Big White Freestyle Coach Wins Legendary Mount Baker Banked Slalom

Posted On: February 22, 2017 |
This week we caught up with Stephanie Haines, Head Coach of our Big White Freestyle team, and chatted about her big win at the 31st Legendary Mount Baker Banked Slalom.

29-year-old Stephanie discovered her passion for snowboarding at age 11 and knew right away that her talent for snowboarding would be something she would end up pursuing for many years to come.

“I just snowboarded as much as I could because I loved it,” says Stephanie. “I love that you can do so many different things with it – ride park, powder, halfpipe, go fast and ride groomers, turning, jumping. Once I started snowboarding, I was hooked.”

Stephanie has now been snowboarding for 18 years, and is a Level 3 Snowboard Instructor for the Big White Ski & Board School as well as an avid racer. Her dedication to her sport was most recently demonstrated when she came first at what is widely considered most prestigious banked slalom in North America – the Legendary Mount Baker Banked Slalom.

The competition to participate in this event is high, and once invited, the training required to compete is rigorous.  

“It’s really difficult to get in - because everybody wants to get in,” explains Stephanie, “but then Flynn Seddon (Terrain Park Director of Big White TELUS Park) got some spots for the Neil Edgeworth Memorial Banked Slalom. I won that a couple years ago, and then got a spot to Baker.”

When is came to preparing for the event - “I just snowboarded as much as I could,” Stephanie says, “the more you snowboard the better you’ll do.”

This was Stephanie’s second time competing in the Legendary Mount Baker Banked Slalom. This year, Stephanie took the winning title in the ‘Pro Women’ division with a time of 1:18:50, narrowly edging out second place contender, Spencer O’Brien who finished with a time of 1:18:82.

“It was tough competition – heated!,” comments Stephanie, “I didn’t think I was going to get first place. You have two runs, in the finals, and my first run I was sitting in second place, Spencer O’Brien beat me in that run by one second. On your second run, they don’t show the time, and it was really close between Torah Bright and Spencer and myself, so I was stoked to get the win!”

This was by no means Stephanie’s last banked slalom event. Stephanie does the Neil Edgeworth at Big White every year.

While Stephanie's race results speak for themselves, it's her remarkable talent for teaching, training and inspiring future racers that make her so valuable. Next weekend, Stephanie will be taking the Big White Freestyle Team to Red Mountain to compete in the Rattlecat Cup. “I’m taking six kids. I have 13 kids in total on the team, ranging in age from 9 to 18.”

If you are an advanced skier or snowboarder, aged 7-17, and are interested in signing up to become a member of the Big White Freestyle Team, you can find more details here.

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