2016/2017 National Team Announcement

The SSA Cross Country Committee is pleased to announce the official National Teams for 2016/2017. A record 26 athletes have have accepted invitations to join the World Cup, Continental Cup, U23 and Junior Teams. The majority of these athletes will head overseas in the coming months in preparation for major competitions including the 2016/2017 World Cup series, the 2017 World Championship in Finland, the 2017 World Junior/U23 Championship in the USA, and the 2017 World Universiade Winter Games in Kazakhstan.


Callum Watson at the 2016 Canada World Cup Tour

World Cup Team
– Phillip Bellingham, 25 (VIC, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club)
– Jessica Yeaton, 25 (WA, APU Ski Club)

Continental Cup Team
– Aimee Watson, 29 (NSW, Cooma Ski Club)
– Callum Watson, 27 (NSW, Cooma Ski Club)
– Paul Kovacs, 26 (VIC, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club)
– Mark Pollock, 23 (VIC, Wangaratta Ski Club)
– Nick Montgomery, 23 (VIC, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club)
– Casey Wright, 21 (VIC, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club/UAA Ski Team)
– Katerina Paul, 20 (VIC, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club)

U23 Team
– Casey Wright, 21 (VIC, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club/UAA Ski Team)
– Abe Wright, 20 (VIC, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club)
– Katerina Paul, 20 (VIC, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club)

Junior Team
– Stella Ajani, 19 (VIC, Victorian Junior Team)
– Lilly Boland, 17 (NSW, Cooma Ski Club)
– Matthew Bull, 18 (NSW, NSWXC)
– Liam Burton, 18 (ACT/NSW, Cooma Ski Club)
– Seve de Campo, 18 (VIC, Ski Club of Victoria)
– Emily Champion, 14 (NSW, NSWXC)
– Finlay Clarke, 18, (VIC, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club)
– Freya Clarke, 16 (VIC, Victorian Junior Team)
– Phoebe Cridland, 15 (NSW, NSWXC)
– Dominic Cooper, 19 (NSW, NSWXC)
– Jarrah Forrer, 16 (VIC, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club)
– Nelle Forster-Berghuis, 17 (ACT, ACTXC)
– Gabrielle Hawkins, 18 (NSW, NSWXC)
– Ella Jackson, 19 (VIC, Victorian Junior Team)
– Darcie Morton, 16 (VIC, Livigno Sports Club)
– Bentley Walker-Broose, 15 (NSW, NSWXC)

The two athletes on the World Cup Team Phillip Bellingham and Jessica Yeaton will start the season in different continents. Bellingham will be based in Davos from November to January, targeting World Cups and Continental Cups in Switzerland, Slovenia and Italy. In similar fashion to last season, Yeaton will race predominantly on the US SuperTour, before joining up with Bellingham and other athletes from the Continental Cup Team at the start of February to tackle the 2018 Winter Olympic test World Cup in Pyeongchang.

Similarly the Continental Cup Team athletes are split between Europe and North America, with Callum Watson, Aimee Watson, Mark Pollock and Nick Montgomery racing the season predominantly in Europe, and Paul Kovacs, Casey Wright and Kat Paul starting the season in the USA. All Continental Cup Team athletes are also pre-qualified for the 2017 World Championship in Lahti, Finland, which is the main target event of the season.

Also set to race for Australia this season is Barbara Jezesek, who became an Australian citizen in October. Though not yet a member of the Australian Team (qualification for the team can only be from results achieved as an Australian), Barbara is eligible to compete on World Cup and at the World Championship and should have no problems meeting the team performance standard for the next intake.

With the World Junior/U23 World Championship in the USA for the first time since 1997, the Junior/U23 Team will have its primary base in Sun Valley, Idaho. The US Nationals at Soldier Hollow at the start of January provides a great opportunity for the team to test out the competition tracks for the World Junior/U23s at the same venue 3-4 weeks later. With a number of athletes pre-qualified and others aiming to qualify it is anticipated that around 10 Australian athletes will compete at the championship, including Continental Cup Team athletes Casey Wright and Kat Paul on the U23 side, and 2016 Youth Winter Olympians Lilly Boland and Liam Burton amongst others in the junior events.

