Although there is no Heat ski team there are students attending UBC Okanagan that compete on the international stage in sport while attending the Kelowna campus of UBC.
Jackson Stewart currently at UBC Okanagan and in his second year of engineering, finished in seven place in the Canada Freeride Open Championships at Red Mountain Resort in Rossland on January 25th. The event featured 51 of the best freeride skiers from all over the world including riders from Montana, Wisconsin and even a rider from Australia. Stewart finished with a time of 60.87 seconds for his two runs, only 4.20 seconds behind the eventual winner.
The second year student from Vernon has skied since the age of three, originally he started in ski racing at the age of 12 he expanded and began to compete in free skiing. When asked about what his skiing goals are Jackson said ” to continue challenging myself, and have fun”. The event in Rossland was the last race of the season for Stewart and he will compete at Red Mountain once again next season.
The week-long event presented by Helly Hansen included a collegiate portion that ran with qualifying runs happening all day on the Tuesday, Jan. 24 and on the finals ran on the Wednesday.
Stewart and his fellow competitors were judged on his line choice, fluidity, style, control and aggressiveness on the Links Line ski run, a 450m run that has a 227m drop over that nearly half-kilometre and features rocks and cliffs that challenged the athletes with a lot of big air opportunities but also a need to remain in control with good technical skiing.