New Season New Plan

Working towards the start of the 2019 NZ season with plenty of time spent in the gym building on strength and condition is keeping me busy, thanks to Alpine Health and Fitness. As one journey ends another begins and with funding from NZ Ski Charitable Trust (Hamish Edwards) coming to an end, it’s time to reassess. This season, after five great years of training at Coronet Peak with the Coberger Academy, I feel it is time for a change and am excited to be heading to Cardrona again. This season I will be under the experienced coaching of Osi Inglin and CAST (Cardrona Alpine Ski Team)

Many thanks to the Skeggs Foundation once again for your continued support. For any athlete in the Otago Region, be sure to check out their funding opportunities, click on the link and head on over to their website.

It was great to experience a breath of summer in Thailand and Bali after a tough season in Europe and get a chance to try something different with a bit of surfing in warm water!

It was a much needed break from winter to unwind and move on from what had been a difficult season. While I had some excellent training in Europe and some of my racing improved, results were hard to come by and the pressure was on.  Another season where the elements made for tough conditions with dumpings of fresh snow just before races, or warm wet conditions also adding to the mix.  In amongst all the World Cup races, we also headed up to Sweden to Åre for the World Ski Championships in February where it was another mixed bag of weather and conditions! I picked up second place on the podium for the National champs slalom race in Jasna, Slovakia early March which was a bonus. From Europe after the final World Cup race in Kranjska Gora, Slovakia 9th March, we rushed over to catch the tail end of the NorAm races in Burke, USA on the 12th March for four days of racing.  Not ideal conditions on top of the stress of travel and changing time zones made for a tough end to the season mentally as well as physically. 

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New Year 2019

It’s been a little while since last posting so just a brief update and some photos from the past month in Europe.  After leaving Colorado we headed to Europe to continue on with the World Cup races with the first being in Val d’Isere, France.   On the way I stopped off to pick up some new gear from Volkl Marker Dalbello which was greatly appreciated.  The race at Val d’Isere had tricky conditions with heavy snow falling and quite bumpy.  Had some good turns but over skied a few places.

Val d’Isere
Val d’Isere Finish area

From France we headed on down to Italy with a brief stop in Milan before heading to the next race at Alta Badia in the beautiful Dolomites.  Had some excellent training conditions with perfect weather. I was much happier with my skiing in the race but not quite there for a second run.

Alta BAdia

From Alta Badia, Italy it was a quick trip back to base in Austria before flying home to New Zealand for a bit of a break over Christmas before the next set of races.  Hope everyone has had a great Christmas and wishing you all the best in 2019.

Back on Snow – Colorado Nov 2018

After a much needed and enjoyable break from the ski slopes, time has flown by and it’s back to the Northern Hemisphere!  Big shout out to Skeggs Foundation for their amazing support over the years – to all you Otago athletes out there, go and have a look at the funding support on their website!

And for all those Dirty Jobs – go ask the dirty Boys at Just Dig It Thanks Blowie! Appreciate the support, always great to catch up with you and Todd.

Before leaving New Zealand I had a quick trip to Snow Planet in Auckland for a Ski Racing Clinic. Thanks John Harman for organizing the morning and to all the athletes who came along.  Great to have Ben Griffin, Alpine Performance Queenstown passing on important skills and information.

Many thanks to the Wanaka Ski & Snowsports Club for your funding support and all the wonderful volunteers and parents who work so hard  to make such successful race events happen!

Perfect conditions at Copper Mountain, Colorado

Looking forward to the coming months and without the support of so many people it would be incredibly difficult – thank you one and all! Tineke and Hamish Edwards, Ski Racing NZ Charitable Trust, your support and passion for our team has been amazing; thanks  to everyone who is a part of the journey!   The Team has just arrived in Colorado for the start of the Northern Hemisphere after a last minute change of plan.  Not a lot of snow in Europe for good training conditions where we were to be based so we have just started our first training block at Copper Mountain.  Excellent conditions,  even if somewhat cold at -22°C and some very early morning starts to fit in with all the athletes out on the slopes.

Spring is here!

As we near the finish of our New Zealand season, the snow depth has once again been replenished although this has made for some interesting spring conditions for training!

Coronet Peak

Spring top up – 60 cm 18th September, 2018

Following on from the National Championship races at Coronet mid August, we headed over to Australia for the first of the ANC cup races at Mt Hotham.  Blizzard conditions meant day 1 was cancelled and with almost two metres of snow on piste, the conditions were really soft and and I found it quite difficult getting decent turns. While not the results I was aiming for, I did get some of my best results in Hotham. With needing to use the weather day it meant that it was a rush trip from Hotham back to Queenstown and straight into racing the following day for the NZ portion of the ANC series.  Bit of a mixed bag of skiing with some great sections of racing but the snow was quite soft and slushy in parts which broke away.  Not quite enough training to get the full feel for my new equipment yet, but really enjoying the new Volkl, Dalbello and Marker set-up so far with just a few adjustments to make.

Slalom racing, Coronet Peak

Giant Slalom racing, Coronet PeakA couple of days off snow then it was off to Methven for racing at Mt Hutt with blizzard conditions for the start of what was to be the Super G races.  This meant that the first two days were cancelled and we had three super g races on day three, 5th September.  Soft conditions made for some frustrating results but I came away with 2nd in National Champs SG with team mate Willis taking out 1st place.  This also rounded out my ANC cup results to win the overall yellow bib.

