Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Edmonton Alberta Cups - it's going to be cold

This weekend Edmonton Nordic will be hosting Alberta Cups 3 and 4. Here are a few thoughts on the race:

In general, the situation is not looking good. The high for Saturday is somewhere between -20C and -25C and the high for Sunday is somewhere between -18C and -30C. The bottom line is that it will be cold. You can check the Edmonton forecast from my two favourite weather sites here: The Weather Network, yr.no.

Often there is some confusion about what the official rules are with respect to cold weather. Let me enlighten you, as per the rule book: 

With air temperatures below -20°C (temperature measured at the coldest point of the course and without wind factor) and competition distances less than or equal to 15 km, the Jury must postpone or cancel the competition. With competition distances greater than 15 km and temperature less than -18°C without wind factor, the Jury must postpone or cancel the competition.

Based on that, things are not looking so good...

Glide Wax
Just in case the TD decides to keep the race thermometer under their arm, it's a good idea to start thinking about your race skis.

The bottom line is that you need to get the bases hard - really, really hard. I would suggest the following treatment:

Base wax: apply Swix LF4, iron, cool, scrape and repeat - in other words, two layers.

Race wax: apply Solda S30, iron, cool, scrape, brush - if you have a fine steel brush, now is the time to pull that out. The more wax you can remove from your skis the better!

Top coats: you might consider testing Solda PJ3 the morning of the race, but that's probably about it.

Structure: for the classic race consider lightly applying a fine linear structure to the tails only. For the skate race consider lightly applying a fine V structure. Both should be pressed only very lightly.

Kick Wax
It is unlikely that getting kick is going to be a problem. Focus on finding waxes that maximize free glide. You should consider Swix VR30, Guru green, Star Blue, Magnar 1, and other similar waxes in your test.
Good luck this weekend! It's going to be a cold one!


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