February 2017, Europe

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Time now for a day off before we continue on with some FIS races in the region, weather and snow permitting!

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.

Austria – January 2016

The Team arrived into Austria from sunny Queenstown well after midnight 10th January and straight back into full swing, based about ten minutes drive out of Zell am See.  Started with a short training day but the conditions weren’t the best with still a lack of snow. Fresh snow started that night and the following day, still snowing heavily, we went straight into our first race for the european season with a couple of slalom races at Hinterreit.

Hinterreit race 14 Jan 16

Hinterreit race start area

Adam Hinterreit 13 Jan 2015  Hinterreit race 13 Jan 2016

Really happy with my skiing, especially day two winning the second run and making points.  Latest points list out and I am now 16.71 slalom and 16.45 giant slalom.             The athlete area at Hinterreit is quite unique, sharing space with the hay bales and strong cow odour! Can see my second run on this link (videos on Team facebook page)

zell 11am 17 jan

Zell am See 17th January

After Hinterreit we had a day off then trained the following morning before it was straight on to a couple of Europa Cup slalom races at Zell am See, the first being a night slalom.  Picked up some new skis on our day off and started using them straight away.  Unfortunately they were a bit stiffer than my previous ones and the first run was a very tight set!  Really happy with the new HEAD skis, just need more time on them!

zell Europa Cup race   zell

Following the races, we trained three days gs at Hinterreit and then I had a day training slalom with Henrik Kristoffersen and others on the Norwegian team – very tough icy course which I struggled on for a bit.  It has been awhile since we’ve had ice to train on.

schladming inspection 26 jan 2016

Schladming World Cup Slalom course inspection

World Cup Slalom night race at Schladming, Austria! 26th January. Always a huge event.  We were supposed to get a free run on the race hill the night before however this got cancelled.  Rained heavily most of the night but cleared up for the race.  Inspection was at 4.00pm bib start 80 for me and Willis with 81.  Huge crowd of enthuastic fans around 45,000 all keen for their athletes to win with Marcel Hirscher, Felix Nuereuther and Henrik Kristoffersen the favourites.  The course got pretty badly chopped up by the time I started, especially the top section.  I was happy with the way I skied the top section however really over skied the bottom section.  Marcel had goggle issues, coming 22nd and Felix was in top spot after first run.  Marcel Hirscher put in the fastest 2nd run time coming 2nd overall unfortunately Felix DNF’d just before the finish so Henrik took out the win.

finish schladming 2nd run

Schladming finish

schladming night race 26 jan 2016

with Chiro Robbie Moore and Willis Feasey

Many thanks to Juro Kristof for the video!

Back to training giant slalom at Hinterreit before travelling to Garmisch, Germany for the next race – World Cup Giant Slalom!

POST WORLD’S

World Championships The World Ski Championships in Schladming have been an amazing experience and I was lucky enough to represent my country in the giant slalom and slalom races after performing well at qualifications where the top 25 get into the final race. Particularly in the Slalom where I raced from position 48 into 9th on icy conditions and was very pleased with my performance. In the GS race I fell not far from the bottom and although that’s a little disappointing I was happy with my intermediates. In the Slalom I straddled just before the first intermediate. Not what I was hoping for but that’s ski racing sometimes and I was giving it my all. There was an incredible 55,000 strong crowd for the Slalom to see Hirscher take the gold for Austria. At the time I came down many of the fans were out in search of their next drink, however the bulk remained. Being a part of that environment, seeing the fans and to race in such a race had to be one of the best experiences in my life, not to mention motivating. Thank you to all the New Zealand and Australian team coaches involved, for making it possible for all of us. Also big thanks to Mike Rishworth of the AUS team for the use of his edge machine. Sharp skis were definitely a necessity over the past couple of weeks. It has been a both mentally and physically exhausting week. We’re not done yet though. Tomorrow we leave for a couple of slalom races in Annaberg, Austria on the 20th and 21st.

Schladming finish area

Schladming finish area

Team mate Willis and myself during qualification

Team mate Willis and myself during qualification

Inspecting with my coach Nils Coberger

Inspecting with my coach Nils Coberger