Whistler riding is an acquired taste, pretty tough and weird at first.
I think this deserves to be said again. For those of us that have ridden lots in the valley we know what the trail (and climbs) would be like. People that have not ridden here have likely read and heard about how amazing the riding it, but had different expectations on how it would flow and feel. This certainly isn't flow country until you find the correct rhythm.
My first lap down Hey Bud for the last S2S Enduro I was hating life, I had not ridden in the valley since last year. I got owned by the trail. Second lap down I cut over a minute off my time and really enjoyed it, I found the flow.
The 80/20 think I've quoted many times comes from either the EWS guide book or an interview Chris Ball did (maybe with Seb? I forget). Personally I think it's great, it shouldn't be 100% dh.
End of the day I had a wicked fun time. Like flip said there were many from our 30-39 class on the GLC patio post race with beer in hand and swapping war stories while grinning.
For people that want a more laid back atmosphere there is the BC Enduro Series and the Sea to Sky Series. No set transition times and trail choices picked to cater to a more diverse and broad rider ability. We need to remember that the EWS is basically letting us race WC DH/XC pro course with any qualifier. I love that, but perhaps some riders just are not ready to step up to the world class level.
I still hold that a sponsored pro rider shouldn't be whinning ala the Robot blog.