Perisher Nordic Shelter Managers for Winter 2017 – Expressions of Interest

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The NSWXC Nordic Shelter Management Committee are seeking expressions of interest by persons interested in managing the Perisher Valley Nordic Shelter in 2017.  Managing the Nordic Shelter at the Perisher XC Centre is one of the more interesting ways to fill a winter.

Accommodation is provided at the Nordic Shelter for two people and the manager/s are required to be in residence from the 12th June Queens Birthday long weekend through to the 2nd October Labour day long weekend. The position is on a voluntary basis, with a contribution of $500 to offset some of the costs associated with being at the Nordic Shelter during the winter. An authorised overnight parking space is provided at Smiggins Holes.

Duties of the Managers are included in the linked file. Expressions of interest are requested by 17 March 2017, and should include contact details, a short resume addressing the selection criteria, and details of two  referees. The successful applicant/s will be appointed as the Nordic Shelter Manager for the 2017 Season, with a further one year option for 2018, to be negotiated at the end of the 2017 season.

For further information or to submit an EOI contact nswxc@nswsnowsports.com.au

2017 Australian Race Calendar

The preliminary 2017 Australian Race Calendar has recently been released by the SSA XC Committee and posted to the Calendar Page on this site. The schedule of the major championships and events are as follows:

  • July 15/16 – State Championships at Falls Creek and Perisher
  • July 22/23 – AUS Championships & FIS Races at Perisher
  • July 29/30 – AUS Junior Championships at Falls Creek
  • August 5-12 – NSW Cross Country Week at Perisher
  • August 19/20 – AUS Championships & FIS Races at Falls Creek
  • August 26 – Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek

The full calendar in PDF is also available for download here (Feb 17 version 2.0).

The main change is the moving of the Australian Championships at Perisher back into July. This has freed up the start of the NSW Cross Country Week from a championship event, which NSWXC have been requesting for several years because a clash with a long standing club event. Concurrently a clash between an Australian Junior Team Selection race and the Victorian Interschools has also been removed. This shift was enabled by moving the Victorian Junior Championships into the last weekend of the Victorian School Holidays, which in turn was only made possible with the cooperation of Victorian club race organisers. While several compromises have had to be reached, SSA XC believes that the overall outcome has been worth the effort.

This timing of events is for 2017 only, and the 2018 calendar will be put together later this year following a review of the scheduling of races within the NSW Cross Country Week. It should be noted that SSA XC will continue to lobby to have the Victorian Interschools Cross Country event moved to a mid-week schedule, as is the case with the NSW and Australian Interschools events.

SSA XC would like to thank all race organisers for their assistance in putting this race schedule together.

Catch-Up Report: Kat Paul

Kat Paul’s season so far can be split into three parts. The first was in late November and early December in which she raced very successfully on the USA Super Tour qualifying for senior finals in all of the sprint races she started. Her second phases involved US Championships and U23 World Championships both in Utah, USA. Her third phase is just beginning in Europe with World Championships in Lahti just around the corner.

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Lahti 2017 World Championship Team Named

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Australian Team at the recent World Cup in Pyeongchang. L-R Randy Gibbs (tech), Jessica Yeaton, Phillip Bellingham, Aimee Watson, Callum Watson, Paul Kovacs, Valerio Leccardi (coach), Paul Moore (tech). Additional athletes in team for Lahti: Barbara Jezersek, Katerina Paul, Nick Montgomery.

In form Aussies selected for World Championships

One of Australia’s strongest ever teams has been assembled to compete at the 2017 Cross Country World Championships, and they will be looking for personal best performances when they compete from 22 February – 5 March in Lahti, Finland.

“We have a really strong team of females and males with several experienced athletes leading our team at the World Championships,” Head Coach Valerio Leccardi said.

“Peaking at the right time, giving athletes fast competitive skis, and having a positive team environment would see some athletes achieve their potential of a top 30 result, and for all athletes to achieve their individual goals.” Continue reading

2017 World Junior-U23 Championship Daily V-Logs

Many AUSXC followers may already be up to date with the progress of the Australian Team at the World Junior/U23 Championships at Soldier Hollow. If not, this linked series of daily V-Logs from the team on Facebook gives a great glimpse of action on the tracks and behind the scenes.
U23 10km Freestyle
Casey Wright and Kat Paul in action again, finding the 10km a lot tougher than the Sprint.
Junior 5km and 10km Freestyle
Lilly Boland, Liam Burton and Seve de Campo all picked it up another level compared to their Classic Sprints, Gabi Hawkins and Jarrah Forrer made their World Junior debut, Ella Jackson was stoked to be on the start line after illness leading in to the championships.
U23 Classic Sprint
Casey Wright and Kat Paul made their U23 Worlds debut, Casey qualified for the finals in 25th place.
Junior Classic Sprints
Lilly Boland, Liam Burton, Seve de Campo and Matt Bull all in action at the World Juniors for the first time.
All results can be viewed via the FIS website. A big call-out also to flyingpointroad.com for amazing action pictures every day – keep a lookout for more via @ausxc and @flyingpoint on Instagram

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Valerio Leccardi appointed as new Australian Cross Country Head Coach

Australia is set to continue its proud history in Cross Country under the guidance of new Head Coach Valerio Leccardi, appointed by the Ski & Snowboard Australia Cross Country Committee.

