Sverige Nationalarenan, Åre – Day 4 – Under brilliant blue skies action turned to the super G events for men and ladies. “This is not an easy track to set a super G on” said Franz Heinzer, Swiss team coach and course setter for the men. “The upper section is open and moves well, as does the lower part. But in the traverse in the middle it is steep and tricky to keep the speed right for junior racers.”
Heinzer’s set was fairly technical, but no one expected the race to be so tight. Only two hundreths of a second separated the top three, With Nils Alphand (FRA) squeezing out the win in 1:17.91. Raphael Haaser (AUT added a silver medal to his bronze from the downhill in 1:17.92. Semyel Bissig (SUI) was hard on his heels in a time of 1:17.93 for bronze.
Sam Mulligan (Grouse Mt. Tyee) had to settle for 4th a mere .02 off the podium with a time of 1:17.95. Mulligan led three Canadians into the top 13 with Jeffrey Read (Banff Alpine Racers) in 11th with 1:18.42 and Riley Seger (Whistler Mt.) in 13th with 1:18.53.
The remaining Canadian story was Jack Crawford, silver medalist in super G from the 2016 Championship leading at the second split, but went off course; Simon Fournier (Mt. Tremblant) came in 44th in 1:20.37; Huston Philp (Banff Alpine Racers) in 49th in 1:20.67.
“We really wanted a medal” said Team Leader Dusan Grasic, “but I must say I am very happy with three in the top 13 and Jack in the lead. This was a strong team performance from the guys.”
In the ladies super G, Austria dominated taking the top four spots, led by Nadine Fest who is currently leading the Europa Cup super G standings. Fest dominated the field with a commanding 1.19 second win over teammate Franziska Gritsch with silver, Dajana Dengscherz with bronze and Nina Ortlieb in 4th. Top Canadian was Stephanie Fleckenstein (Whistler Mt.) in 31st, with Amelia Smart (Team Panorama) placing 44th. Antonia Wearmouth (Grouse Mountain Tyee) did not finish.
In the Marc Hodler Cup, Austria has taken a commanding lead ahead with 50 points, ahead of USA and Switzerland whoa re tied for 2nd with 29 points. Canada currently sits in 6th with 14 points.
Tomorrow the ladies take centre stage with the alpine combined (super G and slalom). The men have a one-day break before resuming racing on Saturday with their alpine combined.
Amelia Smart (Team Panorama)
Team Canada at the #jwsc2017: Cameron Alexander (Whistler), Sam Mulligan (Grouse Mt.), Jack Crawford (Whistler), Antonia Wearmouth (Grouse Mt.), Simon Fournier (Tremblant), Jeff Read (Banff Alpine). Kneeling: Riley Seger (Whistler), Amelia Smart (Team Panorama), Stefanie Fleckenstein (Whistler). Missing are: Ali Nullmeyer (Georgian Peaks), Huston Philp (Banff Alpine) and William Bruneau-Bouchard (le Massif)