Slide Show NorAm Cup 2016 at MSA

Ski de fond Mont-Sainte-Anne Cross-country skiing

Ski de fond Mont-Sainte-Anne Cross Country Skiing (photo: pierre shanks)

The new skiing season is here and this one promises to be exciting. There is of course Alex and Devon and Lenny. Ivan “Babs” Babikov has gone into retirement and is now a coach with the national team.

Most exciting will be to see how the up and coming athletes are progressing. The summer training has been productive and most of them are in great form.

To launch the season, Skiplus is presenting a slide show on the Haywood NorAm Cup at Mont-Ste-Anne last January. It’s our first audio/video production and a very humble one.

To all the athletes, coaches, support staff and parents, have a great season. Let’s get psyched!

Pic du Jour

Philippe Boucher (photo: pierre shanks)

Philippe Boucher (photo: pierre shanks)

Embrace the world!

Philippe Boucher, highly regarded Canadian prospect, was in Craftsbury (VT) with the friendly American neighbors for a sprint race on Saturday.

Skiplus will post many more photographs of this event within in the upcoming days.

Maya MacIsaac-Jones wins first sr race on NorAm Cup

Erin Yungblut, Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Andrea Dupont (photo credit: Kalli Green)

Erin Yungblut, Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Andrea Dupont (photo credit: Kalli Green)

Tremendous day Saturday for Maya MacIsaac-Jones.

The Rocky Mountain Racers Ski Team up and coming star earned her first senior win on NorAm Cup when she took the sr women free sprint in Sovereign Lake, ahead of teammate Andrea Dupont and CNEPH’s Marie Corriveau, also impressive as she is still a junior.

Here are Mayas’ thoughts after the race.

“After having a tough sprint on Tuesday, I was really happy to be able to pull it together both physically and mentally for today’s race.

«Racing in Senior heats is a completely different ball game than Junior heats, because you have to go at max effort in every heat to advance. Since we have such a strong group of women in Canada right now, it made today very exciting!

«One of the best parts of the day was being able to race the heats with so many of my teammates and sharing the podium with Andrea! My teammates have been extremely supportive of me this past week, especially after Tuesday’s race, and I think that played a huge part in helping me have a positive mental outlook today.»

There will be a 10 km skate race on Sunday.

Adrenaline will be flowing.

On sexism and the image of female athletes

Rosanna Crawford

Rosanna Crawford

We’re far from an ideal world, but women’s lot in sport keeps improving.

In this second of three articles, Rosanna Crawford, the biathlete, doesn’t beat around the bush to convey her opinion.

“For cross-country, I really think that the women should be doing distances that reflect times closer to that of the men, we are strong and can recover just as quickly as men.”

Continue reading

De retour en 2015-2016 – Back in 2015-16

Skiplus poursuivra ses activités en 2015-2016 pour une 4e saison. Les détails de notre plan de couverture restent encore à peaufiner.

Nous entamerons la saison dès demain mercredi avec le premier d’une série de trois articles sur l’égalité des femmes dans le ski de fond. /

Skiplus will be back for a fourth season in 2015-16. We’ll kick things off tomorrow Wednesday with the first of three articles on women’s equality/equity in x-c skiing.

Maya MacIsaac-Jones : The Winner Doesn’t Take It All

Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Jennifer Jackson (photo: Martin Kaiser)

Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Jennifer Jackson (photo: Martin Kaiser)

Maya MacIsaac-Jones was absolutely brilliant Wednesday at the nationals, in Thunder Bay, where she won the Jr Women long sprint (1,5 km).

by pierre shanks

She played her cards intelligently, first setting a reference time of 3 min 30 s 32/100 with a commanding 6 sec lead over local favorite and up and coming Jennifer Jackson. She knew she had set the bar high.

«My sprint day started out very well with a great qualifier, which made me both excited and very nervous for the heats», said Maya afterwards.

Then she won both her quarter final (3:49.37) and semi final (3:38.71) in a slower pace before the big showdown for the gold medal.

«I knew going into the final that it would be a big battle, so I just went for it and pushed as hard as I could and managed to lead right to the end!»

Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Jennifer Jackson (photo: Martin Kaiser)

Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Jennifer Jackson as they cross the finish line (photo: Martin Kaiser)

We were given two great pictures by Martin Kaiser that show both skiers at the finish line. See on both of them how much those athletes are giving it everything they’ve got. So totally dedicated to their sport.

But that’s not all ! This was about it for those girls competing with each other, as most of them, like Maya, will be moving on to the seniors next season and will face a different breed of racers. Emotion took over at the finish and they were clearly all winners then.

«One of the best things about today’s race was having a group hug with all of the other girls after the finish, said Maya. I think there we have a very strong up-and-coming group of girls right now in Canada, and it has been so much fun racing and pushing each other throughout the season.

Group hug (photo: Bernard Pigeon)

Group hug (photo: Bernard Pigeon)

«Although it was a bit sad for us to be done sprinting as juniors, I am very excited to see what we can do next year challenging the seniors!»

Well, so she should. Maya’s time in today’s final (3:25.34) would have given her… the bronze medal with the seniors.

Let’s rock.

So long Almaty!

Katherine Stewart-Jones, Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Sophie Carrier-Laforte

Katherine Stewart-Jones, Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Sophie Carrier-Laforte

It’s been a positive experience for the junior canadian squad at the Jr-U23 World Championships in Kazakhstan.

Katherine Stewart-Jones, Maya MacIsaac-Jones and Sophie Carrier-Laforte will never forget their participation at the Worlds, the first one for Maya and Sophie.

We thank them for their generosity (and this amazing picture!) and wish them the best for things to come.

«I had so much fun racing today!» -Maya MacIsaac-Jones

Dahria Beatty and Maya MacIsaac-Jones in Almaty

Dahria Beatty and Maya MacIsaac-Jones in Almaty

And that’s what it’s all about when you’re young and willing and learning and progressing.

Maya MacIsaac-Jones learned a little bit more about racing in the Jr Women 5 km F at the World Championships in Almaty.

So she placed 45th, just behind NWT’s Annah Hanthorn, the worst result among the four Canadians in the race. Think she would be devastated? Ha! That’s not knowing her.

«I had so much fun racing today in Almaty! The conditions were beautiful– hard packed cold tracks, and it was warm and sunny outside.

«Racingwise, I was disappointed with my placing but happy that I was only roughly 1 min 30 s behind the leader. Although that is a large gap for a 5 km race, it isn’t something that is impossible to make up.

«Tactically, I made a bit of a mistake by holding back a bit too much at the start of the course, but I was really happy with my finishing speed.»

By the way, when she gets older, Maya wants to become a journalist.


«Felt great to show the world Canadian girls can be fast internationally!» -Maya MacIsaac-Jones

Maya MacIsaac-Jones

Maya MacIsaac-Jones last month in Duntroon, Ontario

Maya MacIsaac-Jones may not have achieved her day’s goal in Tuesday’s sprint at the Jr World Championships, but she showed something that will serve her even better for the rest of her life : being a team girl.

«My “realistic” goal for today’s race was to qualify, so I am very happy I achieved that!

«My “dream goal” was to get a top-15, and I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t advance past the quarter finals, but overall I am happy with the day. It was so much fun to be able to race in the heats and to get a chance to go head-to-head with the best juniors in the world.

«The best part of today was begin able to qualify with 3 other Canadian girls, it felt great to show the world that Canadian girls can be fast internationally!»

« If a goal was easy to achieve, it wasn’t worth having in the first place» -Julian Smith

Julian Smith

Julian Smith (photo:

Reactions are coming in to us from Almaty, where classic sprint races opened the Jrs/U23 World Championships.

Canada had a good first day overall. You can read a complete report here from Cross Country Canada.

Julian Smith trains at the Thunder Bay National Development Center. He lived fully his first ever race in a World Championship. You can feel the passion as he shares his feelings.

«Well, today was awesome experience! It was my first step of my international career.

«In the morning, while at the hotel and once at the race course before warm-up started, I was feeling the nerves, in a good way, but nonetheless I was.

