February has been a busy month with racing World Ski Championships in St Moritz and World Cup in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. It has been a mixed bag of results, highs and lows and some very challenging conditions with snow and weather. A number of races have been cancelled with the lack of snow and the weather has been particularly warm. The World Ski Champs in St Moritz were a great experience with a large field of high calibre athletes. The team was based just outside of St Moritz at Hotel Edelweiss, Sils Maria. Our first race was the Super G and the lighting really made things tough! Very fun course though with 5 built up jumps. I was skiing well on the top half but came into a turn offline and lost all my speed.
St Moritz race hill
In the Start
Adam & Willis
We headed back to our base in Austria for a couple of days training before the GS race on the 17th where I started bib 48 having qualified in top 50. I was really happy with the second run of GS which put me into 31st.(28th on the run) just need to do that first run now! Lighting got really flat for the second run with snow falling heavily.
2nd run Inspection
1st run GS
Storm coming 2nd run
We had to qualify for the slalom with a race at Zuoz on the day before the WSC race where I finished 4th, then had to attend prize giving at Kulm Plaza that evening for the top 6 finishers. A massive crowd who were also gathering for the prize giving of the Women’s slalom followed by bib drawer for the men’s slalom created an amazing atmosphere. The sun came out for the last couple of days in St Moritz and the track was perfect for slalom. Unfortunately I went inside on the steep which wasn’t great, but think the skiing was going well. It’s nice to see how much closer I am than at Beaver Creek World Champs!
Slalom at Zuoz
After St Moritz we had some races at Leogang, Austria and Golte, Slovenia with races cancelled at both due to poor snow conditions. Super warm some days and raining others meant the snow conditions were difficult so I struggled putting those two runs together again.
Kranjska Gora race hill
Not so well
Thanks Oli – Work Room
Green light after heavy rain
From Golte, we headed to Kranjska Gora, Slovenia for World Cup races in a stacked field. Bib 65 for GS and 71 slalom with soft wet snow meant the conditions were pretty rough with it raining heavily the night before the slalom race.
Fans in all shapes…
Thanks Cool Hard Hats
with Tanja Frei-Pieren
Time now for a day off before we continue on with some FIS races in the region, weather and snow permitting!
A quick overview of South Korea in some pictures. Racing started in Yongpyong on the Olympic hill with some Far East Cup races – very icy injected course. It has been a long time since we’ve been on anything as icy as this so while I had some good skiing, I did struggle a little.
We enjoyed sampling the wide variety of food.
From Yongpyong, we moved five minutes down the road to Alpensia for a couple more Far East Cup races. For most of our stay in Korea, the temperatures were around the -12°C
I will update a little more when the schedule is not so busy. We are now back in Austria racing and training before the World Ski Champs in St Moritz.
The Panorama NorAm series are over and now it’s time for a quick break. For the most part, the weather stayed clear for the week however it was incredibly cold with a couple of days approaching -30°C. The snow-making clouds were more of a problem creating some poor visibility at times. My toes suffered a little with the extreme cold but hopefully the numbness will disappear over the break.
Alpine Combined, Panorama
It has been an exciting week of racing for me with some great results and PB’s. Starting with Super G and bib 47, I moved into 22nd spot and made a good points result. Day two, still bib 47 I had an amazing run and finished on the podium in 3rd position and made a points result of 19.36 (currently on 53.48) surprising quite a few people as well as myself! Day 3 was super combined and I had bib start 61 as I haven’t raced a combined for a while to get any results. In the super g portion I came 12th, also a points result 21.95 and skied the slalom portion a little conservatively finishing 17th, scoring 39.73 (currently 155)
Moving on to the giant slalom, I made a mistake on day one and came out on a fall-away turn. Day two I started 21 and skied into 9th, couple of mistakes but pretty happy with the way my skiing is improving. In the slalom from bib 18 I moved into 4th place, a frustrating 0.19 sec off the podium. Final day, also slalom I moved into 4th spot missing the podium again by a small margin.
Race start for Super G and GS
On the morning we packed up to head out of Panorama, the temperature warmed up by almost 20 degrees to a balmy -7°C and snowing. After a successful NorAm series and the long trip home, I’m looking forward to a few days of warmth and leisure before the next section of training and races in Europe.
Many thanks to all the volunteers and workers who braved those cold temperatures for us, putting on an excellent series. Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas and all the best in the new year.
The end of my Summer approaches rapidly with a final week of strength and conditioning while at home, before flying to Colorado to start on-snow training early November.
