Monday, August 19, 2013

A succesful short competition season in Australia

I am happy to report that the past three weeks of racing have been extremely successful.

Kicking off the competition season was Thredbo’s famous “Top 2 Bottom” race; a Chinese downhill from, as the title suggests, the top of Thredbo to the bottom. The race starts with a head-to-head sprint for about 60m, skis and poles in hand. Once you reach the first gate, it’s skis on as fast as you possibly can, and a head-to-head downhill race to the bottom. Similar to ski cross but without the jumps! This event is about the only excuse we ex-Alpine now ski cross racers have to put a downhill suit back on! And it feels oh so good….

I finished the sprint in third, and managed to make two passes in the downhill part of the race and take out the win.

To witness what the hectic race was like from my perspective, take a look at the head cam footage….

Sami and I racing Top 2 Bottom at Thredbo for the win...

To more recent news, the SSA Ski Cross National Championships were held this weekend at Mount Hotham. The plan was to hold two races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Unfortunately the weather didn’t quite go to plan…

On Saturday we raced two qualification races. I won both races, securing two qualification wins coming into finals. Today’s double race finals were unfortunately cancelled due to gale force winds, fog and fresh snow. The race was decided on qualification times which makes me National Ski Champion for 2013 which is great. Definitely not the way I would have liked to win; head-to-head competition is always more fun!  But I’ll take the win none the less.

Well done to teammate Sami Kennedy Sim who took third place is both races.

 Quatchi (the Vancouver mascot that now lives on my backpack) took a beating in the wintery Hotham weather!

Australian National Ski Cross Champion, 2013

On Sunday I will travel to New Zealand with the Australian Ski Cross Team for a four and a half week training camp. We will be based at Mt Hutt for the first two weeks, then Cardrona for the last two and a half weeks. Joining us on a ski cross track will be the Canadian Ski Cross team, as well as the Australian Border Cross team, and a bunch of other athletes.

I am very much looking forward to training on a full-length technical ski cross course. Hopefully it is ideal prep for Sochi!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A big two weeks at Perisher

I have just completed a massive two week on-snow training camp in Perisher, NSW. Rain, hail, shine, wind, snow.... we've had it all. Nevertheless, it's been a very positive block of training. The focus for the past two weeks has been jumping and starts. The Perisher Front Valley terrain park, where the likes of Russ Henshaw and Anna Segal have been training (Olympic Gold hopefuls), has been the ideal place to practise big air and aerodynamics. Whilst the start gate set up which we shared with the border cross team was perfect for training start technique and movement over jumps and rollers.

Highlights from the past two weeks would have to be my birthday celebrations (thanks Belle and Dan for the delicious birthday muffins!), my exciting weekend trip to Canberra to check out the sites, and the beautiful sunrises at 6:30am from up at the mountain.

Next weekend we have the Australian National Ski Cross Championships at Mt Hotham, then in late August we are off to New Zealand for our main southern winter training block: five weeks in the South Island (Mt Hutt and Cardrona). Conditions are great over there this season with tonnes of snow, so its a trip I am very much looking forward to!

Have a look at the latest Ski and Snowboard Cross training video put together by SSA TV. Gives you a good idea of the type of training we have been doing!


Start section at Blue Cow, Perisher

Lacking a little snow earlier in the week! Belle Brockoff, Australian Womens BX Team.

Birthday Muffins! Benefits of being an athlete; we train so much you burn everything off!

Parliament House, Canberra

Battling the weather

Anton Grimus, the Mountain Man

 Beautiful afternoon at Lake Jindabyne.

Out for a ride in Jindabyne on a sunny afternoon. Thanks Garmin for the goods!