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Freeski Tour '99

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Burge Charges "The Bite"
Canadian Freeskiing Championships
January 4-8, 2000

Day One: Women's Semi-Finals
Squaw Valley's Jamie "Train Jumper" Burge led the women in Thursday's first full round of big mountain freeskiing. Winner of last year's freeskiing contest in Kirkwood, CA, Burge skied the best run of the 18 women down "The Bite" on Blackcomb Mountain.

Jamie Burge
Squaw's Jamie Burge
Burge, who appeared in recent ski films including Scott Gaffney's 1999, Matchstick Production's Global Storming and CMP's "Chapter Three," just received senior status in her physical therapy program in Reno. Burge looked smooth and relaxed during her run.

"I was pretty mellow. The line I skied wasn't that difficult, but I was pretty solid so the judges gave me points for fluidity," Burge said.

Last year's winner, Linda Peterson from Alta, UT, is currently in second place in front of Whistler local Cara Dolan. Charlotte Moats, who was second in the Rip Curl Heli Challenge five months ago in New Zealand, took fourth in today's semi-final run.

Linda Peterson
Linda Peterson
Forerunners Keith Carlsen and Susan Meadville opened the women's semi-finals on The Bite, which organizers chose after poor visibility threatened their first choice, Chainsaw Ridge by the Couloir Extreme. Though some skiers questioned if The Bite would be a challenging enough venue for the semi-finals, it was important for organizers to pull off a full round of competition today.

Late in the morning athletes waited for weather conditions to improve, but fog, wind and snow made Chainsaw, an already challenging area, potentially unsafe due to poor visibility or flat light. So organizers made the decision to move the women's semi-finals to the alternate venue, and athletes agreed. The guys had the day off and some went shredding around the mountain (a.k.a. freeskiing), but many watched in support of their fellow female rippers. Friday, they'll get their chance to go for it in the men's semi-finals.

Event organizers will now plan to use their backup day on Saturday to insure that this World Tour event will be judged on as many runs as possible. Friday's venue will depend on weather conditions, but with this crowd, and this mountain, the day is sure to be outrageous.

— Michelle Quigley, chasing shralpers for

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