Mt Crichton track overlooking Lake Wakatipu
Thank you to everyone for a great year in 2014 – for all your support and encouragement. It has been a busy end to the year with races finishing up in Panorama before a quick trip home for Christmas the first time in many years. I am currently enjoying the warmth of Queenstown, getting well fed and battling with the volume of pollen circulating the district, as well as getting in some strength training.
The NorAm series at Panorama were a bit of a mixed lot for me with some good runs, but also too many mistakes. The snow conditions were quite icy and with the men’s giant slalom following on after 80 women, it was quite bumpy. Day 1 GS, I bumped a ski off which was frustrating as felt I was skiing well. Day 2 GS didn’t ski quite so well and made a few mistakes but finished with a result. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to finish the slalom races.
I’ve added a few images from my last few weeks in Colorado and Canada for you to get a better picture of where I’ve been for the start of the northern hemisphere. The team and I will be heading back to Colorado to continue training and races in about a week.
Start gate – Aspen giant slalom
Lake Louise downhill course
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and all the best for the rest of the season!
Aspen GS Course
After some good training at both Copper Mountain and Vail to kick off the season, and finally some snow, races have begun. With snow conditions in Europe not the best and World Cup races in the States, there is a large number of Europeans training and racing here, so the first at Echo Mountain (a night slalom) was a stacked field. These races were quickly followed by the first of the NorAm series, again with an incredible field of top athletes. Snow conditions were rough and icy for the giant slalom at Aspen. I started bib 57 and couldn’t quite find my rhythm on a very tiring course. Unfortunately, I didn’t complete both runs. We then travelled back to Dillon for the slalom races at Copper Mountain where the chalky snow conditions created challenging grooves and fell apart quickly. I was really pleased to have won the yellow bib from the ANC series as it meant a 31 start in a world cup field of athletes including Sweden’s Mattias Hargin on 2.8 points and ranked 4th in the World! Day one didn’t go quite as hoped with a few mistakes which cost me dearly however I had a better second run. Day two was a much better day and I had the 3rd fastest time in the second run; I was happy to finish 15th overall.
The Team. Fresh snow at Copper 26 November 2014
Just arrived in Canada for some more races with the first for me being a slalom at Norquay (6th Dec) where I took out first place. Several more races and then the NorAm circuit continues to Panorama, Canada, from Dec. 13 – 20 where there will be one super combined, two slalom, two GS, and two super G races.
Week one, Dillon
We have been in Colorado two weeks now and training has been going well. We arrived to very little snow which has meant a variety of start times to get our turn on snow along with all the other teams currently at Copper Mountain. Some mornings we’ve been up at 4.45am for a 6.30am start while other days it’s been around 2.00pm. Even though there is little snow, our training area has been very good. It has also taken a bit of time getting used to skiing at altitude (12,330 feet / 3750m at Copper). A few days ago we had our first snow storm arrive which was very welcome, although made for some frosty training.
I have been training predominately slalom and while it is early in the season, feel I am making some progress. Managed to sprain my thumb in the first week while skiing through ruts but fortunately it hasn’t stopped my training. Today we were supposed to have our first gs session but it has just been cancelled due to snow and lane space issues.
Very lucky to have the HEAD technician working on my new boots, getting them fitted this week.
Boot fitting – Thanks HEAD
Another beautiful day
Snow Planet – Nick, Willis, Adam
The time from our last race until the start of another Northern Hemisphere season seems to have been very brief this year, with the visit to Auckland’s Snow Planet for some fund-raising and poster signing just weeks ago. Thanks to Snow Planet for hosting our NZ Ski Racing Club Supporters Event – it was an interesting experience racing the indoor slalom. Great to meet all the young athletes.
Over the past month, my focus has been on gaining fitness and strength – it has been so beneficial having Alpine Health and Fitness supporting the Team, allowing us the use of their gym – thanks! And the task of sorting gear for the NH season – thanks once again to POC, Australia New Zealand for providing me with helmet, goggles and shin guards. Also got some excellent Avoca gear which will be great in the colder Colorado altitude; Merrell shoes and clothing also a very welcome addition. Skeggs Foundation is a tremendous and supportive organisation who have once again helped me out with some funding for the coming season, along with the team at Just Dig It – thanks Blowie! Many thanks also to Guenther Raedler – appreciate your continued support. ZoBri Trust – great to have you on board again for another season. Hamish Edwards – truly amazing to have you along for the journey! A huge thank you to all my sponsors and supporters who continue to help me to continue with the sport I love.
