Wes Robinson-Shaw at the races

wes at whistler

During Spring Break, Wes Robinson-Shaw attended the National Cross-Country Ski Championships in Whistler BC. This event was from March 20th to 27th, 2022. Wes is one of the Fernie Nordic Racers team and he participated in five races and had three training days. Some of the best athletes in North America were there. The Canadian Olympic team was there, as well as a bunch of the American Olympic team. John Shaw said: ‘’Super high caliber racing on some pretty amazing trails.’’ These trails were designed for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Most of the races were on these trails.

On Sunday March 20th, Wes had a 10 km interval start skate race. He is only 16 years old and usually in the U18 category. The U18s the U20s raced together so there were probably about 320 people on the course, and he had to do two laps of a 5 km course, “It was very crowded, there was lots of passing and the conditions were pretty good.” said John Shaw.

On Monday March 21st, he had a 10 km interval start classic race on the same course, with the U20s and it was very crowded as well. The first 8.5 km went well, but the course was very slushy with very difficult skiing conditions. On the last 1.5 km, someone stepped on his pole, and Wes crashed and broke his pole. He still finished well.

Tuesday March 22nd and Wednesday March 23rd were training days, Wes trained easily for his sprint race the next day.

On Thursday March 24th, it was a classic sprint of 1 km, it was a big climb and a big descent, it was a sunny day therefore the conditions were firm and fast. Wes also had team skate sprints on Thursday. He was the only athlete from Fernie so he couldn’t do the sprints, but he was allowed to participate in the qualifier and get CPL (Canada Points List) points. He came about middle of the pack for his age group. After that Wes and John watched the elite men and women do the sprint race, which was super fun to watch, said John Shaw.

On Saturday March 26th, it was another training day.

On the last day, Sunday March 27th, Wes had a 15km mass start skate race. John Shaw said: ‘’It was the hardest conditions I have seen for racing; it was pouring rain and the slush was boot deep.’’ Wes raced in the afternoon, the course had been skied hundreds and hundreds of times as the other categories had to do four laps of the course, therefore the course was destroyed, which made this race very challenging. Wes said that it was the hardest ski race he’s ever done.

In conclusion, Wes and coach John lived an amazing experience. They said that they learned tons from the event, for waxing and for racing experience. Coach John said that he was excited for the next National Championships in BC, where he can bring more older athletes from the team. It was a great learning experience and Wes did great at all his races.

Article by Louison Dubief and Aurélie Smithson

Fernie Racers at the last Kootenay Cup race

kootenay cup nelson

A few photos from the race event in Nelson on February 5 & 6. The Fernie Nordic Racers and several parents joined the fun and earned more points toward the 2022 Teck Kootenay Cup. This was the last event of the season in this series.

Several Fernie racers ended with podium finishes and all had a good time. Well done!

The result of the races in Nelson are on the website of the Nelson Ski Club. The Fernie Nordic Racers finished in 4th place out of eight clubs in the Teck Kootenay Cup series – see the rankings at CrosscountryBC.

Fernie Racers compete in Kimberley

Fernie Racers compete in Kimberley

The Fernie Nordic Racers had a great weekend at the Kootenay Championships Tier 2 race in Kimberley competing against the best skiers in the Kootenays and southern Alberta.  Great efforts were put in by numerous Fernie racers with several making the podium for their age group.

Podium finishers

  • Isla Sauve – 2012 girls – 2nd skate,  3rd classic
  • Graham Etue – 2010 boys – 3rd skate, 
  • Ella Fuller – 2009 girls – 1st skate, 2nd classic
  • Noah Glickman – 2009 boys – 3rd skate, 3rd classic
  • Louison Dubief – 2006 girls – 2nd skate, 2nd classic
  • Aurélie Smithson – 2007 girls – 3rd  skate, 3rd classic
  • Wes Robinson-Shaw – 2005 boys – 2nd skate, 1st classic

The team will be taking part in a training camp here in Fernie this weekend January 29-30 with National team technician and Cross Country BC coach Graham Maclean, then off to Nelson February 5th and 6th for Kootenay cup # 6 and 7.

submitted by coach Johnny

Louison Dubief
Louison Dubief at the Kootenay Cup race in Kimberley BC

Read the Free Press article about these races HERE.

The full results are displayed at the Zone4 website.

