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The trick is the turns for most of these teens
2020-02-12

Results are nice, but it was the process, the on-going effort to perfect the alpine ski technique on a course that is not particularly forgiving, that truly drives the devoted athletes of the Adanac Ski Club.

Taking part in the Technica Cup Races last month in Sudbury, the local contingent were joined by young skiers representing Searchmont, Elliot Lake, Mattawa, North Bay and Timmins, one and all focused on those small details that translate to key seconds off the clock, as they weave their way through the gates of the Adanac ski hill.

"I was happy with my races today," suggested 14 year old Clara Dissanayake, a grade 10 student at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School. "I'm trying to grip my edges in the ice more. When the snow gets pushed away, it's really easy to just slip out sometimes."

"I need to always stay forward, because if you get thrown back, you're a lot more likely to crash," she added.

And while Dissanayake first took to the slopes at Mont Ste Marie, located about an hour across the Quebec border from Ottawa, and home to a part-time residence of her grand-parents, she fully understands that the local hill she first descended at the age of seven offers a particular value for those who train with the Adanac Ski Club.

"I think skiing Adanac is actually really good for some people, because every turn you make is so important, because it's such a short race," she said. "It's really good to help improve the technical part of your skiing, instead of just speed."

Similarly, while Gabey Laurin enjoyed a general awareness of the technical requirements of alpine skiing from time spent on the local hill, as well as family excursions to Boyne, Mont Ste Anne and Vermont, in her youth, the move to ski racing was predicated on a hope to fine-tune her technique, even further.

"It was about being able to get on your edge, to go faster and make better turns," said the fellow 14 year-old clubmate. "Getting on your edge is kind of tipping your skies over, and it just kind of grabs the snow. And we wanted to ski safer, by learning to control your speed."

A grade nine student at Lo-Ellen, Laurin then translates this new-found knowledge, working on the elements that are specific to the race environment. "I've been working on getting earlier and turning before the gate, rather than getting really late on and not having good turns," she said.

"If you do it right, your turn is basically done before you get to the gate. The biggest transition is learning to go from just skiing, to getting the line right and having your turns really good."

"Today, my turns were not as good as they could have been, but I was happy with how smooth it was, and how I placed, too."

Part of the advancement, overall, with the club this season comes from the addition of head coach Jeremy Ramshaw, the newcomer to Adanac having already made in-roads with experienced members of his team.

"He's really good," beamed 15 year old Matt Bamberger, who finished second only to Jackson Moore-McLeod (Searchmont) on the Saturday run, with Adanac teammate Connor Woods squeezing between the two in the U16 grouping on Sunday.

"He's better at explaining, helping you understand what you need to do, and why it's important to do that," added the grade 10 student at Confederation Secondary. "I have trouble keeping my upper body and my lower body separated - and no one had ever told me that before."

Now before you start thinking that this is anatomically impossible, Bamberger will explain. "When you are going down the course, you want your upper body to stay within the corridor of the gates, and your feet kind of just dangle under you and turn," he said.

"Your upper body should stay still, and your feet should do all the work."

Following are top three results, for the Adanac skiers, from both the Technica Cup races, as well as the Home Hardware Classic in Mattawa later in the month:

Technica Cup - Sudbury
U12B - Bradley Laurin - 1st / 1st
U12B - Tomas Corsi - 2nd / 2nd
U12B - Gordon Farrell - 3rd
U12B - Benjamin Hardwick - 3rd
U12G - Ella St Onge Winckel - 2nd
U12G - Ava Woods - 2nd
U14B - Paolo Grossi - 1st / 1st
U14B - Jonah Gibson 3rd
U14G - Sophie Huneault - 3rd
U16B - Matt Bamberger - 2nd / 3rd
U16B - Connor Woods - 3rd / 2nd
U16G - Clara Dissanayake - 1st / 3rd
U16G - Pascale Green - 2nd
U16G - Gabey Laurin - 2nd
U16G - Julia Prosperi - 3rd

Home Hardware Classic - Mattawa
U12B - Ben Hardwick - 2nd / 2nd
U12B - Gordon Farrell - 3rd
U14G - Sophie Huneault - 3rd
U14B - Paolo Grossi - 1st / 2nd
U14B - Jonah Gibson - 3rd
U16G - Sydney Coe - 2nd / 2nd
U16G - Clara Dissanayake - 3rd
U16B - Matt Bamberger - 1st / 3rd
U16B - Connor Woods - 3rd / 2nd

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