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
The plan for my start of the race season was to head over to Mt Hotham, Australia for the first of the ANC races, however with not enough snow these races were cancelled. Instead, our team along with the Australians who had stayed on for training, headed over to Treble Cone and Cardrona. First races of the season are now out of the way with mixed results but it worked out well for me, with a win on my 21st! The Wanaka Tech Series started with two slalom races down Big Skite at Treble Cone on the steep pitch, pretty challenging conditions.
Mike Rishworth, Adam, Craig Marshall. Slalom
with Mark Engel
First day was a personal best result with 17.35 points and first place against some top racers. Day two I came out in the second run while ex training buddy from Sugar Bowl days and US Athlete, Mark Engel took out gold.
Cardrona always throws out some surprises, good and bad so it was a really mixed set of results for a lot of people with the two days of giant slalom down Sluice Box. It’s a pretty flat hill and even the slightest deviation from the best line can take seconds off. Top racer Adam Zampa from Slovakia took out first place on day one but slipped to 6th on day two. I made points both days with the best being 22.20 on day one. Really enjoying a couple of days off after four days of way too early starts at 5.00am and a lot of travel.
photo Jane Sinclair
It’s been a little bit too warm and no new snow so our training area is looking a bit thin. Working on some new HEAD boots, getting the most comfortable fit out of them ready for the next races at Coronet Peak coming up soon.