By Karen McColl
Modest as they were after completing their qualifying runs on Separate Reality at Revelstoke Mountain Resort Thursday morning, Revelstoke skiers Tatum Monod and Nicole Derksen did mighty fine, qualifying first and second, respectively, out of 19 women. The top six women are moving on to Day One of the Canadian Freeskiing Championships on Saturday.
Monod, 19, and Derksen, 23, both grew up in Alberta mountain towns- Monod in Banff and Derksen in Jasper- and both have a strong background in ski racing. This is the first freeskiing competition for each of them, and the first time they have met.
“These comps are something I’ve always wanted to do,” Monod said, adding that her goal was just to “have fun.”
“I don’t have too many expectations,” she said brightly after her run. “…Just going out and having a good time.”
Monod has only recently moved to Revelstoke and plans to spend the winter skiing here.
Derksen, who has lived in Revelstoke for about two years, was “really nervous” leading up to the event.
“I’ve been wanting to compete for a couple of years and literally just go the nerve to do it,” she explained.
Derksen appeared relaxed and happy in the finish area. “I did what I set out to do,” she said about her run. “I picked a line that I knew I could ski confidently and aggressively. I feel like it went pretty good.”
Well ‘pretty good’ was enough to rank her second in the qualifier after Monod. For Monod, freeskiing is something she has developed a passion for.
“It’s definitely something I want to do,” she said.
Not bad for two skiers new to the freeskiing scene. Many of the other female qualifiers had previous competition experience under their belts.
Now Monod and Derksen will move into Day One of competition alongside the pre-qualified athletes which include some of the best amateur freeskiers from around the world.
The men’s qualifier, delayed due to poor visibility, will take place Friday morning on Separate Reality. 55 men, including seven who consider Revelstoke Mountain Resort their home mountain, will be trying to qualify for a handful of spots in Saturday’s competition.
Day Two of competition, with a planned helicopter drop, is now scheduled for Sunday.
Revelstoke, hosting the Canadian Freeskiing Championships for the second year in a row, is stop Number Three on the Subaru Freeskiing World Tour.