AFC alumni shine during Canadian Series

Rain and snow didn’t stop mogul skiers doing their tricks at Apex Mountain Resort.

Local skiers - including Andi Naude of Okanagan Falls and Kassidy Todd of Keremeos - performed well during last weekend’s mogul event at Apex Ski  Area.

Local skiers - including Andi Naude of Okanagan Falls and Kassidy Todd of Keremeos - performed well during last weekend’s mogul event at Apex Ski Area.

Rain and snow didn’t stop mogul skiers doing their tricks at Apex Mountain Resort.

Athletes from Canada, U.S. and Australia pushed each other to the limit on Kristi’s run during the Freestyle Frenzy Tour Canadian Series Mogul Event on the weekend.

Apex Freestyle Club coach Jeff Fairbairn was happy with what he saw from his skiers following nearly two months of training.

A key to their success was taking advantage of the home slope. On Sunday, Mason Barzilay finished fifth in the duals and placed sixth on Saturday. Alumni from the AFC found themselves on the podium as Andi Naude and Emily Little won gold and bronze in the single mogul. Naude repeated the feat on Sunday, while Little placed fourth.

The importance of the Freestyle Frenzy Tour Canadian Series Mogul Event depended on the skier. For the older mogul skiers it was an opportunity to collect points towards the Mogul Cup, while the younger skiers gained experience for this weekend.

Josh Kober, a member of the AFC, felt his run during the single would be enough to get in the finals.

“I could have made it a little cleaner,” said Kober, who placed 32nd on Saturday. “Just keep forward pressure and absorb more. “The course is very good, but the conditions are making it tough.”

Kober added that the rain slowed the course. Saturday wasn’t good for Kober as he fell on his bottom air and didn’t qualify for finals. While admitting that it wasn’t his best day, Kober is able to push it aside.

“I just have to remember it’s one competition out of the whole year, it happens,” said Kober.

Kyle Parker, 12, is the youngest member of the AFC said he felt okay during his run. Despite sticky conditions, Parker was happy with what he did and found the competition challenging.

“They are older and have had more time skiing,” said Parker, who finished 30th of 50 on Saturday.

Connor Spence, an AFC alum competing for Team BC, had a good run but felt he could have been quicker. Making a couple of adjustments would have given him more speed.

“The weekend has been good,” said Spence, who placed fifth on Saturday. “It’s a fun competition. The other competitors have been good. I know pretty much all of them.”

While the skiers had some complaints about the weather and its impact, Fairbairn said it’s something they must learn to deal with.

“They will whine and cry about it like it’s the end be all of all things, but realistically, no pun intended, it just dampened the mood a bit,” he said. “It shouldn’t make that much of a difference. It might make the course a little bit slower. You have to be ready for any weather conditions.”

The skiers for the most part performed to their coach’s expectations.

“I would say some of them not as good as I expected due to little crashes that shouldn’t have happened,” he said. “Overall, I’d say it’s reflecting what I expected leading into the event.”

Fairbairn was impressed by Matt Finlayson, who stepped up to the occasion and placed 21st on Saturday.

“He’s jumping bigger, he’s skiing faster,” said Fairbairn. “Another kid, Kyle Parker, who is the youngest competitor here, he’s skiing very well. Very strong individual and a sign of things to come for the future from both those boys.”

Other skiers who represented AFC were Dane Franks, Josh Visser, Jordan Kober, Blair Anderson and Riley Culver. Younger members from the club competing were Kassidy Todd, Maddy Parker, Brayden Kuroda, Liam Collyer, Mackenzie Schwinghamer and Sam Holinaty. Other AFC alum competing for Team BC were Jake Little.