Many thanks to the Skeggs Foundation for their continued support as I head away to the northern hemisphere for the next five months, jam-packed with travel and races. After our first block of training in Colorado we will head to Panorama, Canada for racing.
Racing got underway 1st August with a GS at Cardrona which came around quickly after just one day of gate training due to the lack of snow conditions. I picked up a podium in 2nd place and then it was straight back to Coronet Peak where we were finally able to get some gate training in. The National Championships came around quickly, 9th August, with the GS first. Managed to pick up the gastro bug going around so felt pretty bad for most of the week but was able to place 2nd behind Willis in the GS and pick up the National Title again for the slalom. One more week of training on some pretty good conditions at Coronet Peak and then headed over to Australia for the start of the ANC races at Mt Hotham.
Coberger Academy, NZ Ski Team . Pic Michael Thomas
First men’s races at Hotham were postponed due to the weather but managed to complete all races using up the weather day. I had some good runs but had trouble finding a good head space which didn’t go well overall. Flew back to Queenstown and it was straight into racing again with the final of the ANC GS and slalom races at Coronet Peak. Again I had sections of good racing and managed to take out the AUS/NZ yellow bib for the slalom but found it quite a struggle.
Hotham start gate
SL course inspection Mt Hotham
ANC GS Coronet Peak
Finish area Rocky Gully
We had a couple of days in Queenstown then headed up to Methven for the final speed races for Nationals and ANC’s. The weather wasn’t the best with our day of training super g cancelled and the following day we squeezed in three super g races. After the super g races, the weather pretty much fell apart so we decided not to race the super combined but headed back to Queenstown which was a good call as the rest of the races were then cancelled.
Overall I found it to be a very challenging season with virtually no training to speak of before racing started. Fortunately we have had some excellent training since the races finished with some great conditions both at Rocky Gully and up at the Remarkables.
Remarkables slalom training
One day during the last week of training, we had an early GS session at Remarkables which was followed by an enjoyable session with the Gold Members and children on a paneled slalom course. It was great to catch up with them again to see how they have progressed and watch their enjoyment on snow.
After a week of taking time out it is now full swing back into the next strength and conditioning phase before heading on to the northern hemisphere season. Once again it has been amazing to have the support of so many, thank you one and all!
It has been a little while since my last post, however it has taken some time for the snow to be sufficient for some training to begin. Much of my time has been spent on strength and conditioning as well as a short back to snow camp at Mt Hutt in June. We have had a couple of S & C Camps with Ben Griffin in Queenstown and Methven with some testing to see our progress from last year, as well as where we are on a National level. Pleased to say progress on last year has been good with some personal bests achieved.
Coronet Peak View
The last couple of months have been much warmer than usual and much less snowfall. The training at Mt Hutt went well although the snow cover was a bit lean in places. Back in Queenstown our on-snow start was delayed due to lack of snow but we have since managed some free skiing drills on the main runs at Coronet Peak which was a bit of a challenge with the school holidays in full swing. The last few days we have been doing more drills and started on stubbie training at the Remarkables ski field. Little bit further to travel but conditions have been OK – snow is a little soft and dry but it is good to be back on skis.
We had about a foot of snow last night so hopefully it will be enough to get Rocky Gully up and running for some serious training!
Before climbing the peak on the left. So hot! 30 degrees C and humid.
The beach was quite a different location than usual for some dryland training and the temperature change from -20 to +30 a minor shock to the system! Two weeks of heat, rest and re-energizing has been the perfect way to finish 2015 and start the new year. Also time to reflect on the racing in Canada over the past month.
We arrived into Canada with the snow so the first series of NorAm races at Lake Louise (downhill for Willis) were disrupted along with the Super G being cancelled. We headed on down to Panorama to continue the NorAms starting with Super G, GS then slalom. This series was one of those learning curves for me with expectations, pressure and goals focus instead of taking it each run at a time. While I had some good runs (3rd fastest time in the second run GS) and the second slalom run, I did not perform as well as I would have liked.
After the NorAm races we had a Tech series, also at Panorama. Unfortunately in the first GS run I was DNF (fastest time at the first interval so skiing better) but day two I put together two good runs to take out top podium spot. First day of the slalom I made a few errors both runs but managed to come in at second place. They were all long days with a large field of athletes (140 each day) and quite a few delays. We missed day two of the slalom as had a flight to catch in Calgary. I was happy to get points results for both slalom and giant slalom over the past two months with a 15 point result in each. I start the new year in Europe with 16.45 for giant slalom and 18.36 in slalom.