Final races for the season were on the 7th September at Cardrona where we had two giant slalom races on the one day and I picked up two silver medals.The more gentle slope and soft snow are unforgiving with any mistakes and a good line is important.

Coronet Peak

Heidi’s Hut at Rocky Gully looking picture perfect. 18 September 2018

Walk up Wye Creek with Kelsie

Waking up to this view of Monkey Island on a day off before the snow hit 😍

 

 

Racing Underway

Excited to start the New Zealand season on some new gear, joining the Volkl, Marker and Dalbello Family!  Many thanks to Eric Wolf, Racing Management for time spent getting such a good fit with the new Dalbello Boots.

       

After the initial back on snow basics at the Remarkables and then more strength and conditioning, it was full on training mode at Rocky Gully, Coronet Peak.  It has been interesting working on the new test Volkl skis trialing a few different models to see which ones work best for me.  Getting there but still need a bit more testing in some better snow conditions.

Coronet Cup Slalom

Racing seemed to start quickly as still in training mode. Weather and snow conditions weren’t the best so the first giant slalom series at Cardrona were postponed and the fog and tricky snow conditions on new gear for the slalom were a challenge.  A little more training and it was straight into the National Championship races at Coronet Peak this week.  Second day of giant slalom for the Coronet Cup I got a better feel for the conditions and put down the 3rd fastest second run.The first three days were pretty mixed with poor visibility in cloud/fog and soft snow that was quite sugary and not a lot of it in places.  For the final day of slalom we saw blue sky for the first time in days and the snow held up really well after a good freeze the previous night.

Coronet Cup Giant Slalom

At the end of the day I was pleased to have retained the National Slalom title and also to have picked up the Giant Slalom title. Many thanks to all my sponsors for your continued support and belief in my progress.

Kiwi Winter 2018

Coronet Peak June 2018

View over Wakatipu Basin from Coronet Peak

Following on from a bit of down time catching the last of summer, I had a great build up of strength and conditioning (thanks to Ben Griffin’s programme) getting ready for the  Kiwi Winter 2018. I also got to experience a WIM HOF workshop in Paradise, Glenorchy learning to be comfortable while uncomfortable, experiencing Cold Therapy, Breathing and Commitment – thanks to the team, I certainly took a lot away from the weekend with some good tools to work with.

Plenty of good weather left in Autumn for dryland training before the first of the snow arrived so took the opportunity to get on the bike as well as hitting the gym.

In no time at all it was back on snow at The Remarkables for our first camp, back to basics with the NZ Ski & Coberger Team.  We had excellent conditions for so early in the season with plenty of snow cover and good weather.

Excited now for some equipment testing of new skis and boots arriving very soon. In the meantime, more strength and conditioning before our next on snow training block starts.

Shout out to the Skeggs Foundation for their continued support.  Check out their page, and while you are there, why not look at getting a Skeggs fuel card to help out numerous athletes!

Season Done

After a long Northern Hemisphere season and feeling exhausted, I’ve had a much needed break and it’s time to update and get ready for the new season!

Kranjska Gora World Cup

Moving on from my last post, after the Olympics we headed back to Europe to continue on the World Cup giant slalom circuit.  My energy levels were hitting rock bottom and I got sick after leaving Korea.  Spent four days in bed prior to the next WC race at Kranjska Gora, Slovenia and almost didn’t race.  Conserved my energy in the warm up and was then surprised how well I did in some tough conditions with fresh snow leading up to the race.  Starting bib 50 I moved up to 35 just 0.8 seconds off making top 30.  On arriving back to our Austrian base, I managed to find a doctor working on Sunday and picked up some antibiotics for what turned out to be strep throat.    From Europe we headed over to Canada to race in the NorAm finals but with no NorAm points, flat terrain and more fresh snow I was frustrated to not perform so well.  After the NorAms in Kimberley, BC I headed on to Red Mountain BC for the Canadian Nationals, Willis headed south to Sun Valley and coach headed home back to New Zealand.

Canadian Nationals, Giant Slalom

Frustratingly we had another foot of fresh snow the night before the races but at least there was a little more gradient on the mountain and I picked up a podium spot for the giant slalom, unfortunately without much slalom training the slalom races could have gone better.

After the Canadian Nationals it was finally time for some down time so a couple of days after arriving back home in New Zealand I hopped over the ditch to Australia for the last  of summer warmth to recharge.  Had an amazing time just relaxing and exploring beaches along the eastern coast before it was time to head home and start back into my dryland programme.

Not all dryland happens in the gym, having some fun on the bike

Along the Arrow River

The Northern Hemisphere season was again filled with amazing experiences, along with ups and downs, all of it made possible with help from my Team, generous sponsors, supporters, friends and family, not to mention Fans! Thank you one and all for your ongoing support.

Team Edwards, Snowvision Foundation, One Studio, NZSki, Sotheby’s International, Browns Ski Shop, Wanaka Ski & Snowsports Club, Skeggs Foundation, Community Trust of Southland, Just Dig It, ZoiBri Trust, Robert Moore Chiropractor, Alpine Health & Fitness, Avoca, Merrell NZ,  XTM Performance, Auckland Bone & Joint Surgery, McClean & Co, One Square Meal, Adidas, Remarkables Physio