Finally! After a two-year interruption, we are back to our regularly scheduled program. The Baked Salmon Banked Slalom has returned for its 5th instalment. We have to start by acknowledging Nic Heringa, Scott Fierbach, David Allen Birnie, Tony Lefroy, and Jeff Keenan who are the men we can all thank for bringing this event to life. They are essentially the generals leading the army that it takes to execute one of the biggest community gatherings we have in snowboarding. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped shovel, Jasper Fast that made the trophies, Colin D Watt for emceeing, Ryan Milbourne who did the poster art, and Ali T. Bruce for painting the starting gate.
There's lots to unpack and we can't possibly cover every story. Of the almost 300 competitors, there were for sure countless "best day ever" stories.
The highlight that stood out to us was that of Miss Amalia Pelchat. She is the youngest daughter of legendary Wildcat, JF Pelchat. Now let's break it down here, first off she won her category of Youth Girls 11-16 year olds with a time of 47.68 seconds. That time was also faster than the Open Women's winner, Spencer O'Brien at 48.44. Amalia's time would have placed 9th in the Open Men's category that had over 120 competitors. On top of all that, she beat every single one of the men's Master's times including her dad's. Yeah she fricken did! Click here to see all the results.
This is a very exciting time for so many reasons. The future is bright for snowboarding. There is more of a fair playing field than ever before. We still have more work to do so that everyone has a chance to do what we all love, but there's no denying there is huge momentum from the female side of snowboarding. Amalia is proof of that. We should celebrate this and also be excited to see what the future brings. Maybe next year there will be an overall Open category?
Words & photos by Rob Lemay
"This is one of my favourite contests. It shows how much of a sick snowboard community there is! The vibes are high and the course is so fun. I am so stoked I got to race with so many sick ladies. I can't wait to race next year!"-Amalia Pelchat
"The event was amazing...once again. It's so good to reconnect with friends and see so many faces instead of masks. Shout out to all the diggers, organizers, and Mt Seymour. Grassroots events are where it's at and Salmon Arms knows how to do it best. Facts: Day comes after night! My girls are fast! I'm getting slower but I will be back next year for some mo!"-JF Pelchat