The first FIS event of the 2016/2017 season for Australians will be in Muonio, Finland on November 11-13, where Aimee Watson is set to compete, followed by Callum Watson shaking out the cobwebs in Bruksvallarna the following weekend. The Junior Team has an altitude training camp coming up at the Falls Creek starting on November 20, with the official junior tour starting on December 4.

Progress throughout the international season can be followed on the AUSXC website and also via team/athlete social media posts.  Donations to the team can be made via the XC Towards 2018 campaign.

2016 Fundraising Wrap-Up

The final XC Towards 2018 fundraising activity for 2016 was the AUSXC Cocktail Party held in Melbourne on October 7. Hosted by Mandy Milne and Patrick Montgomery, the evening was a great social occasion once again. Now that the dust has settled it can be confirmed that over $13,000 was raised on the night, bringing the total for the year up to over $25,000 towards athlete expenses in the coming 2016/2017 international season.


National Team athletes Kat Paul and Phillip Bellingham

A special guest for the night was Ski & Snowboard Australia President Dean Gosper, who took the opportunity to announce an increase in the SSA cross country skiing budget for 2016/2017 and beyond. It was also announced that the Falls Creek Resort would extend their partnership with the National Team through until 2019. Features of the evening included silent and loud auctions, a slide show of images from the year and short speeches by SSAXC athlete reps Stella Ajani and Nick Montgomery.


Brady Bantick with his new Fischer skis donated to the auction by EMC, with auctioneer & National Team athlete Nick Montgomery.

The bulk of the rest of the funds raised throughout the year were from the Sundeck Cup at Perisher and ski waxing at the Kangaroo Hoppet, which collectively raised over $10,000. The Sundeck Cup run in handicap style in the middle of NSW XC Week is a unique event that should be on everyone’s racing calendar for 2017.

Major event expenses to be covered during the 2016/2017 season include the 2017 World Championship in Finland, the 2017 World Junior/U23 Championship in the USA, and selected events on the 2016/2017 World Cup circuit.


2017 World Junior/U23 Team manager Georgia Merritt, Jess Millet-Riley, and 2017 World Junior/U23 coach Rob Jones.

Many thanks to everyone who supported all of the XC Towards 2018 fundraising activities, by donating auction items, attending events or getting their skis waxed, or who donated directly via the Australian Sport Foundation. website.


Provisional National Teams for 2016/2017

The provisional Cross Country Skiing National Teams for 2016-2017 have been released by SSA XC, the cross country committee of Ski & Snowboard Australia.

Two athletes have been invited to join the World Cup Team, Jessica Yeaton and Phillip Bellingham, based on their results over the past year. An additional seven athletes are invited to join the Continental Cup Team. All of these athletes have also already qualified to compete at the 2017 World Championship in Lahti, Finland.

The full provisional team list is available in PDF format below. Team selection is subject to acceptance of the team invitation by the athletes.

A record 16 athletes are being invited to join the Junior Team, with three athletes invited to the U23 Team. The 2017 World Junior/U23 Championship will take place in Soldier Hollow in the USA at the end of January, and it is expected that an Australian Team of up to 10-12 athletes will compete. Continue reading

AUSXC Cocktail Night – October 7

It is just over two weeks until the annual AUSXC Cocktail Night in Melbourne on Friday October 7. The evening doubles as a celebration of Australian cross country ski racing for 2016 and a fundraiser for Australian athletes heading overseas to represent their country in international competition. Combined with other fundraising activities under the XC Towards 2018 banner, nearly $30,000 was raised towards athletes expenses in the 2015/2016 season.

Tickets for the evening are available via the Trybooking website. Drinks and finger food are provided, and National Team athletes are already hard at work collecting items for the silent and live auctions held on the night and putting together audio/visual material (not to mention training for the competitions).


