WCHA 2015 Canadian Hillclimb Championship at Silver Star
Hillclimb is back and alive in Canada!!!
Story and photos by Jordan Dechka
The WHCA Canadian Hillclimb Championships just went down at Silver Star Resort in Vernon, B.C.
The racers came from all over Western Canada to battle it out for hillclimb supremacy. The organizers were overwhelmed with registration as over 150 racer entries were made over multiple classes. Juniors, Semi Pro’s, Ladies, Masters, Sno-bikes and Pro classes were full with some classes exceeding 50 racers per class.
Silverstar was a buzz with sled activity! The course ripped right through the village and then headed up the mountain through a maze of jumps and gates.
Don’t confuse Hillclimb with sidehilling through your favourite alpine bowl on a nice powder day. Hillclimb is fast and rough and tough and only the awesome-st sledders survive!
Saturday morning starts with the sound of 2 stroke and the smell of VP in the air. Racers are pulling out their sleds from their trailers and top Pros like Ski-doo, 509, VP Fuel sponsored racer Brandon Micku were up at the crack of dawn walking the course and looking for any place to gain a second or two.
The racers have a drivers meeting at 8:15 am and then start to line-up for qualifying, Qualifying is done on 3/4 of the course and it is a timed race to the top.
The top 50 percent are taken for the Semi Pro and other classes while only 20 percent of the Pros make the cut. Sled after sled tore up the mountain while tunes pumped, beer flowed in the beer gardens and the voice of B.C. Hillclimb legend, John Wren, filled the air.
Suddenly it was time for the Snowbikes. Brock, “The Destroyer” Hoyer lined up his Yamaha Timbersled 450 and absolutely pinned it out of the gate smashing the first tabletop at lightning speed and crushing the course with fast time of the day!
Fans cheered, mouths dropped, beer was cheers-ed. Snowbikes are here and are here to stay.
The qualifying ran long into the day and Saturday ended with the Pro Mod categories having to wait until Sunday morning to have a chance at the hill.
That evening the Silverstar Village was a alive. Sledders had invaded the cute resort town and the party at the town hall bar lasted until the wee hours of the morning.
Sunday Sunday Sunday!!!
Pro Mod qualifying and finals were on the menu. The Mod sleds are evil, vicious monsters built from the ground up to eat snow and annihilate the rough. They crackled, they spit, the turbos wailed and the top pro racers qualified for the finals.
Anticipation, Excitement, it’s final time!!!
Standout in the ladies class was ex-BCSF snowcross champion Terry Remyn. She came, she raced, she left with prizes and the Gold.
Standout in the Semi Pro classes were Morgan Gamache, Tyler Pukas, Justin and Brandon Backus and the young but lethal Matt Mcray, son of BCSF Hillclimb god Kevin Mcray.
In the Masters, Neil McLaren, owner of Boost-it turbos owned the podium in both stock and Mod classes with BCSF legends Cal Boettcher and Rick Seibert close behind.
Now for the Pros. Timing lights get moved to the top of the mountain, the sun creeps from behind the clouds and reveals the rest of the climb. A mogul infested run to the top of Silver Star Resort.
Standout racers in the Pro classes are 509, VP Fuel, Monster Energy, Arctic Cat rider Brett Turcotte, taking top honors in Stock 800 and Pro Open and a solid 3rd in Pro Mod. Another racer bringing home some Hillclimb Bling was 509, VP Fuel, Ski-doo sponsored rider Brandon Micku, who came away with the win in Pro 800 Improved and placed solid in all his classes ending with a 3rd in Stock 800, a 6th in Mod 600, a 2nd in Pro Mod and a 3rd in Pro Open. Team Backus Polaris Racing also had a strong showing with Polaris, FXR racer Trent Backus taking top honors in Stock 600 and Mod 600 and Polaris, FXR racer Tyler Backus, taking top honors in Pro Mod.
The WHCA Hillclimb was a huge success. The event concluded with a awards ceremony where the racers were bathed in cash and prizes from event sponsors Mountain Sports Distribution, VP Racing Fuels, Boost-it Turbos and others. Thanks to Tyler Collett, and all his amazing staff and to Silver Star Resort for hosting such a radical event.
It looks like Hillclimb Racing is back in Canada and here to stay.
– Jordan Dechka