The Fernie Racers in action

racers in Canmore

The races of the season started in December 2021, for the first time since COVID-19 began. There are still COVID-19 protocols to make sure everyone stays safe while racing. The Fernie Nordic Racers participate mostly in the Teck Kootenay Cup races and in some bigger races. Race weekends are really fun, and it’s very good practice. Races are competitive but friendly and enjoyable.

Kootenay Cups are happening in Rossland and Golden (in December 2021), Kimberley (in January), and Nelson (in February). We had a bigger race in Canmore for the Alberta Cups 3 and 4, and some athletes will also participate in the BC Cups/Championships and Track Attack Championships.

Race weekends usually start on Fridays with a training day and the races are on Saturdays and Sundays. Races are either with an interval start (one by one every 15 or 30 seconds) or mass start (everyone at the same time). For athletes, coaches or parents who want to do it, we have a warm-up routine before the start of the race and then a cool down after the race. There are also amazing volunteers to help organize the race and to help competitors at the end of their races by giving them drinks.

Cross country skiing is a sport for everyone. All ages and abilities can participate. On our team, we have athletes from U10 to U18. Coaches and parents race in the Masters category. Adults can race in the Masters category and win points for the team! Each race completed brings two points for the team. Racing is fun and you can even win chocolate medals! We encourage everybody to participate to these events, it is competitive only if you want it to be competitive, other than that it is only for fun! Races can make you feel nervous and excited, but it is always a very fun experience, and it feels satisfying to finish a race even if it took a lot of effort! We would be very happy if you joined us to race!

Article by Louison Dubief and Aurélie Smithson

Our Team of Racers in Canmore

We had a great weekend of racing at the Olympic, World Juniors, U23 Trials and AB Cup in Canmore, racing with some of the best XC skiers in the country.  All of the Fernie Nordic Racer athletes that attended finished in the top 10 in their age group for both skate and classic.

Ella Fuller – 2009 girls – 5th classic, 2nd skate
Noah Glickman – 2009 Boys -1st classic, 1st skate
Louison Dubief – 2006 Girls -9th classic, 9th skate
Wes Robinson-Shaw – 2005 boys – 4th classic, 5th skate
Cameron Etue qualified for the BC winter games

Great results!

All results for the January 8-9 weekend are at Zone4.ca

submitted by coach John Shaw

Photo Albums

Photo Albums
2021-10-16 Work Party at the Nordic Centre
2021-10 The Mellow Mountain Rangers do it again!
2021 A Few Winter Highlights
2020-10-08 Firewood Splitting Work Party in COVID Time
2020-03-15 3rd Annual Fernie Flying Viking Challenge
2020-02-22 8th Annual Community Fun Races

All about our last Annual General Meeting

agm 2021

Over forty people came out in the sunshine for the Fernie Nordic Society Annual General Meeting on Sunday July 25th at 4 pm. It was a pleasure to be able to meet face to face once again after a year or more of meetings “by zoom”. Many thanks to all who attended. The minutes for the AGM and the Election of Officers are posted on the Fernie Nordic Society website.

Highlights of the meeting included:

  • the Directors’ Reports from “a season unlike any other” as we navigated our way through COVID policies and protocols lead by Jenn Heath.
  • our trails are our biggest asset and grooming them is our biggest challenge. Our contract groomer Mark and our team of volunteers led by Rick logged close to 600 hours of work to keep the trails in the best shape possible. We plan to increase the contract grooming for the 2021-2022 season to 6 – 8am, 7 days a week.
  • our membership doubled from the previous season to approximately 1600. Successful grant applications this season added approximately $44,000 in grant monies to our budget.
  • our toughest decision this winter was to cancel the SDP program. However, our kid sized gear was made available for rent to about 85 takers. We had a race program this year but no races to go to. Coach Jeff and the volunteer coaches focused on training, virtual races and time trials.
  • adult lessons were run by Tarah in smaller groups. With Tarah’s help we are hoping to grow and expand this program in the upcoming season.

There is an opportunity to join the Board this year as the Director of Programming. Please contact Megan at info@fernienordic.com if you are interested in this position or would like more information. The board is transitioning to a strategic level with support from committees. We will be looking for volunteers for the grooming and race team committees.

Thank you once again to everyone who attended the AGM. We encourage you all buy your passes early for the next season. Follow the website at www.fernienordic.com for up-to-date information.

Happy trails

Report by Jane Stevens

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