Canada Races. Happy New Year!

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Before climbing the peak on the left. So hot! 30 degrees C and humid.

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The beach was quite a different location than usual for some dryland training and the temperature change from -20 to +30 a minor shock to the system! Two weeks of heat, rest and re-energizing has been the perfect way to finish 2015 and start the new year.   Also time to reflect on the racing in Canada over the past month.

panorama drive

We arrived into Canada with the snow so the first series of NorAm races at Lake Louise (downhill for Willis) were disrupted along with the Super G being cancelled.  We headed on down to Panorama to continue the NorAms starting with Super G, GS then slalom.  This series was one of those learning curves for me with expectations, pressure and goals focus instead of taking it each run at a time.  While I had some good runs (3rd fastest time in the second run GS) and the second slalom run, I did not perform as well as I would have liked.

panorama raceAfter the NorAm races we had a Tech series, also at Panorama.  Unfortunately in the first GS run I was DNF (fastest time at the first interval so skiing better) but day two I put together two good runs to take out top podium spot.  First day of the slalom I made a few errors both runs but managed to come in at second place. They were all long days with a large field of athletes (140 each day) and quite a few delays. We missed day two of the slalom as had a flight to catch in Calgary.  I was happy to get points results for both slalom and giant slalom over the past two months with a 15 point result in each.  I start the new year in Europe with 16.45 for giant slalom and 18.36 in slalom.

Panorama gs start

Adam Barwood podium Panorama

Panorama Podium for giant slalom (15.47 points)

Racing In The States

adam dillon             dillon

Since arriving in Dillon we’ve had good snow, cold temperatures and a lot of excellent training, joining in with a number of international athletes.  Our first races for the season were at Echo Mountain, CO (see results on link) with two slalom races and a large field of 120 international athletes. I managed to put in a really good first run coming in .42 seconds ahead of the field.  The snow was a bit soft on top but a good layer underneath and I was really pleased to finish the second run well keeping me in first place ahead of Robbie Kelley in second and Ola Buer Johansen, Norway in third . It’s an awesome way to start the season – with a podium and my best points result in slalom of 15.08!  Day two was a similar field but I wasn’t quite as fast, coming in 3rd after Robbie Kelly 1st and Marco Reymond, Switzerland 2nd.

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Echo Mt with Robbie Kelley 2nd, Ola Buer Johansen 3rd

From Echo Mountain the races moved on to Snow King, Jackson WY for the NorAM slalom races, ten athletes under 10 points!  The course was incredibly slick on the bottom half where the watering crew got a bit carried away.  On day one, I put in a good first run moving from start 26 down to 11, unfortunately I broke a gate which fell down in front of me in the second run which wrecked my rhythm, coming out lower down.  Day two I moved a bit too laterally, hip checked and came out – less than one third of the field managed to stay in on day two.

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Slalom Course inspection – SnowKing

Back to Dillon for two giant slalom NorAM’s at Copper Mountain, CO 30 Nov and 1 Dec with another large field of top athletes including number 5 in the world, Fritz Dopher plus 24 athletes under 10 points. The race course was quite aggressive man made snow. Day one starting bib 55 I had a good first run putting me into 22, unfortunately with a few tough turns in the 2nd run I dropped back to 30.  Day two I made a few errors in the first run, where I drifted in to the top of the turn on some turns so missed making the flip but had a cleaner second run coming 18th putting me in 28th position.  USA athlete Tommy Ford took out the win on both days.

Couple of images below from Jackson, Wyoming with the Main Street and antler arches!

antler arch      main street jackson (2)

Next up was a Super G at Copper Mountain where I managed to move up a little from start 21 finishing 12th and making a few points, 44.28 but we skipped the second day of SG racing to get in some giant slalom training at Vail before the World Cup.  Had a really good session doing timed runs with some of the German team including Fritz Dopfer and Felix Neureuther, and managed some very respectable times. Beaver Creek WC GS I finished off the racing in the States with my first World Cup Giant Slalom race on Birds of Prey, Beaver Creek.  (photo inspection time looking up from the finish) It was a pretty tough long course with a number of the top athletes not finishing, including Ted Ligety.  I started bib 63 and managed to finish in 49th place, 1.21.34 unfortunately I made a mistake near the top just before the flats so lost speed!  Only top 30 get to do the second run so it was time to finish packing and head to Denver to catch the evening flight to Calgary.  Arrived into Lake Louise after midnight where we will be based for five days for the NorAM speed events before heading to Panorama.  It is currently snowing and team mate Willis is battling the elements as they attempt to get the men’s training run for the Downhill done .

World Cup GS Finish

World Cup GS Finish

Copper Mountain -Training

Copper Mt 10Nov 2015

GS Course at Copper Mountain

Arrived in to Dillon, Colorado 2nd November to fairly mild temperatures and not a lot of snow.  Dillon is a small town approx 110km from Denver and pretty centrally located between Loveland and Copper Mountain, about 20kms/20 minutes drive to each so a good place to be based for training.

