Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Melbourne training camp

Last week the National Ski Cross Team had a training camp in Melbourne. Like most off-snow training camps, we try to mix it up a bit for variety, the chance to try new things, and have a bit of fun!
Matt Lyons, Head Coach, ran the training camp with help from Shawn Flemming, coach of the newly formed Development Ski Cross Team, as well as Anthony Khoury, OWI acrobatics coach.

We started off the week with wind tunnel testing out at RMIT University in Bundoora. They have a special lab where they test the aerodynamics of a variety of things; from formula one cars to cyclists to bobsleigh to skier cross racers. Basically the aim was to figure out, a) which position is fastest whilst racing, and b) what type of clothing is most aerodynamic at high speed. After over 2 hours in the wind tunnel, getting in and out of a tuck with a maximum speed of 70km/hour, the session was tiring but a success! Hopefully this will give us a bit of an edge leading into this coming world cup season. Every millisecond counts in this sport!

(Preparing my tuck position for the wind tunnel) 

(In the wind tunnel)

(Traveling at a simulated speed of 70km/hour)

The following morning we headed to Lilydale at 5:45am for water jumping. It’s a great chance to practise jumping without having the fear of landing hard on ice. Water is definitely a more comfortable landing surface if you happen to land on your head! After a much needed coffee at that hour, I was ready to get going. We geared up with our retro ski gear and jumped all morning (about 30 jumps).

(Anton, Harry, myself and Sami ready to hit the jumps)


(Having a bit of fun and practicing our 360s) 

We jumped again Thursday morning, and for something a little different, we had an ice hockey session at the new OWI Ice House at Docklands in the afternoon. After an hour or so of ice skating drills (which are harder than they look!), we got straight into it, and had a lot of fun. Our competitive sides definitely came out in the ice hockey match!

(Kitted up and feeling like a pro... that is before I step onto the ice....)

(Australian Ski Cross Team, turned hockey team!)

On Friday night, I attended the I Ski For Tommy Gala, which was a great success. Over 150 people came to show their support for the cause, which raises money for the Victorian Melanoma Service in honour of the late Tom Mathias. As an athlete ambassador for the organization, I’m proud to welcome aboard Jarryd Williams, Australian halfpipe snowboarder, onto the ambassador team.

 (Mark Cicchiello, founder of ISFT, his father and myself)

For the next few weeks I will be in Melbourne, finishing off assessments and studying for uni exams, as well as training in the gym.

I’ll keep you posted with how things are going!