Vancouver, March 2, 2023 – The Nor-Am Circuit made a stop at Le Relais in Lac-Beauport on February 27, and several Canadian athletes took the opportunity to shine in front of the home crowd during the two events on the program.
Charlie Fontaine was one of the stars of the day, clinching two medals. The 17-year-old skier won silver in her first competition and bronze just a few hours later in the next.
“We’re pleasantly surprised with Charlie’s results. Her jumps are very consistent. She has really come into her own this year. Her physical strength is an advantage for doubles. That’s what has really made the difference for her this year,” noted her father and coach, Nicolas Fontaine.
The competition was originally scheduled to take place over two days, on February 27 and 28. However, the poor weather conditions forecast for the second day forced the organizers to move the activities up a day. Consequently, in the second event, only the two first jumps counted toward the final standings.
Dani Loeb of the USA won both the women’s events, while her compatriot Megan Smallhouse finished third in the first event and second in the second, just a few hours later.
The only other Canadian woman in action was Rosalie Gagnon, who finished sixth in the first event and fifth in the second.
Haineault and Primeau strong in men’s contest
In the men’s competition, the first event was dominated by Alec Haineault, who won the gold medal thanks to his consistently impeccable technique. His win highlights “his excellent progress,” according to Nicolas Fontaine.
“Like Charlie, Alec also made great leaps this year. He’s excellent in the air, where he performs very difficult tricks, and he’s able to land them flawlessly. He’s been on our radar for a long time, but this year, he has really come through,” said the coach.
Haineault was accompanied on the podium by Connor Curran of the USA and by his teammate Victor Primeau, who won bronze. And while Primeau is pleased with his result, he can still taste his bitter rivalry with Curran as they race for the top spot in the circuit’s rankings.
In the second and final event of the day, Curran once again bested the discipline’s junior world champion, this time for gold. The Québécois therefore finished on the second step of the podium, while Ian Schoenwald of the USA finished third, just ahead of Haineault.
“Despite everything, it was a good day for Victor,” stated Nicolas Fontaine. “He was happy with his jumps and with his scores, but it’s hard to be completely satisfied when your biggest rival beats you twice.”
Gabriel Dion, Pierre-Olivier Côté, Eliot Beauregard, Louis Aumond, Nicolas Martineau, Anthony Noël and Olivier Hudon also competed for Canada at Le Relais.
Although they were not quite as successful on home turf as had been previously hoped, Nicolas Fontaine is nevertheless pleased with their performances, noting that some of them had excellent results earlier in the season.
“We’re happy because it’s not always the same athletes who win. Each weekend, a different person does particularly well. Gabriel Dion was on the podium twice last week at Park City. Eliot Beauregard also finished on the podium in his first competition. There is some good depth to our team. It shows that our program is strong,” he concluded.
The next aerials competition on the Nor-Am circuit is scheduled for March 3 and 4, once again at Le Relais. On the same dates, the Canadian team will also be in Val St-Côme for the single and dual moguls Nor-Am Cup events.