Photo from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.comSki Racing for a Lifetime – BC Alpine Alumni/Smithers Ski & Snowboard Club, March 2019Photo from BC Alpine website:
By Claire Challen

Photo left: Jason Oliemans (SSSC Alumni/AB SX/Men's Radar Champ 2019) & Mark Rossmann (SSSC U10 Coach)
Photo right
: Claire Challen & Claire Hinchliffe – Former coach & athlete combo

Do you have any DH poles I could borrow?
Got any extra 218s kicking around?
Just wondering…do you have any Viking horns to spare?

Every Spring since 1984, the search for gear ensues as people ready themselves for Canada's longest continually run recreational speed event, the Schuss Boomer Downhill at Hudson Bay Mountain. Hosted by the Smithers Ski & Snowboard Club, the Club's biggest fundraiser of the year is a highlight for many BC Alpine Alumni. You may not have seen your former teammates or coaches all year, but they'll surely surface to help install B-net or show up for a warm up run down the track.

An all-inclusive event, the Schuss Boomer is a chance for present-day SSSC team members, never-ever-raced-before folks, skiers and snowboarders of varying abilities, snow-bladers and the most competitive bunch, our BC Alpine, North Zone, and Smithers Ski Club present-day athletes and alumni to test their mettle as they launch from the same start ramp. Ages 10-99 welcome!

The biggest advantage of being ski racing alumni is perhaps you've already got DH skis or at least access to a pair, a haggard speed suit (albeit stretched to near blow-out), DH poles (in highly sought-after early 90s purple), a hunk of mystery wax and residual skill from the club level or even Europa or World Cup. The worst aspect of being an ex-ski racer? Relying on the above to get the job done. Gear and experience may give you an edge, but you can’t win on that alone. The need to carry speed is critical in this event, therefore you want to weigh more than the next guy – so have some extra gravy with that mountain of poutine!

But there’s more than long skinny skis and stretched-out speed suits. The air is filled with banter and competitive spirit. Participants crowd the start to watch one another leave the gate: a floundering of long skis, a pole between the legs (not recommended) and many an edge caught keep us laughing. Current Smithers Ski & Snowboard Club athletes warm up alongside parents while former-racers challenge past coaches. Age is of no consequence as we are all transported back to earlier times, where ski racing was everything and teammates were family. This race renews those relationships and we are reminded of how lucky we are to have been – and still are – a part of ski racing. It's not only about the participants, the volunteer and sponsorship support the Club receives locally and further afield leaves us completely humbled. Our sport brings us together, year after year. We encourage our youth to keep racing, knowing the bonds they'll form will remain for a lifetime. With the youngest competitors at only ten years old, the torch will undoubtedly be passed and the Schuss Boomer will endure, ensuring those youngsters may race alongside their children too. The Schuss Boomer Downhill is truly an example of “skiing for life” at it's finest. This is what it's all about. ~ Excerpts from Ski Canada article by Claire Challen, Fall 2014 IssuePhoto from BC Alpine website:

Photo from BC Alpine website: www.bcalpine.comPhoto from BC Alpine website:

Photo left: Coby Hall – Nice Start!
Photo middle: Jake Giguere (Fast non-alumni) & Tom Havard (SSSC Alumni/Masters)
Photo right: Photo right: Dylan Hikisch in the start

For more info on the event:

This year, March 30, 2019, we were graced with sunshine on a warm, spring day, running 79 athletes of all ages and abilities out of the start gate for two runs. With twenty athletes in the Competitive Category vying for top spot, it was a tight race with only 6- tenths of a second separating the top 3 skiers.

Some results below – more HERE

Female Mini-Schuss Skier Bridie Hikisch 1:30.23
Male Mini-Schuss Skier Dylan Hikisch 1:38.90
Female Skier Claire Challen 1:21.31
Male Skier Philippe Bernier 1:18.38
Female Radar Skier Claire Challen 109
Male Radar Skier Jason Oliemans 115

THANK YOU SPONSORS, for your tremendous support of the 35th Annual Schuss Boomer Downhill held Saturday March 30, 2019. The generous support of you, and individuals in and out of our community contributing to this event, have again made this a very successful event!