Nakkertok racers Luke Allan and Anna Stewart take the winner’s titles on the first day of competition at the FIS Eastern Cup / Candy Cane Cup

It was a perfect day for ski racing at Nakkertok Ski Centre today, +6 and sunny, as the FIS Eastern Cup, aka. the Candy Cane Cup took place, organized by Évènements Nordiques Gatineau Nordic Events (ENGNE). The race is part of Nordiq Canada’s national race series with over 600 athletes taking part from 6 provinces and territories.

The main event was the skate sprint, the Open Men’s and Women’s competition. The competitions start off in the morning with the qualifying time trial over the 1.3 km. course. The top 30 move on to the knockout heats held an hour later.

On the women’s side, Thunder Bay native and Nakkertok racer, Anna Stewart easily won the qualifier, 3 seconds ahead of Anna Jaklova of LifeSki Academy in Orillia, Ontario. On the men’s side, Alexandre Cormier a racer for Fondeurs-Laurentides, was the top qualifier, just ahead of Justin Boudreau of Monteriski and Luke Allan of Nakkertok.

Anna Stewart, who races out of the Alberta Insurance, World Cup Academy in Calgary easily out paced the field in the knockout heats and cruised across the finish line to take the win by a two second margin. The race for the next podium positions was closer, with Nakkertok’s Clara Hegan prevailing and Revelstoke’s Ruby Serrouya capturing 3rd in a photo finish with Anna Jaklova.

Anna Stewart: “The manmade snow was phenomenal, and the sprint course is great. I had a great day, I am a little tired, but happy about my racing.”

Luke Allan made it 2 golds on the day for Nakkertok but had a bit more competition in the heats. Allan stayed at the front of the pack in each heat and in the final made his move on the last downhill to seal the victory. The race for 2nd and 3rd resulted in a photo-finish with Alexandre Cormier grabbing silver and Pembroke’s Guillaume Pelchat finishing 3rd.

Luke Allan: The course was amazing. There are 2 large uphills, which means you have to ski more tactically, but I had a really great day.”

Allan, a Canadian National Team member from Ottawa, now skis out of Dartmouth College and brought some of his teammates up for the race.

Alexandre Cormier and Anna Stewart were the winners in the Canadian University/College classes. While Chelsea Nordiq racer Skyler Samm, was  the  winner  in  the  U20  men’s  sprint.

Local skiers also did well in the junior classes, an interval start, skate race, 2.3k. Among the medalists were three Nakkertok racers Owen Siderius, who won the U16 category, Kobe Thompson who claimed silver in U14 and Evelyn Davies was the U16 girls champ.

Saturday’s competitions are 5km. interval start, skate races for the older racers and the junior will race their sprint competition. Races start at 8:30 AM.

Complets results: https://zone4.ca/race/2023-12-15/7a4d2f4e/results

Photo credits : Rob Smith

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