The Team arrived into Austria from sunny Queenstown well after midnight 10th January and straight back into full swing, based about ten minutes drive out of Zell am See. Started with a short training day but the conditions weren’t the best with still a lack of snow. Fresh snow started that night and the following day, still snowing heavily, we went straight into our first race for the european season with a couple of slalom races at Hinterreit.
Hinterreit race start area
Really happy with my skiing, especially day two winning the second run and making points. Latest points list out and I am now 16.71 slalom and 16.45 giant slalom. The athlete area at Hinterreit is quite unique, sharing space with the hay bales and strong cow odour! Can see my second run on this link (videos on Team facebook page)
Zell am See 17th January
After Hinterreit we had a day off then trained the following morning before it was straight on to a couple of Europa Cup slalom races at Zell am See, the first being a night slalom. Picked up some new skis on our day off and started using them straight away. Unfortunately they were a bit stiffer than my previous ones and the first run was a very tight set! Really happy with the new HEAD skis, just need more time on them!
Following the races, we trained three days gs at Hinterreit and then I had a day training slalom with Henrik Kristoffersen and others on the Norwegian team – very tough icy course which I struggled on for a bit. It has been awhile since we’ve had ice to train on.
Schladming World Cup Slalom course inspection
World Cup Slalom night race at Schladming, Austria! 26th January. Always a huge event. We were supposed to get a free run on the race hill the night before however this got cancelled. Rained heavily most of the night but cleared up for the race. Inspection was at 4.00pm bib start 80 for me and Willis with 81. Huge crowd of enthuastic fans around 45,000 all keen for their athletes to win with Marcel Hirscher, Felix Nuereuther and Henrik Kristoffersen the favourites. The course got pretty badly chopped up by the time I started, especially the top section. I was happy with the way I skied the top section however really over skied the bottom section. Marcel had goggle issues, coming 22nd and Felix was in top spot after first run. Marcel Hirscher put in the fastest 2nd run time coming 2nd overall unfortunately Felix DNF’d just before the finish so Henrik took out the win.
with Chiro Robbie Moore and Willis Feasey
Many thanks to Juro Kristof for the video!
Back to training giant slalom at Hinterreit before travelling to Garmisch, Germany for the next race – World Cup Giant Slalom!
Training at Methven started with a blast of winter weather and some of the coldest temperatures around the area with the likes of -21°C. Lots of snow fell and icy temperatures stayed. After about a month of training back in the gym, we had a bit of a physical camp and testing in Queenstown a few weeks ago and it was good to see my levels increasing. Not quite to the same level as this time last year but I am on track.
The team started with a week of intensive physical training in Methven mid June, led by Ben Griffin where we all made some good gains. Makes such a difference having someone so competent pushing us where needed – thanks Ben! After a week of dryland training and a day off, it was time to check out the snow at Mt Hutt. Conditions were perfect aside from a few rocks – good snow cover and blue bird days. First day up the mountain was a little on the cool side though at -13° C.
Mt Hutt – Nick, Jamie, me, Eliza & Willis
On snow training started with our coach, Nils Coberger taking us for a bit of free skiing and progressing into some stubbie training. The weather and mountain were awesome – many thanks to Mt Hutt for your support, couldn’t have asked for better conditions so early in the season.
Now back in Queenstown for a short block of dryland training again while the school holidays are on and then it will be back to training at Coronet Peak.
After a great taste of summer, it was straight into race mode when we got back to Colorado. On leaving Queenstown, travelling roughly 24 hours solid and a quick afternoon free ski at Winter Park, we raced the following two days in two giant slaloms. I had a couple of good runs, unfortunately not in the same race. From Winter Park, we moved on to Aspen where teammates Willis and Nick went into speed mode with some downhill training and races (and podiumed) while I got in some great gs and super g training. The downhill races were followed up by two super g races where I picked up a couple of podium spots (3rd & 2nd) as well as getting some good point results. Nick picked up 2 golds. I was lucky enough to stay with friend Bobby Moyer while in Aspen – many thanks to Bobby and family!
Super G podium
After packing up and heading out, we are now in Eldora, (about four hours drive from Aspen) for a slalom and three GS races – interesting start list being a University race as they have seed points within FIS points. These will be our final races before heading on to Beaver Creek for the World Ski Championships!
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.
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.
