This February three Collingwood-area ski clubs will host the women’s best ski racers in North America and the world as they get ready to run the 2020 Raymond James Women’s Nor-Am Cup. For those new to alpine ski racing the Nor-Am Cup Series (and its equivalent in Europe, the Europa Cup) is a feeder series to the FIS World Cup Ski Racing that we see on CBC Sports each weekend. Athletes in Nor-Am Cup events come from all corners of the ski racing world, including the Canadian National Ski Team and the US Ski Team. Athletes on the Ontario Ski Team will also be entered in these races along with many younger 16, 17 and 18-year-old skiers eyeing a future in this exciting sport.

The event kicks off at The Georgian Peaks Club for the Giant Slalom races on February 4 & 5th, then it’s off to the Osler Bluff Ski Club for the Slalom races on Feb 6th & 7th and finally to the Craigleith Ski Club for the exciting spectator-friendly night dual on Saturday Feb 8th.

Photo. Clay Dolan

The total prize purse is $22,000 which is a significant amount and the only stop on the North American tour to offer cash prizing. This much needed prize money brings out the best competitors and will help these athletes reach their goals while offering spectators the chance to see athletes risk it all for cash and glory!

Event Chairs John and Sue Mealey from the Georgian Peaks Club are delighted to take the reigns with this event and build upon last year’s success. John Mealey, a Canadian Alpine Ski Team alumnus comments, “I’ve been either skiing, coaching or running ski races all my life so I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. We want to take this opportunity to thank all those that have supported this initiative and have made it so easy and fun to be involved. We look forward to presenting a new legacy award in honour of Robert “RIP” Kirby to the athlete or volunteer who best represents the ‘spirit of skiing’.”

Photo. Cameron T Powell

The Nor-Am circuit was a regular stop in Ontario many years ago but until the 2019 event southern Ontario had not hosted a Nor-Am race for 15 years. Last year the community rallied together with a mission to revive the sport by bringing these top athletes to the area.

The January 2019 Nor-Am Cup saw hundreds of fans at the finish line and we hope that this year’s finish line, designed to mimic a World Cup or Europa Cup event with fire pits, food & beverage stations, fireworks and high energy music, will inspire more fans to come to the races this February and cheer for Ontario and Canada! The highlight will be the Saturday night race on with the exciting head-to-head action under the lights on Little John run at the Craigleith Ski Club.

The 2020 Nor Am will be jointly hosted by Alpine Ontario Alpin, Alpine Canada Alpin and the three host ski clubs.The entire sport and event rely heavily on equipment sponsors, suppliers and volunteer Officials who will be in the hundreds as they ensure athletes are safe and the races run according to the governing body sport rules.

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