«Warm-up started and everything other than what I was doing at that very moment went out the window. I felt focused and my body was working well. Nearing the end of the warm-up I was feeling a little heavy but that was mostly in my head.

«The clock counted down from five, I snapped the wand open and off I went! One step after another as hard as I could push! My body felt really good, I was focused and pushed hard.

«My skis were running super well, however the major climb on the course was rather sunny, making it a tough job to get great grip! I dug deep up the final climb and surged for the finish line! I ended up 39th, which I was happy with based on the fact that I had met many of my process goals, even though I didn’t obtain my results based goals.

«All in all, the day was a success based on how I felt, the fact that I was racing and competing at World Juniors and what I learned! As I like to remember, if a goal was easy to achieve, it wasn’t worth having in the first place.»

That’s what we call being mature. Serious. Dedicated. We look forward to Julian’s next race.

Scott Hill was feeling good

In the U23 sprints, we got this reaction from Scott Hill.

«I felt good going into the sprint. It was a tricky wax day and there was only one big uphill on the course so it was a tough decision to go for more glide or grip.

«By the time I raced, the hill had gotten really icy and it was hard to get grip climbing the hill and that is where I lost a lot of time.

«Overall I was disappointed with my result but happy that I was feeling good going into the distance races which are more my strength,»

Olivia and Maya On A Horse With No Name

Olivia Bouffart-Nesbitt and Maya MacIsaac-Jones

Olivia Bouffart-Nesbitt and Maya MacIsaac-Jones

Olivia Bouffart-Nesbitt and Maya MacIsaac-Jones probably wished the horse was real! They are both in Almaty, Kazakhstan, getting ready for the World Junior and U23 Championships.

«I am still adjusting to the time change in Kazakhstan, says Maya, so I am still feeling a bit tired from that, but I did intensity two days ago and felt great during the intensity.

«Mentally, I am still feeling tired from the time change, but physically my body is feeling very strong, so I think that once I adjust to the time change properly I will feel great and ready to race!

«The race organizers are still setting up the sprint course, so I haven’t had a chance to ski it yet, but once it is open I will be skiing it a lot to look at race strategy and tactical ideas.»

Skiplus will cover some : live tweeting for a number of races, reports, reactions from athletes and some exclusive pictures. Canada has sent a strong team to Kazakhstan so the week promises to be exciting.

RIP Larry Sinclair

Larry Sinclair

Larry Sinclair

We were in Duntroon, Ontario, recently for a NorAm Cup and it is with great sadness that we have learned yesterday that Larry Sinclair, the founder of Highlands Nordic, has passed away.

Larry also served as a national team coach.

Larry had been inducted last October into the Collingwood Sports Hall of Fame.

Complete article from the Collingwood Connection

Our deepest thoughts are with his family.





Maya MacIsaac-Jones: Reason to Believe

The picture below shows what a top athlete looks like after a supreme effort. Moments before, Maya MacIsaac-Jones was helped up back on her feet after winning the junior sprint at the World Jr Championships selections in Duntroon, Ontario.

Maya MacIsaac-Jones

Maya MacIsaac-Jones, exhausted after her victory

«I felt tired during my qualifier today but by the time I got to my semi-final and final I was feeling great, said Maya after the race.

«I was surprised at how the final ended up playing out. I just went as hard as I could from the start and managed to keep the lead. The great skis from my coaches for the heats were a huge help too.

«I have been working really hard towards this so it is great to see all that work pay off!»

The win qualifies Maya for the World Jr Championships in Kazakhstan.

And yes, there is reason to believe.


Dan Roycroft – The man behind Zone4

Here he is, Dan Roycroft. We took the opportunity during Friday’s rest day in Duntroon (for NorAm races) to connect with the «brain» behind the essential website.

Dan Roycroft

Dan Roycroft

Dan is an ex-member of the Canadian national x-c ski team and founder of, the top race timing system in North America.

Zone4 is also working on a new custom chip timing system that will, when ready for public use, be a huge step forward in the world of race timing.

Long live Zone4!

The Zone4 headquarters at Highlands Nordic in Duntroon, Ontario

The Zone4 headquarters at Highlands Nordic in Duntroon, Ontario