Are you ready? Ready for high-paced, adrenaline-pumping, on-snow action? If the answer is YES, then you’re in luck! Barrels & Berms FIS Snowboardcross World Cup will be in full swing at Big White Ski Resort from January 24 to 26 – and with it, comes some of the world’s BEST snowboard cross athletes.
This will be the biggest event at Big White Ski Resort to date – however, Big White hosted the Para World Snowboard World Cup for the past seven years in a row, as well as multiple SBX events throughout the year. “Big White has been a very large supporter of SBX in the past for the level before the world cup and so we thought it was a perfect partner,” Richard Hegarty, a spokesperson for Canada Snowboard, told Kelowna Capital News.
Barrels & Berms will feature training, qualification races, an individual World Cup event and a team event. As part of the festivities, Big White is proud to host Sponsor Village, where you can find a Native Shoes Booth, a Clif Bar Sample Station, August Mazda Display Tent and a TELUS Photo Booth.
Vernon-based craft brewery Okanagan Spring will be taking over the beer gardens outside of The Woods from Friday to Sunday, and on Saturday from 8:00pm to 9:00pm, will be showing CBC’s broadcast of the Finals Event on the big screen, complete with fire pits and patio heaters.
“When the world arrives on your door-step, and the best athletes in their sport, the whole community gets excited to turn out Canadian hospitality,” said Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President at Big White Ski Resort. “This is going to be one event you won’t want to miss!”
Come cheer on Olympic athletes from all over the world – including Big White local, Tess Critchlow (pictured above) who was the top-ranked Canadian in women’s snowboard cross in PyeongChang 2018, finishing ninth. She has competed in nearly every snowboardcross event Big White has held since 2001.
“I could not be more excited to race a World Cup at home!” the 24-year-old said. “Big White is where my career started so to bring it back and have the community behind me means a lot!”
Snowboardcross, an Olympic discipline event, features four riders racing simultaneously down a technically demanding course. Participants navigate around rollers, jumps, banked turns and tabletops at speeds in excess of 70km/h in a single-elimination format where the fastest two riders to cross the finish line in each heat then advance to the next round until the final heat determines the winner.
“It’s basically like motocross in a sense,” said Hegarty. “Four athletes drop out of the gate at the same time and go through the course over berms and big jumps. A lot of people fall. You end up with some pretty crazy crashes and the first one across the line wins. It’s a great sport to watch. In terms of any of the snow disciplines, it’s the most spectacular.”
Spectators will be able to get up-close and personal with the athletes from just alongside the TELUS Park SBX course. The viewing area can be accessed by ski or snowboard through TELUS Park, or by foot at Monashee Corner by the Fire Hall. Ski Patrol will be on duty to ensure a safe crossing.
During training, qualifying and race events, Sundance Run and the TELUS Park Chair will be closed to the public – however TELUS Park will be open, with access from Millie’s Mile and Rhonda Lake Road. Some features will be off-limits to make space for spectators. The TELUS Park SBX course will be closed to the public from January 20 to 27 for course building, athlete training, and competition. Media will be set up at the finish line by the Water Treatment Plant.
Interested in volunteering? Big White is looking for enthusiastic people between January 19 and 27 to help make this event a success! Sign up, here.