|The fourth and final stop of the 2012 Canadian Shield Ski and Snowboard Slopestyle tour is quickly approaching. Blue Mountain in Collingwood, Ontario will play host to the tour finale from March 22-24, and will see another $20,000 cash purse handed out. The final stop will also include the crowning of the 2012 overall tour champions during the awards ceremonies following each competition day.|
With Ontario experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures this month, the onset of spring riding conditions has come upon us earlier than expected. Luckily, Blue Mountain has been stockpiling snow supplies all season and has assured contest organizers and participants that there will be a condensed slopestyle course ready for this weekend. Park staff will be consistently grooming, maintaining and fertilizing the course throughout the competition to ensure the best possible riding conditions. Event organizers have made a few modifications to the competition scheduling in an effort to ensure all competitors have the opportunity to compete on the course in its best possible state. The pro & am categories will now be practicing at 8:00 a.m. on their competition day, followed by their qualifying runs to begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. The rookie categories will compete directly following the pro & am qualifiers and each competition day will end with pro & am finals. Thursday’s typical all-day open practice will be abbreviated to a half-day, from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00p.m. in an effort to maintain the course for the competition days. For all the current event details and scheduling refer to thecanadianshield.ca.
On the line for the pro category is a 7-day surf trip to Eldorado Surf Resort in El Salvador. Currently Warren Williams is in the tour points lead for the pro men’s division, however his lead is narrow and several riders including Ryan Manning, Craig Gouweloos, Chris Collard and Craig Beaulieu could easily change the rankings if they place well. Similarly in the women’ s pro snowboard rankings, Jenna Blasman current holds the lead ahead of Natalie Allport, Gillian Andrewshenko and Samm Denena. Jenna has placed first at the two tour stops she has attended this year, so another strong performance could capture the title for her. The only certainty heading into the fourth and final stop is that the battle for the podium and the remaining tour points will be a must see at Blue Mountain on Friday March 23.
The pro ski categories also have the opportunity to win a 7-day surf trip with the tour title wins. The pro men and women’s ski divisions are far less ambiguous at this point as both the male points leader, Ian Cosco, and female points leader, Yuki Tsubota, have substantial leads in the tour rankings. Both skiers have podiumed at each tour stop they have attended so far this season, so they are definitely the ones to keep an eye on at Blue Mountain on March 24.
The K2 Skis amateur open division competitors have the opportunity to win a substantial overall tour prize, a 2013 sponsorship from K2 Skis. The current male amateur standings have Braedon Wheeler of Whistler, BC in the tour lead, however there are several talented skiers trailing closely behind him.
The Disney XD rookie categories will also be awarding an overall tour title and prize at Blue Mountain. One boy and one girl from both the ski and snowboard divisions will be awarded a week at Muskoka Woods Action Sports Camp. There are several competitors in the running for the Disney XD overall titles, so it is quite likely that the Blue Mountain stop will determine the overall winners who will be going to camp this summer.
Following the ski competition on Saturday, March 24, Coors Light will be hosting one of their famous Coors Light COLD Parties to celebrate the completion of The Canadian Shield Tour. All are invited to join in on the fun at the Blue Mountain Inn Cafe at Blue Mountain on Saturday at 10pm. This will definitely be one party you won’t want to miss. Friday night will play host to the SBC Media Showcase happening at the Cascade Room inside Grand Central Lodge at 730pm - be sure to show up and cast your vote for the best video.