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The trick is the turns for Adanac skiers

Young skiers focused on building their technical ability 

Results are nice, but it was the process, the on-going effort to perfect the alpine ski technique on a course that is not particularly forgiving, that truly drives the devoted athletes of the Adanac Ski Club.

Taking part in the Technica Cup Races last month in Sudbury, the local contingent were joined by young skiers representing Searchmont, Elliot Lake, Mattawa, North Bay and Timmins, one and all focused on those small details that translate to key seconds off the clock, as they weave their way through the gates of the Adanac ski hill.

"I was happy with my races today," said 14-year-old Clara Dissanayake, a grade 10 student at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School. "I'm trying to grip my edges in the ice more. When the snow gets pushed away, it's really easy to just slip out sometimes. I need to always stay forward, because if you get thrown back, you're a lot more likely to crash."

And while Dissanayake first took to the slopes at Mont Ste. Marie, located about an hour across the Quebec border from Ottawa, and home to a part-time residence of her grand-parents, she fully understands that the local hill she first descended at the age of seven offers a particular value for those who train with the Adanac Ski Club.

"I think skiing Adanac is actually really good for some people, because every turn you make is so important, because it's such a short race," she said. "It's really good to help improve the technical part of your skiing, instead of just speed."

Similarly, while Gabey Laurin enjoyed a general awareness of the technical requirements of alpine skiing from time spent on the local hill, as well as family excursions to Boyne, Mont Ste Anne and Vermont, in her youth, the move to ski racing was predicated on a hope to fine-tune her technique, even further.

"It was about being able to get on your edge, to go faster and make better turns," said the fellow 14 year-old clubmate. "Getting on your edge is kind of tipping your skies over, and it just kind of grabs the snow. And we wanted to ski safer, by learning to control your speed."

A grade nine student at Lo-Ellen, Laurin then translates this new-found knowledge, working on the elements that are specific to the race environment. "I've been working on getting earlier and turning before the gate, rather than getting really late on and not having good turns," she said.

"If you do it right, your turn is basically done before you get to the gate. The biggest transition is learning to go from just skiing, to getting the line right and having your turns really good."

"Today, my turns were not as good as they could have been, but I was happy with how smooth it was, and how I placed, too."

Part of the advancement, overall, with the club this season comes from the addition of head coach Jeremy Ramshaw, the newcomer to Adanac having already made in-roads with experienced members of his team.

"He's really good," said 15-year-old Matt Bamberger, who finished second only to Jackson Moore-McLeod (Searchmont) on the Saturday run, with Adanac teammate Connor Woods squeezing between the two in the U16 grouping on Sunday.

"He's better at explaining, helping you understand what you need to do, and why it's important to do that," added the grade 10 student at Confederation Secondary. 

"I have trouble keeping my upper body and my lower body separated - and no one had ever told me that before."

Now before you start thinking that this is anatomically impossible, Bamberger will explain. 

"When you are going down the course, you want your upper body to stay within the corridor of the gates, and your feet kind of just dangle under you and turn," he said. "Your upper body should stay still, and your feet should do all the work."

Following are top three results, for the Adanac skiers, from both the Technica Cup races, as well as the Home Hardware Classic in Mattawa later in the month:

Technica Cup - Sudbury

  • U12B - Bradley Laurin - 1st / 1st
  • U12B - Tomas Corsi - 2nd / 2nd
  • U12B - Gordon Farrell - 3rd
  • U12B - Benjamin Hardwick - 3rd
  • U12G - Ella St Onge Winckel - 2nd
  • U12G - Ava Woods - 2nd
  • U14B - Paolo Grossi - 1st / 1st
  • U14B - Jonah Gibson 3rd
  • U14G - Sophie Huneault - 3rd
  • U16B - Matt Bamberger - 2nd / 3rd
  • U16B - Connor Woods - 3rd / 2nd
  • U16G - Clara Dissanayake - 1st / 3rd
  • U16G - Pascale Green - 2nd
  • U16G - Gabey Laurin - 2nd
  • U16G - Julia Prosperi - 3rd

Home Hardware Classic - Mattawa

  • U12B - Ben Hardwick - 2nd / 2nd
  • U12B - Gordon Farrell - 3rd
  • U14G - Sophie Huneault - 3rd
  • U14B - Paolo Grossi - 1st / 2nd
  • U14B - Jonah Gibson - 3rd
  • U16G - Sydney Coe - 2nd / 2nd
  • U16G - Clara Dissanayake - 3rd
  • U16B - Matt Bamberger - 1st / 3rd
  • U16B - Connor Woods - 3rd / 2nd