The 32-year-old represented Switzerland at two World Championships and at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, as well as at over 40 World Cups.

“It`s great that I`ve been given the trust by SSA to coach the Australian athletes – they have a lot of potential and I am looking forward to help them achieving their goals,” Leccardi said.

img_0832“Giving up racing and training on a professional level was not easy for me. But by having the chance to pass on my passion and knowledge to the athletes will make the transition a lot easier. I am looking forward to also learning a lot from another perspective as a coach compared to an athlete. I feel privileged to still be able to do what I love, cross country skiing.”

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Team named for 2017 World Junior/U23 Championship

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Australian Junior/U23 Team training in Sun Valley

Junior Cross Country athletes ready to take on world’s best

Having enjoyed world-class preparation, a team of nine young Australian cross country stars are ready and raring to compete at the 2017 Junior & U23 World Championships in Soldier Hollow, USA.

The team has been based in Sun Valley, Idaho training with one of the best cross country programs in North America – the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF).

“We have been able to train at the same altitude and similar snow conditions to Soldier Hollow with some of the best young North American skiers,” Head Coach Robert Jones said. Three athletes from SVSEF will represent the USA at the championships.

“We also hit the jackpot in regards to preparation as the US Nationals were held at the Soldier Hollow course on the exact same tracks that we will race for the WJC/ U23’s. It was a good experience for our athletes as we could learn the conditions and get used to such a strong field. I would say this is the best preparation a junior team could have really!”

Casey Wright and Katerina Paul are set to make their U23 World Championship debut, having both previously represented Australia at the Junior World Championships.

“World Championships are coming around so quickly,” 20-year-old Paul said.

“I believe I have been set up for the season in the best possible way. I have had a good training base with easier “no pressure races” to warm up into before all my bigger races begin in the later part of the season.

“My overall goals would be to be in the best form possible for my bigger races. I hope I have given myself a good opportunity to do so.”

Making their Junior World Championships debut but no strangers to the world stage are Lilly Boland and Liam Burton. The young duo represented Australia at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway, where they both achieved ground-breaking top 30 results.

“Leading into the Junior World Championships, I believe the experience of big stage skiing allows me to be comfortable in important races and knowledgeable of the task ahead, as well as how to approach it,” Burton said.

“After experiencing the level of my competitors and understanding what it takes to ensure a good result for myself and the country, I will be excited to stand on the start line in just over a week’s time for the World Junior Champs.”

The pair will be in good company, joined by 19-year-old Ella Jackson who competed at the 2016 Junior World Championship as well as four other young rising stars in the sport.

With four young men on the team, Australia will enter a junior men’s relay team for the first time since 1995.

“Cross country skiing in Australia is a small sport so we all become close friends through many hours of training and travelling together,” Boland said.

“Having a large team overseas is great in the sense that we motivate and support each other during events such as World Juniors which can be challenging both mentally and physically at times. Training with a larger team also gives me additional motivation during hard sessions so I can match teammates pace and technique.”

For Head Coach Robert Jones, the upcoming Championships in Soldier Hollow are about building for the future as much as they are about achieving immediate results.

“These events give us a chance to see where the level is and what we need to work on to get there,” Jones said.

“We have great training conditions at the National Training Centre at Falls Creek during the Australian winter, and strong domestic races, but it is hard to see how the athletes are going on a world scale.

“Although at this stage we aren’t looking to make podiums in these championships, all our athletes are still progressing and developing in the sport so one day down the track we can have athletes in the top 10’s on World Cup and Olympics. Simply being at these events is a good development process for our athletes as they can see how the best in the world prepare.”

The Championships will take place at Soldier Hollow, USA from 30 January – 5 February 2017.

The Australian Team for the 2017 Junior & U23 World Championships

U23 Athletes: Casey Wright, Katerina Paul,

Junior Athletes: Lilly Boland, Ella Jackson, Gabrielle Hawkins, Liam Burton,  Seve de Campo, Matthew Bull, Jarrah Forrer

Head Coach: Robert Jones

Assistant Coach/Manager: Georgia Merritt

Technicians: Bryan Cook (USA), Tom Smith (USA)

Event Schedule:

  • January 30 – Junior Classic Sprint
  • January 31 – U23 Classic Sprint
  • February 1 – Junior 5/10km Freestyle
  • February 2 – U23 10/15km Freestyle
  • February 3 – Junior 10/20km Skiathlon
  • February 4 – U23 15/30km Skiathlon
  • February 5 – Junior Relays

Follow the Australian Team @ausxc via social media.