Continue reading

AUS-NZ Cup Wrap-Up 2016

The 2016 FIS Australia-New Zealand Continental Cup series concluded at the Snow Farm in New Zealand last weekend. US Ski Team athletes dominated the final events of the series, winning all six races, while Australian skiers Katerina Paul and Phillip Bellingham took out the overall series titles. Aimee Watson was the sole Australian to make the podium in an individual event at the Snow Farm, taking third place in the final 5km Freestyle.


2nd Chae-Won Lee (KOR) – 1st Liz Stephen (USA) – 3rd Aimee Watson (AUS)

Results from all the Snow Farm ANC races are available here on the FIS site:

The top 5 in the final ANC standings are as follows:

1 – 403 points – Katerina Paul, AUS
2 – 314 points – Aimee Watson, AUS
3 – 240 points – Mary Rose, USA
4 – 220 points – Deedra Irwin, USA
5 – 181 points – Elizabeth Stephen, USA

1 – 420 points – Phillip Bellingham, AUS
2 – 315 points – Nick Montgomery, AUS
3 – 285 points – Jackson Bursill, AUS
4 – 272 points – Mark Pollock, AUS
5 – 210 points – Ewan Watson, AUS Continue reading

Skike Australia Victorian Ski Chase Prize Draw results

Last night the Skike Australia Victorian Ski Chase prizes were drawn, at a meeting attended by a selection of SXCV committee members, and past and present cash prize donors.
The grand prize of a pair of v07Plus Skikes donated by Skike Australia was won by Carter Bloom.
The randomly drawn $100 Rochford Wines vouchers were won by Penny Grose and Charles Clarke.
The first place male and female $100 Rochford Wines vouchers were won by Ben Derrick and Amy Beanland.
The first place U23 skiers Amy Beanland and Tommi Silvester each win $200 in cash.
We have four additional $200 cash prizes that were randomly drawn from the top 12 U23 skiers after Amy and Tommi (i.e., second to thirteenth place): Jarrah Forrer, Oliver Adams, Leila Pammer and Hayley Adams.
Many thanks to our sponsors Skike Australia (skike.com.au) and Rochford Wines (rochfordwines.com.au), and our very generous cash prize donors, Melbourne Nordic Ski Club, and anonymous donors.
We hope to do it all again next season.  The first event will likely be the rollerski race at Lake Mountain in May.  Stay tuned for updates.

Skike Australia Victorian Ski Chase update

On Saturday 26th August the final Skike Australia Victorian Ski Chase event was held at Falls Creek, the Kangaroo Hoppet/Birkebeinere/Joey Hoppet.  Thanks to the amazing team who put on this grand event.

It was great to have the full distance in all events, despite issues with snow accumulation in many places.   We were lucky with the weather too given the wild winter we experienced, with great visibility and only gale force winds to contend with.

Important notice:

  • Registrations close this Sunday (4th September).
  • The Skike grand prize, Rochford winery draw prizes, and cash prizes will be drawn next Wednesday (7th September).
  • Please check that your results have been correctly recorded (remember only your best two Falls Creek results earn points).
  • Please double check that your Hoppet/Birkie/Joey place was correctly recorded.

The interim results can be found here: Ski Chase draft Final Results 31Aug2016_menSki Chase draft Final Results 31Aug2016_women

These results might change if corrections are to be made or if there are last minute registrations.

As the results currently stand it looks like Amy Beanland has won the women’s competition, ahead of Jackie Kildea, Penny Grose, Briana Oldis and Lily Boland.  In the men’s competition Ben Derrick has finished on top, ahead of Kevin Tory, Ian Franzke, Tommi Silvester and Rod Clutterbuck.  Well done to everyone who took part.  Stay tuned for the grand prize draws.

If you know someone who has raced in any of the events, and is not listed in the results, let them know they have until Sunday to register, and be eligible for the draw prizes v07Plus Skikes, $100 Rochford wines gift vouchers, and possibly the cash prizes if under 23.  Register here: http://tinyurl.com/victorianskichase

Any questions? Try the information at http://www.skike.com.au/victorian-ski-chase.html or send an enquiry to victorianskichase@gmail.com.