Frigid temperatures moderated and the winds picked up at Lake Louise, as the region's famous Chinook winds finally arrived at Lake Louise for the final day of downill racing at the first stop of the CIBC Coupe NorAm Cup for the 2005-06 season. Race officials lowered the start to the top of Tickety Chutes, which helped to keep gusting winds from being a major factor in the outcome.

The Canadian Alpine Ski Team repeated its sweep of the women's podium, while the Canadian men gained round in the medal count, although the USA ski team still took top honors.

Women's Race:

The Canadian Women again “owned the podium” today at the second downhill race at the Lake Louise CIBC Coupe NorAm Cup. Although the order of finish changed, it was again Rubens, Lawrence, and Yurkiw at the top of the standings. This time, however, it was the 17-year old Larisa Yurkiw with the fastest time.

“I'm really pumped. I really like having all these Canadians up there,” Yurkiw said. “I changed something in a really critical spot, and I think it gave me a lot of time. It changed my time drastically. It's pretty exciting.”

Yurkiw, from Owen Sound Ontario and the Georgian Peaks Ski Club, is enjoying her first year on the National Development Ski Team.

Yesterday's winner, Sherry Lawrence, was excited to be part of a winning team: “I'm really happy for my teammate Larisa. It's great to see all Canadians on the podium.” Lawrence, who lives in Calgary, is the current CIBC Coupe NorAm Cup champion in Downhill, and is in her third year on the National Development Team.

Shona Rubens, who was second yesterday, took third today, just over a second back from Yurkiw. “I'm happy with my result today,” she said, “and very happy to see all the Canadians on the podium.” Larisa's been skiing really well, so it's good to see her get this results.”

The skiers all reported variable wind and visibility on the course. “It affects everyone the same,” said Rubens, “It's a part of ski racing.” Rubens heads to Europe next week to join the World Cup team for World Cup Downhill racing in Europe, while Lawrence and Yurkiw continue on the Nor-Am circuit with two Super G races in Panorama on December 12 and 13.

Women's Top 10:
1. YURKIW Larisa, CAN, 1:29.62
2. LAWRENCE Sherry, CAN, 1:30.49
3. RUBENS Shona, CAN, 1:30.89
4. LITTMAN Julia, USA, 1:31.43
5. DUQUET Eliane, CAN, 1:31.74
5. MCJAMES Megan, USA, 1:31.74
7. MARSHALL Chelsea, USA, 1:31.75
8. CICCONE Caitlin, USA, 1:31.82
9. VICTORY Hannah, USA, 1:31.89
10. NJEIM Chirie, LIB, 1:32.01

Juniors: 1. Yurkiw, 2. Rubens, 3. Duqet, 3. McJames, 5. Marshall

Men's Race:

American skiers again led the day in the men's race, with the fastest time being posted by Erik Fisher (Romark Academy) who was second yesterday. In second was Kevin Francis (Mount Bachelor), bettering his bronze medal of yesterday. Canadians broke onto to podium with Jeffrey Frisch, of Mont Tremblant, QC, who took third, just over a second of Fisher's time.

“I'm definitely more happy than yesterday,” Frisch said. “I had two mistakes, but it was okay. I'm happy with the result.” Frisch improved on his sixth place finish yesterday.

Frisch now looks forward to next week's Super G races in Panorama: “My goals for Super G are another podium. I really like Panorama. Super G is really more my thing, so I'm looking forward to the race there.”

Whistler's Robbie Dixon repeated his fourth place finish of yesterday. “I happy with that,” he said. “It's an improvement from yesterday. I'm closing the gap time-wise. It's good to see Jeff on the Podium. I'm happy for him.” Dixon was only one hundredth of a second behind the time of the time of Frisch.

Yesterday's surprise fifth-place finisher, Louis-Pierre Helie of Berthierville, QC was almost as surprised to see his strong result confirmed today with a sixth place finish. “I guess I'm a downhiller now,” Helie joked after the race.

The technical specialist went on to clarify: “I'm not changing my plans for the season. I'm still going to ski tech. I'm going to do the full NorAm circuit, I just want to win the NorAm overall now.”

In seventh, Calgarian Brady Leman of the Alberta Ski Team was the fourth Canadian and third Junior, earning his first CIBC Coupe NorAm Cup podium. “I'm really happy,” Leman said. “It's nice to actually make the podium. I've been close before a couple times but it's good to actually be on there.”

Men's Top 10:
1. FISHER Erik, USA, 1:24.25
2. FRANCIS Kevin, USA, 1:25.10
3. FRISCH Jeffrey, CAN, 1:25.29
4. DIXON Robbie, CAN, 1:25.30
5. THIODEAU Todd David, USA, 1:25.70
6. HELIE, Louis-Pierre, CAN, 1:26.00
7. LEMAN Brady, CAN, 1:26.66
8. BARTELS Greg, USA, 1:26.86
9. BRIDGEWATER Mark, NZE, 1:26.98
10. ZAMANSKY Jake, USA, 1:27.05