NZ Winter Games – Mass Start Classic 10/15km

The second of the NZ Winter Games Cross Country Events ran today in tough, wet conditions. Some light rain overnight left the tracks hard on the flats, but softening quickly both out of the tracks and on the climbs.

The Women’s event was up first at 9:00am with 9 starters. Katerina Paul started strongly to get into a group with three Korean skiers, but struggled to keep her position in the closing laps to finish 8th. Not renowned as a distance skier, this result is hugely impressive as the three Koreans in her group had FIS distance points between 35 and 74 better. Alecia Phillips recovered strongly after a collision at the start with one of the Koreans to finish in 9th. Slovenian Barbara Jezersek finished strongly in 2nd place, 1min and 16 sec behind the winner Chae-Won Lee of Korea. Barbara’s comments from after the race included “I felt flat, like I was racing 50km, not 10km.” None-the-less a good showing by Barbara.

In the Men’s, starting at 10:00am with 12 starters, Australia was represented by Ewan Watson and Alasdair Tutt who finished 8th and 11th respectively and thus sandwiching two of the Canadian racers in the pack. The two skiers took different tactics on grip waxing (having both just finished providing wax support to two of the women in the field) Ewan choosing to go thin on grip and Alasdair chucking on an extra layer of klister just before the start. Ewan regretted his choice going up the major climb (containing two steep pinches and not much chance to rest afterwards) however made up ground on each lap, whilst Alasdair struggled to stay with the group on the 2.9km long double pole section at the start of each 3.75km lap having started out with the top 4 for the first kilometre.

Images from the NZ Winter Games can be found (and downloaded for free) at:

Sprint:

http://www.gettyimages.co.nz/search/events/552709033?family=editorial&assettype=image&sort=best&excludenudity=true&phrase=

Mass Start Classic:

http://www.gettyimages.co.nz/detail/news-photo/sang-mi-je-of-korea-and-brandy-stewart-of-canada-compete-in-news-photo/485613460

The NZ Winter Games and the Australia/New Zealand Continental Cup conclude tomorrow with a 5/10km Individual Start Freestyle with Daniel Sarri, Alasdair Tutt and Ewan Watson representing Australia in the men’s field and no Australian women starting.

NZ Winter Games 2015 – Classic Sprint

The NZ Winter Games kicked off today with a classic sprint under cloudy skies after a few days of magical sunshine. A small but competitive field containing: Australians, Koreans, Canadians, a New Zealander and a Slovenian raced over either 850m (Women) or 1700m (Men) on a loop containing a long, three-staged uphill and another short pinch before a long, downhill finish.

In the qualifying, Katerina (pronounced “Ket” or “Kit” in Kiwi) Paul finished third (about 4 seconds back) behind Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt from Canada and Barbara Jezersek from Slovenia. Alecia Phillips qualified 8th out of the field of 10, with 8 proceeding into the Semi-Finals. Continue reading

Images from Kangaroo Hoppet

Assorted images from the 2015 Kangaroo Hoppet taken by Falls Creek’s Chris Hocking.

 

Switzerland – Sweden Double at 2015 Kangaroo Hoppet

The 2015 Kangaroo Hoppet was held on Saturday August 22 at Falls Creek in north-east Victoria. Strong winds and early morning fog caused the main 42km event to be reduced to 34km, however the winds eased and fog lifted for a great day of racing and participation. Over 1000 competitors from 24 nations entered in the three race distances of 34km, 17km, and 7km. Valerio Leccardi from Switzerland claimed his third Hoppet victory in six years while the first woman Maria Graefnings from Sweden added a second Hoppet title to her win from 2012. The Hoppet is part of the Worldloppet series of international ski marathons, which features 20 races in 20 countries and has annual participation of over 135,000 skiers.

The men’s 34km podium was rounded out by 2014 Australian Winter Olympians Callum Watson from Sydney and Phillip Bellingham from Mt Beauty. On the women’s side Slovenian Winter Olympian Barbara Jezersek was the runner-up for the second year in a row, ahead of the first Australian Casey Wright from Launching Place. Both Bellingham and Wright live and work at the YMCA Howmans Gap Alpine Centre at Falls Creek during the winter, training at the Ski & Snowboard Australia National Team Training Centre. Continue reading

Skike Australia Victorian Ski Chase – Update 19 August 2015

With only a few days to go before the final Ski Chase event (Hoppet/Birkie/Joey) we finally have the updated ski chase points from the weekend before last.  SkiChaseResultsWomenSkiChaseResultsMen

Once again we see familiar names at the top of the list, with Kevin Tory in an unbeatable position in the Men’s competition and Penny Grose only needs to complete one of the events on Saturday to be virtually guaranteed her win.  However, as one of the Ski Chase coordinators Kevin has ruled himself ineligible for the first prize $100 voucher at Rochford Winery, which means Ben Derrick with a handy lead over Phillip Bellingham is looking a likely prize winner.  For Phil to overtake Ben in first place he’ll need to finish 16 places ahead of Ben on Saturday.

In the U23s Casey Wright has a handy lead over her nearest rival Leila Pammer and looks like she has a good chance to take out the $300 Skike Force prize.  For the U23 male competition the numbers are very close between Tommi Silvester and Ash Forrer.  (We can’t tell exactly what the difference is as we’ve only just noticed there’s an age error in our database for Ash.  This is a timely reminder for everyone to check that we have correctly recorded your details.)

At present all U23 competitors registered are ranked in the top 12, and thus eligible for the draw of the remaining four $200 cash prizes, thanks to Melbourne Nordic Ski Club and our anonymous donors.   If you know any U23s who have competed in any Ski Chase event so far, or will be competing in Saturday’s events, be sure to encourage them to register.

With more prizes and fewer events than ever, there’s never been a better chance to win some of the great prizes listed below.  So if you haven’t already entered one of the events this Saturday, it’s not too late: www.hoppet.com.au  To register for the Ski Chase follow this link and enter your details: http://tinyurl.com/victorianskichase

Once again thanks to our generous sponsors and donors, Skike Australia, Rochford Wines, Skike Force members and Melboure Nordic Ski Club.

Prizes:

Vo7Plus Skikes from Skike Australia (skike.com.au) – Random draw

Two $100 vouchers from Rochford Wines in Healesville (Rochfordwines.com.au) – Random draw

Two $100 vouchers from Rochford Wines – First place male and female

Two $300 cash prizes – First place male and female U23, donated by Skike Force

Four $200 cash prizes – Random draw among 2nd to 11th placed U23, donated by Melbourne Nordic Ski Club, and anonymous donors.

Images from AUS 10-15km Freestyle

More images, this time from Sunday’s Freestyle races.

Images from AUS Classic Sprint

Thanks to Graeme Bottomley for these assorted images from the Australian Championship Classic Sprint at Falls Creek on Saturday August 15.

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