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 http://www.thecanadianshield.ca.
Photo by John Riddle
There is a plethora of exciting things taking place at the Blue Mountain stop of The Canadian Shield Tour. One of the most anticipated components will be the presentation of the tour titles to the competitors who have earned the highest number of tour points throughout the four-stops. The overall standings are by no means set in stone and many categories are still open for the taking heading into the Blue Mountain stop.
On the line for the pro category is a 7-day surf trip to Eldorado Surf Resort in El Salvador. The pro men and women’s ski divisions are far less ambiguous than the snowboard division 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 Canadian Shield men's points leader, Ian 'Chug' Cosco. Photo by John Riddle
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.
The Canadian Shield women's points leader, Yuki Tsubota. Photo by John Riddle
With so much on the line for competitors the final tour stop of The Canadian Shield will offer spectators plenty of entertainment. In addition to the on-hill competition tour sponsors including Franks Red Hot, Mountain Dew, West 49, Electric Visual, K2, Salomon and Skullcandy will be onsite sampling products and giving out swag.
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.
For more information on The Canadian Shield Slopestyle Tour, check out http://www.thecanadianshield.ca.