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’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.
After some less than desirable snow conditions and weather leading up to the National Championship races, it was great to begin to excellent conditions on the 20th August with the giant slalom. Had a fast second run but it wasn’t quite enough to pull away from the faster first run from team mate Willis, so came in at second place. Amazing weather and great conditions continued for the slalom race on the 20th and I took out the National Champion title for the third year running. Take a look at the great conditions and some of the athletes at the slalom race (I’m bib 2) in this video from Snowsports NZ.
Slalom podium – Nick Prebble 2nd, Adam Barwood 1st Willis Feasey 3rd.Giant Slalom Podium – Adam Barwood 2nd, Willis Feasey 1st, Nick Prebble 3rd
The next series of races which are for the ANC Cup start on the 25th August at Mt Hotham, Australia so we depart this morning for Melbourne.