South Korea

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.

adambarwoodalpinefecpresidentcup2017blvmjipmhxdx

We enjoyed sampling the wide variety of food.

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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

alpensia

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.

European season underway!

After a very enjoyable, although brief taste of summer in Queenstown it was time for the very long set of flights back to Europe where we hit the ground running.  Off to the HEAD factory for some new gear before making our way to Adelboden for the first World Cup race of our season.

Adelboden is said to be the toughest hill in the world cup circuit with steep (60° pitch) and terrain – it was certainly very testing.  Fresh snow overnight with fog and snowing on the day of the giant slalom made for even more difficult conditions. Many athletes had riming on goggles which makes it even more testing. Started bib 65, unfortunately I didn’t make it to the finish line.

The slalom day was similar conditions, again bib 65 but I fell  inside so was a DNF.  It was great to catch up with some coaches from over the years; Tanja and Pascal who live and work in Adelboden and Yannick Bellon from Morgin, Switzerland, also Kyboi Wyssen – all from around ten years and more ago!

From Adelboden we headed on to Davos, Switzerland for a couple of Europa Cup giant slalom races, feeling pretty exhausted.  While I had some good skiing, I made too many mistakes so wasn’t happy.  Plenty of fresh snow. On the move again from Davos straight after the race with part of the journey including driving onto a train, on our way to home base near Saalfelden, Austria ready for a Europa Cup slalom at Zell am See the following day .

I felt I had some pretty good skiing and was really pleased to be able to take advantage of the yellow bib for a 32 start instead of 76.  Unfortunately missed the top 30 flip by 0.6 sec.

Back to base where we are now busy packing ready to head to the airport on our way to Korea which is going to be a new experience in many ways.

 

Season End

It’s good to be back home to the start of Autumn after a mixed European leg to finish this season.  March continued with varied snow conditions and weather for some tough race conditions.  We also got some excellent training and the odd bit of sightseeing thrown in as we made the most of our time.

Singapore stopover

Singapore

March started with three World Cup races in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia (2 x GS, 1 x SL) with a large field of the world’s best and some tough conditions out there:   fog-snow-rain-mist, and the announcers were saying the course was “brutal, rough, rugged, rutted, potholes” – and that was all after just the first 7 racers.  It was by far the toughest gs race I have skied, the announcers had it right! They moved the start down again for the second run due to poor conditions.  It was also pretty tough conditions in the slalom starting 74 in a field of 80 athletes.  I think I gained a huge amount from the WC races, definitely a worthwhile experience.

From the WC races, we moved on to Bad Hofgastein, Austria for a couple of GS races with the first being cancelled due to snow conditions and warm weather. The cable train we had to catch to get to the race start was crowded with over 50 athletes and all their gear.  Managed to get day 2 of the GS completed, unfortunately I made a few mistakes which cost time.  Again a large field of 134 athletes with a real international mix of top athletes.

After a couple of days training, we moved on to Hinterstoder for four days of races.  While it was pretty frustrating with my results, I had some good skiing and feel I am improving, getting stronger and faster but needing to put it all together into two runs.

It was good to get a couple of days off before travelling to races in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia again. In the GS I was frustrated with a mix of good skiing and too many mistakes.  I felt I was skiing really well in the slalom, unfortunately, came out near the finish in the 2nd run.  It was good to be able to take some time out in the afternoon to do a bit of sightseeing around Lake Bled and the castle before heading on to races the following day at Zagreb-Sljeme, Croatia.

Snow conditions in Zagreb were very lean to say the least, as you can see from the photos below.  Day one of the slalom races was delayed for a couple of hours to see if the salting and watering of the course could firm it up enough to race on. First run was set by Kostelic and a pretty classic set of his – with a delay into hairpin, gate, into royal flush into delay into hairpin.  Again had some fast sections of skiing, but disappointed to not finish the second run both days.  It cooled down a bit for day two and the small amount of snow held up surprisingly well.

