Alpine Athlete of the Year

The Snow Sports NZ Annual Awards Night presented by were held last night (Friday 4 October 2013) and encompassed an 18 month time frame including the 2012 Southern Hemisphere Season, the 2012/2013 Northern Hemisphere season and the 2013 Southern Hemisphere season.  I was awarded the Alpine Athlete of the Year Award.

Alpine Athlete of the Year

slackboots1Working hard at the gym as I hope to gain a couple of kilos along with strength and fitness ready to start the Northern Hemisphere season which is coming up way too quickly.  The first races of the season in Colorado will be NorAm races at Loveland 23-26 November.  Tomorrow I’m off to Mt Hutt for a technical camp to help get us up to speed for arriving in the States where overseas athletes have been training in areas such as Chile.

Time now to sort out gear – trying to wear in new liners to a slightly less painful fit and ended up having a play on the slackline. sourcing airfares, travel arrangements and grabbing the last bit of spring “warmth” before heading off to another winter.

Race Season All Go

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

Mike Rishworth, Adam, Craig Marshall. Slalom

with Mark Engel

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

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.

Nice to be back at Coronet

atlas2It has been a great start to the season, Davey McKenzie from Atlas Bar Queenstown has agreed to assist with some of my ski racing costs. Excellent place to relax and go for a meal.

After a good build up to the start of the season, training is now in full swing. I’m feeling pleased with how things are coming along. We had a few “back to basics” days up at Mt Hutt before coming down to ski at Coronet Peak where we have had several blocks of Slalom and Gs training.

What's wrong with this picture?

What’s wrong with this picture?

gsA few of the other teams are starting to arrive, including the Australians who are training with us. We currently have American Trace Smith who races for Estonia and Mike Rishworth, Australian National team member staying with us which makes for a full house! Looking forward to our first races in just over a week, I’ll be sure to let you know how they go!