Adam Barwood, Willis Feasey, Nils Coberger (coach)
1st November and we have arrived in Colorado where we will be based just outside of Denver in a place called Dillon until early December. Not a lot of snow on the ground yet, but hopefully we will get in some good training before our first lot of races. This will include a couple of NorAm races before we head north to Panorama, Canada for some more races before Christmas. The team includes Willis Feasey, Nick Prebble and coach, Nils Coberger and we will be joined by Australian athlete, Luc Chevalier.
We are coming to the finish of our New Zealand season after some great races at Coronet Peak. The finals of the tech series of ANC Cup races saw perfect weather (although just a little warm!) blue skies, and the snow held out over the four days. There were some top international athletes with a similar start list to the ANC races in Hotham including Adam Zampa in bib 1, four days in a row.
View from the race course over Wakatipu Basin
The races kicked off with two days of giant slalom and with my ANC points I started in a good position. I scored a points result day one with a top second run but made a few mistakes day two. This was followed up with two days of slalom, again with some good results but just a few too many mistakes. All up though, my technique is getting more solid all the time and I feel I’ve made some good gains this season. For the overall ANC Cup series I won the yellow bib for slalom. Unfortunately the speed races at Mt Hutt where all canceled due to snow conditions.
Still a little more on snow training to be had over the next couple of weeks as well as getting into more dryland training before leaving to Colorado at the start of November.
On another note, our NZ Ski Team have started a Supporters Club and have held our first evening last week in Queenstown with another to be in Christchurch 18th September. Take a read and if you would like to show your support, drop Hamish Edwards a line email@example.com
It’s been great to catch up again with friends from all around the world and be able to take some time out for the occasional game of frisbee golf in our beautiful part of the country.
It’s good to be back home training at Rocky Gully after a busy week away in Australia to attend the Australia New Zealand (ANC) Cup races at Mt Hotham. The races were from 25th – 28th August plus a weather day which was almost needed. We arrived into Hotham close to midnight after flying from Queenstown. It was fairly interesting the next morning with a short free ski on the hill to see it for the first time. Our accommodation was at Dinner Plains, just 15 minutes drive from Mt Hotham. We experienced a variety of Australian weather – rain, fog, strong wind and heat but managed to get in some good skiing with blue skies.
The races began with giant slalom which after some bad weather leading up to it, started with blue skies. Day two was delayed with high winds, also rain and fog so the start position was lowered to be able to get the race off. Days 3 and 4 were the slaloms where I had better results with clear sunny days and the snow freezing overnight. On the final day of slalom I scored an 18 point result against some top international athletes which was pretty satisfying. Adam Zampa (Slovakia) won all four races with a few Americans in the mix including Nolan Kasper, Michael Ankeny, Robby Kelly and Tim Kelly.
Slalom warm-up course
Snake Gully Hut, Hotham
Slalom Race, Mt Hotham
With a day up our sleeve in Melbourne after not needing the weather day, we took some time out to watch an AFL match at the MCG Stadium before heading back to Queenstown.
MCG Stadium, Melbourne
After some less than desirable snow conditions and weather leading up to the National Championship races, it was great to begin to excellent conditions on the 20th August with the giant slalom. Had a fast second run but it wasn’t quite enough to pull away from the faster first run from team mate Willis, so came in at second place. Amazing weather and great conditions continued for the slalom race on the 20th and I took out the National Champion title for the third year running. Take a look at the great conditions and some of the athletes at the slalom race (I’m bib 2) in this video from Snowsports NZ.
Slalom podium – Nick Prebble 2nd, Adam Barwood 1st Willis Feasey 3rd.Giant Slalom Podium – Adam Barwood 2nd, Willis Feasey 1st, Nick Prebble 3rd
The next series of races which are for the ANC Cup start on the 25th August at Mt Hotham, Australia so we depart this morning for Melbourne.