From Croatia is was a bit of a long drive through to Tarvioso, Italy for a super g race at Sella Nevea.  After only having super g skis on once before for the season and the race course being one of the toughest super g’s I’ve been on, I was happy to finish, although not very fast!  Started bib 32 and ten athletes either side of me didn’t finish.  The attrition rate was quite high with just 43 of 75 athletes finishing.

From Italy, as soon as the race was completed it was a rush back to our home base in Saalfelden, Austria to pack and catch the plane from Munich, Germany the following day (26th March) then the long trip home.  The northern hemisphere 2015/2016 season has had it’s ups and downs with some goals met and some not quite reached.  Overall it has been a successful time for me with my world ranking lowered which always helps, but also I know my skiing is improving all the time.

I would like to acknowledge the many people from all over the world who make ski racing possible – from the mountains and their race crews to the many volunteers, parents and athletes who all put so much time and effort into making so many awesome races.  Also to the international coaches and teams who helped us out with training space.  Many thanks to my coach Nils Coberger for his huge input and our Team Manager, Hamish Edwards for his continued support.  Thanks too, to Guenther Raedler for your ongoing assistance.  A big thank you to my family, all my sponsors and supporters who, without your help, I would be unable to continue.  A short break now to debrief and then it is back into my dryland training programme – many thanks Ben Griffin for working on our programmes, continually tweaking them to get the best out of us.

February 2016 Europe.

Hinterstoder

Hinterstoder, February 2016

February has been a challenging month with the warmer conditions and lack of snow being a bit of a problem.  After finishing a couple of World Cup giant slalom events at Hinterstoder, Austria we have just returned to our base for a bit of training before our next races. The first day at Hinterstoder stayed cold and the weeks of hill preparation meant the  course held out really well until the end of the field, although a little bumpy even for the top 15. By the final day of giant slalom the temperature had warmed considerably and while some of the salting had worked there were quite a few sections that didn’t so were rough and difficult to ski. The GS hill in Hinterstoder is a tough one. The top, right out of the start, breaks over a huge, rounded knoll into a very steep, rough pitch.  The first fifteen gates on the steep were particularly icy.  As the hill flattens, there is a road crossing and more terrain, both large and small. While it never gets steep again, it keeps coming at the skier with varying terrain features. Then a small pitch into the finish as widens to reveal the crowd.

World Cup GS, Hinterstoder

World Cup GS, Hinterstoder

I had a loaded ski going off the jump as well and landed closer to the outside gate than the inside, so was pleased to make it (a number of athletes didn’t).  Gained a lot of confidence from an extremely icy, challenging World Cup at Hinterstoder. Unfortunately some mistakes to eliminate but looking forward to the next world cup races.

WC GS Hinterstoder

Course inspection, Hinterstoder

Prior to the WC GS races, I took the train to Imst-Pitztal where I stayed with aussie athlete Alec Scott and travelled to a couple of night slaloms in Schwende Horne, Switzerland. Team mate Willis and coach Nils stayed behind in Austria for some races in Saalbach. I was pretty gutted after straddling in the first run day one as the course looked pretty sweet and all the work done, including salting/watering had it pretty solid.  Day two saw too many mistakes in the first run but I was happy with my final run at Schwende.  Also got in some good training runs at Pitztal

Alec Scott and Adam, SchwendeRace Schwende 2016       salting the course, Schwende

Night slalom, Schwende

Night slalom, Schwende Horne

Also went to some races in Lenzerheide and Hochficht for giant slalom but struggled with the soft flat conditions.  We travelled a few times to other races only to have them cancel due to poor snow conditions – check out the race course surrounds of Maribor, Slovenia looking more like Spring – our slalom race here was cancelled.  Our World Cup gs race at Garmisch, Germany was also cancelled.

Maribor

Maribor, Slovenia

Bit of a breather for a couple of days with a little time off and some more training before we start March out with our last World Cup races in Kranjska Gora!

