.71
1st Nick MacDougall - 25.87
2nd Ryan Carveth - 29.87
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