Southern hemisphere racing has come to an end with some great results for me this season but we still have a little more training to do (conditions permitting!)
ANC GS, Thredbo AUS
ANC Overall & Slalom
It was pretty exciting to score my lowest points result to date with 6 points from my win at the ANC GS race in Thredbo, Australia. I also picked up the ANC yellow bib for Overall as well as for Slalom. Unfortunately the speed races at Mt Hutt were cancelled after one great day of training prior to the races as wind conditions were just too extreme.
ANC Coronet Peak
Fog on the lower course
A few images from racing at Coronet Peak this season.
Out Wide, Rocky Gully
Looking down on Rocky Gully
Perfect weather for race day
This season we started on the new dimension GS skis with the radius reduced from 35m down to 30m. I’m really enjoying the skis and have been skiing consistently with good times. Still making some frustrating mistakes during races however I am noticing my improvements. Training at Rocky Gully has been excellent with very few weather affected days. Variable snow conditions are always good to train on as it’s not often we get to race in perfect conditions.
Thanks to all our amazing sponsors and supporters, this season seems to have flown by. Plans and organizing for the coming northern hemisphere are well underway and with lots of travel, World Cup races and potentially 2018 Winter Olympics, it is going to be one of our biggest and toughest seasons.
Different form of training
Coronet Spring Training
We have just had the last few days of on snow training before a heavy dryland programme begins. The spring skiing at Coronet Peak has been, for the most part, particularly good for this time of year with great snow cover. Super G training from the top of the GS race start down through Robin’s Run was a lot of fun and the snow conditions on Race Arena have made for some excellent training.
Perisher Slalom Course
August was a pretty packed month of racing with mixed results but I was fairly happy with the way my health has progressed over the season. Races began at Cardrona in early August and these were quickly followed by the National Championships at Coronet Peak. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to hold on to my title this year with team mate Willis Feasey on top form, but beating me by just 0.11 second! After the Nationals we flew over to Australia to start the ANC cup series with the first races in Perisher. Perisher is huge, we had to take four different lifts just to get to the top of the race, and had to take a train (the ski tube) under the Australian alps to get up to the ski area. After pouring rain all night we actually ended up having a pretty nice day! The slalom races were a bit of a lucky dip with the top guys finishing way off the pace with the crumbling snow deteriorating quickly. I was pretty happy to have made a result in the first GS with 17 points in spite of the challenging conditions. Lots of bad weather and poor snow conditions saw the second GS postponed a couple of times and moved on to follow the ANC races being held at Coronet Peak at the end of August. .
ANC/Winter Games Slalom, Coronet Peak
On arriving back home, it was straight into another five days of racing the Winter Games/ANC Cup series, a day off and then races for the season finished with a slalom and giant slalom at Treble Cone (4th, 5th September) along with plenty of fresh snow to make it a little more challenging. Managed to pick up 3rd place in the slalom amongst some stiff competition so it was a good way to finish off the race season.
Coronet Peak GS Race
Pre Race Warmup Photo Cred: Philip Green
View from Rocky Gully over Lake Wakatipu
We are now into a heavy dryland programme for the next few weeks before a final block of on snow training at Cardrona. Spring is definitely here with warmer temperatures and hayfever season about to kick off.
(National Champs Slalom podium. ANC Cup series Yellow bib presented by Ken Read)
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
Last week I headed over to Australia to race the ANC Cup slalom races and National Championships at Thredbo. Started in a rush with cancelled Jet Star flights and narrowly making the next available flight out of Queenstown but had an excellent time with my first experience skiing in Australia. Many thanks to all the awesome people who helped out – rides to and from airport and Melbourne to Thredbo as well as a bed in Melbourne – thanks to the Laidlaws! Accommodation and excellent food – big thanks to Gabi Robertson and Sam for squeezing us in. Really appreciate everyone’s generosity which helped make for a memorable week!
Quite a different experience skiing among the gum trees! Day one of the 4 Slalom races was postponed due to heavy rain the night before which made the snow turn to slush. Luckily it froze a little the next night so we were able to race the National Junior Champs but the snow wasn’t so good. Day three – cancelled – more rain! Day four was exhausting with excellent weather and much better snow conditions so we had two races, National Champs and the first of the ANC cup. And day five we finished up with another ANC Cup race. All up I had some excellent runs but didn’t quite put two good runs together until the last day which went better. Was still well placed amongst some top athletes.. Pretty happy with my skiing and also picked up some ANC points as well as another sub 30 result which will help lower the FIS points.
Long drive back to Melbourne and then it was home to Queenstown for the start of the Winter Games and ANC Cup races at Coronet Peak the following day. Feeling the time difference first thing but ready for the giant slalom, unfortunately it was postponed due to snow conditions.
The New Zealand Winter Olympic mark for 2014