COVID cancels Candy Cane Cup
Nakkertok not hopeful red zone designation will be lifted in time
By Stuart Benson
This year’s Candy Cane Cup, scheduled for Dec. 12 and 13, at the Nakkertok cross-country ski club, will no longer be a FIS regional event or provincial cup, due to public health restrictions related to the COVID-19 red zone.
According to a press release from the ski club on Nov. 10, the organizers for the event made the decision because there did not seem to be much chance of any major changes to the public health restrictions prior to the event, and to give athletes enough time to cancel their travel plans from across Quebec and Ontario.
“There's been plans and organization done for the race since this summer, so the issue isn't the planning,” explained Anton Scheier, a member of the Nakkertok racing committee. He added that there was still hope for a smaller, modified event for local skiers should the restrictions lessen.
“The hope is to have some sort of event, but we'll see if there's another extension of the red zone at the end of the month,” he said.
Nakkertok Alumni Candy Cane Cup, an early-season Canada Points List race, allows athletes in Eastern Canada to test themselves in a high-level, early season race without having to travel to Western Canada. It is organized by the parents of former Nakkertok race program participants.
This season also marks the 5th year of the Nakkertrak, a 2.5-kilometre artificial snow trail at Nakkertok in Cantley and Vals-des-Monts, designed for early, on-snow training, and is open to Nakkertok members, other ski clubs and individuals who want to get a head start on the ski season. In the past few seasons, the trail has opened by Nov. 12, but the recent warmer conditions have delayed the start by a few days.
“We've tested the [artificial-snow] system to make sure everything is working, but we look for temperatures over a three-day period where temperatures are going to be below -2 C at least in the evening,” Scheier explained.
He added that the forecast should reach the desired temperatures this week or by early next week.