End to the Season

It’s been a bit of a tough finish to my season, unfortunately.  Have just arrived home after spending five days in hospital in Zell am See, Austria.  Snow conditions haven’t been the best this season with a lot of races canceled, warmer and less snow – looking positively spring-like when we left

mutters by Adam

Race day, Mutters

March started with some slalom in Mutters with some pretty slushy weather and a couple of DNF’s.  We then went to a few giant slalom races in Flumserberg in Switzerland, Petzen in southern Austria and Hochficht, northern Austria.  In Flumserberg, the snow was a little on the soft side and very flat hill – I needed to be a couple tenths faster to make a result but managed to move from 30 to 16th both days.

Piesendorf

Piesendorf, slalom race

My last series of races were some super g and super combined at Innerkrems.  I had trouble with the super g, feeling crook and little energy, and was unable to start the slalom leg of the super-combined and progressively got worse.  On visiting the doctor, I was put into hospital on a penicillin drip for acute tonsillitis, but further tests confirmed I also have glandular fever (mono). Not ideal! missed veinThe nurse had a bit of trouble getting  the IV lines in,  went through the vein but eventually managed to get one in!  Breakfast wasn’t too bad apart from the gumboot coffee to start, but reduced to 3 slices white bread and enough jam for one, and the following day a bowl of warm milk with a couple slices white bread.  hospital breakfast

It’s great to be back home but it’s going to be  a long process renewing strength and conditioning, not to mention replacing the lost 6kgs. Thanks to my coach Nils Coberger for everything, and to teammates Willis and Nick. Thanks again to all my sponsors, supporters and family for your ongoing support and encouragement, every little bit helps and I really appreciate your belief in me. Also a big shout out to Dave Stewart, One Studio for our awesome gear! Time now to heal, in readiness for the coming New Zealand season.

and A Happy New Year from Austria

It has been a great training and racing block in Colorado but time to head over to Europe.  Had our final two races at Steamboat Springs 21st and 22nd December with the first race being a night slalom which was a lot of fun.

Steamboat Springs night slalom 21 Dec

Steamboat Springs night slalom 21 Dec

NorAm 18 Dec

NorAm 18th December, Vail

Training GS

Training GS – Photo by Chris Mcknight

We flew out of Denver 23rd and arrived into Munich Christmas eve then drove through to Austria where we will be based for the next few months.

Today we took a trip to the HEAD factory to pick up some new skis, so looking forward to getting them prepped up and seeing how they ski!

Many thanks to everyone for a great 2013, wishing you all a Merry Christmas and great new year!

Farewell Panorama, and a Merry Christmas Austria

NorAm racing began at Panorama after just two weeks on snow.  During training I have been working to improve my tactics but in the races found myself struggling to put it into practice. I feel success at Panorama comes from having a very direct, tidy line and no mistakes! The slalom races were on a very steep tough hill, especially when starting bib 75. The first day of Slalom was difficult but it was definitely good training to be there. Two thirds of the field departed in the first run and day two was not much better.  I managed to finish 37th position on the second day

Noram start, Panorama

Start gate NorAms Panorama

Super G races were great, I would have liked to have been faster but it wasn’t too bad – picked up a few points both runs, need to spend more time training on SG skis.  Unfortunately with the GS made a few mistakes from start 71 but again managed to finish in 35th spot. Following the NorAm races we had a day off to rest with lots of ski preparation and packing our gear so we were ready to leave for Europe as soon as the last race of the next FIS series was over.  Two days each of slalom and GS which I again found pretty frustrating with too many mistakes.  My final day of slalom was a little better, skied to my points, so close!

NorAm GS day 2, Panorama

NorAm GS day 2, Panorama

We left Panorama and began the long tiring journey to Europe via Calgary, Vancouver, Frankfurt, Munich then driving on to where I am based in Leogang, Austria – arriving just in time for Christmas Eve!

Ski poles from Komperdell for Christmas

Ski poles for Christmas! Thanks Komperdell

I hope everyone is well and had a wonderful Christmas!