Temperatures are starting to cool off now and it won’t be long before we start to get snow to lower levels, but plenty of time for some dryland before the snow arrives. Currently working hard to gain a bit of weight. Thanks to the Alpine Health & Fitness for their continued support and great facilities, spending quite a bit of time there over the next couple of months.
Great bike ride up to Coronet Peak Base buildings then down via the new Rude Rock Track – Great work from the Queentstown Mountain Bike Club.
Here’s something Red Bull has just put together in my back yard, the road from Queenstown to Wanaka…
It was a pretty full on schedule following my last post with travel and races in Zagreb-Sljeme, Croatia and Meribel, France. Weather and snow conditions made for some interesting times for the first series of races in Zagreb – thick fog and tricky courses made for some tough races. We did get to check out some of the amazing old architecture in Croatia which was a bonus.
After the GS races we headed back to Leogang for a bit of training before going back to Zagreb for a couple of slalom races with a super tough field including World Cup winner Ivica Kostelic and Europa Cup winner Dave Ryding on a really rough course. This is what coach Chris McKnight had to say about the course – “So today’s race in Zagreb was a Papa Kostelic special 73 gates, 70 direction changes – in the first 20 turns of the course there was 4 hairpins, 1 delay and 1 flush! Further down the course and something I have never seen in SL was a delay into delay followed by a flush – the course was a Picasso!”
As soon as those races were finished it was back on the road to Leogang arriving late in the evening to have to re-pack to head out 5.30am for the ten hour drive to Meribel France.
Once again terrible weather with lots of snow, postponed and cancelled races but finally finished the British National Champs races on soft crumbly snow. Not particularly happy with my skiing, however picked up 3rd in the under 21 slalom and 4th in the GS. It was a long trip back to Leogang followed by the mammoth task of packing up ready to head home to New Zealand. The trip home was one of the longest ever with a diversion to Winnipeg, Canada meaning we missed the connecting flight LAX to Auckland and a slight hiccup meant an extra few days in Santa Monica before finally making it back to Queenstown. At least I got a couple of days of summer on the beach before arriving to a cool colourful Autumn.
After a couple of weeks off it is now time to get back into some serious physical training to get ready for the New Zealand winter which feels like just around the corner. Overall it has been an amazing season in Europe where I have achieved goals and had some great results. It was a very good set-up by the SSA (Snowsports Australia) in Austria and I would like to thank everyone involved, no easy task! I had a great time with team mates from Australia and New Zealand and many thanks to my coaches Nils Coberger and Chris McKnight for their hard work and dedication – definitely not a 9 to 5 job!
Today we travel to Schladming where I will be starting with qualification races for giant slalom on the 14th February. The opening ceremony was pretty amazing, unfortunately I had to watch from afar/TV as I had races the following two days at Piesendorf. Schladming program and race info
Preparing the finish area, Schladming 2013
Finish area at opening ceremony, 4th February 2013
Since my last update I’ve competed in four slalom races – two in Jenner, Germany where what Iv’e been skiing in training didn’t really transfer into racing until the final run which didn’t help all that much. My slalom is coming together really well in training and am feeling more and more confident with my changing tactics. The next two races at Piesendorf, Austria 5th & 6th February went much better and was very happy to make a personal best result on day one and day two! Over the past couple of days we have been concentrating on some GS training on the new radius skis. They are a bit of a battle as many have said however we’ve had some fantastic training and I’m slowly getting there!
The past couple of day’s here in Leogang have mostly consisted of gym and tuning some new skis – so fairly quiet really, mostly because there’s been a steady downpour which has not been too ideal for the mountains. Before that however, I took a trip to the HEAD factory with a couple of the other guys in our team. Bit of a lengthy drive – about 8 hours in the car, but well worth it. Picked up 5 new pairs of skis and had a little work done on my boots as well. Many thanks to the team at HEAD!
So training slalom the couple of days after with the new boot set up proved interesting.The main change having lifters put on. It doesn’t sound like a huge change, but I certainly noticed a big difference and luckily for the better! Amazing how small things such as this can effect your skiing.
Back into some GS training at Hinterreit today. Very excited to be leaving for our first European races tomorrow. 2xGS in Obersaxen, Switzerland on the 10th and 11th, then straight to Garmisch, Germany for 2 SG and 1 GS on the 12th and 13th.