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.
The start of the season has definitely had some challenging weather and snow conditions. The first races of the season were to be the Wanaka Tech Series with two days at Cardrona and two days at Treble Cone from 31st July – 5th August, unfortunately these have been postponed. After a lot of heavy rain, warm temperatures and gale force winds the only race completed was one women’s slalom at Cardrona. Fortunately the temperatures have dropped considerably and we’ve had a slight top up of fresh snow together with many snow guns blazing so training at Coronet Peak is still going well.
Bode Miller on Easy Rider, Rocky Gully
We have been sharing the slopes with some of the American team including Bode Miller and Mikaela Shiffrin. Some good double training blocks at Rocky Gully of GS and slalom.
Race Arena, Rocky Gully
It’s been awhile – had a tiny break from the Ski Life after Europe and the past two months I have been concentrating on fitness with the start of on-snow training a little delayed due to lack of snow but it’s all go now. All sorts of crazy weather but we have finally had a good cold spell and even though a bit dry, Coronet Peak and their 212 snow guns have been super busy making snow so the start of our training season has been awesome. Home base is always a great place to train and it’s working well with all the National team members together.
Wakatipu Basin on way to Coronet
Training has been going really well with early starts, on snow at 7.30am – which has been a little dark. The snow is finally falling today! Always thinking of my sponsors and supporters who have contributed so much towards allowing me to continue to follow my dream – thanks again Team, truly value your continued support. Now wearing the awesome clothing and gear from Merrell and Patagonia and getting our way through many a healthy One Square Meals!
We have been fitting in two sessions each day, sometimes a block of slalom and then giant slalom or a double block of either. Then maybe a gym session in the afternoon. Today, with snow falling we had our first super g session followed by GS – after the fresh snowfall overnight there was some slipping to do but was still a good day.
Awesome Team! Thanks Blowie for coming on board and helping me with your support!
My Northern Hemisphere season is at an end and I am enjoying being back home in Queenstown. I had some amazing experiences attending my first Olympics, met goals and once again met amazing people and visited some great places. Thank you to all my sponsors and supporters who make this possible, especially my parents. Huge thanks to my coach, Nils Coberger who goes the extra mile – looking forward to the coming seasons. Also many thanks to Zobri Trust, Adastra Foundation, Community Trust of Southland, Skeggs Foundadion, Wanaka Ski & Snowsports Club, Guenther Raedler, Hefin & Christine, Snowvision & Browns Ski Shop, NZ Skimasters, XTM, POC Australia & NZ, HEAD, Komperdell, Alpine Health & Fitness Queenstown, NZSki.com, and all my supporters out there. I’ve put together a few photo below from my time in Europe and Sochi, enjoy!
Many thanks to the continuing fantastic support by The Community Trust of Southland. They support many people in wide and varied fields from the Southland province and the Queenstown, Glenorchy, Arrowtown, Tapanui and Heriot areas, so I feel privileged to have received their ongoing support. This year with my sports scholarship, the funding has gone towards getting to Sochi, Russia to attend the 2014 Winter Olympics which has been an amazing experience.