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Training at Copper Mountain. Race gear by One Studio

We have had some solid training since arriving with slalom, giant slalom and also super g. With the colder temperatures and high altitude (12,313 ft / 3,753 m), Copper Mountain have been going full speed with snow making.  This has also been topped up with a few falls of fresh snow and colder temperatures since arriving.  Due to the large number of athletes all needing to get training in and limited lane space, we have staggered starts with the earliest being 6.30am on snow. Other time slots are 10.00am and 1.00pm. We usually get a couple of hours, around 7 – 8 runs of quality training.  Andres Zampa from Slovakia has joined us for the start of the season and it’s great to have him on board, along with team mate Willis Feasey and Coach, Nils Coberger.

Skeggs FoundationThank you to the Skeggs Foundation for their continued support in the latest round of grant applications.  The Skeggs Foundation do a fantastic job helping to support the Wanaka Ski & Snowsports Clubathletes throughout Otago working towards their goals – check out their website!  Many thanks also to the Wanaka Ski Club for their continued support.

one studio bags Awesome gear by One Studio – Taking care of our race suit. Stuffing your race suit into your ski bag when you’re travelling the winter world doesn’t do it any favours and shortens its life. One Studio have come up with a plan to help your suit and your planet. They up-cycling all the off-cuts and print/fabric seconds and turn them into handy protection for the clothes that make you fast on the hill.
Every race suit leaving the One Studio workroom now has it’s own custom suit bag.
Always working to keep your race gear safe and fast – check them out for the best race suits on the hill!

Training Coronet Peak

Clear nights, many stars

Start of season training at Coronet Peak has been going well with good snow cover and mostly great weather.  Crisp clear nights followed by bluebird days so far this week for some slalom training, although the snow has been a bit soft with ruts developing a little sooner than desired.

Good Morning Rocky Gully     Adam July 22

The previous week saw some more stormy weather but we got in some good GS training in spite of the really flat lighting.  Training was cancelled on Sunday due to the mountain’s new 5cm rule – if more than 5cm of fresh snow falls overnight, no training allowed the following day!  The team had our physical testing completed (thanks Ginny Rutledge at Wanaka Physio) and I’m fairly happy with my continued improvement and getting back to where I need to be.  Working with Ben Griffin for dryland training and monitor health has been invaluable for keeping an eye on when I need to take a break and not become over tired.

Break Time

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.

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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.

World Ski Champs 2015

CTOS LOGOMany thanks to Community Trust of Southland for their continued support of my racing career – CTOS are an amazing team who support a wide range of activities across the community, including Sport.  This year they have helped towards one of my goals of racing at the World Ski Championships held at Beaver Creek, Colorado 2nd to 15th February.

Adam super g

Following on from my previous post, after leaving Eldora we were lucky enough to stay with a kiwi family in Edwards (many thanks to Kathy & Brett Derwin for your hospitality) for a week of training at Vail before moving into our accommodation at Beaver Creek for the World Ski Championships.

Super G postponed due to bad weather

Super G postponed due to bad weather

It was a very intense couple of weeks starting with the men’s super g which was postponed a day due to bad weather.  This was my first experience racing Super G at this level and on the “Birds of Prey” course which is considered one of the toughest race hills in the world but I really enjoyed it. The start was a really steep drop into the course on a slick surface. My skiing was fairly solid for the most part. Over skied it a little bit but my goals for the race were more about technique and experience than anything. Starting bib 57, I was pleased to finish and place 44.

It was quite draining having to race the qualification races with the high intensity of needing to qualify, on top of the high altitude and long courses and then race again the following day in the main event.  Four days in a row starting with the Giant Slalom. For the slalom qualifying race, I had the fastest second time which I was pretty happy about after a slow first run.  In the last race of the WSC I was skiing well but had a DNF in the first run of the slalom – super tough course, 73 gates of steep and icy and the snow started to fall fairly heavily.  Before the snow, the weather had been particularly warm with almost spring like conditions. It was a tough WSC set of races, but I will take away some valuable experiences as we continue with our training and races in Europe.      Enjoy a few images from the races.

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Opening Ceremony with the kiwi flag.      Qualification GS course at Golden Peak

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Course set by Nils Coberger.       Course inspection on Birds of Prey

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Looking down into the stadium at Red Tail, Beaver Creek

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Waiting in the finish area for the top 25 athletes – qualification criteria

Training Vail

Training in Vail

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Took a little time out from training while we were at Vail to do a bit of a photo shoot for Dirty Dog Sunglasses – had a lot of fun with some great weather and snow conditions.

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And this was our ride while in Colorado

First Europa Cup

We finally got into the racing side of things after all the postponed or cancelled races due to the lack of snow.  Started a series of slalom races in Garmisch, Germany unfortunately just 37 of 113 finished and I wasn’t one of the finishers. Team mate Mike Rishworth, myself and coach Nils Coberger then traveled on to Gaal, Austria for two more slaloms.  Day one I was pleased to put two good runs together and achieved a 2nd place podium result as well as making points (20.48)  Day two was one of the rougher Slaloms I’ve skied and wasn’t as successful, then it was on the road again to Turnau for two more slalom races.

Later today I will be racing in my first Europa Cup at Zell am See which should be quite the experience. It also happens to be a night race!

Gaal, Austria 13 Jan 2014 2nd place

podium Gaal, Austria 13 Jan 14

1. Filip Mlinsek 2. Myself 3. Paul Zimmermann

Gaal podium

Just the road crossing our race track.