Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Duntroon - World Championship Trials

This past Friday, Reid and I flew to Toronto to do ski service at the Duntroon NorAm race. After arriving late at night, Reid and I managed to navigate all our gear through the airport and get to the hotel. We slept only a few hours before picking up the rental car and getting back on the road to for the two hour drive to the venue. The rest of the weekend looked like this:

Reid getting after the test skis. It was a massive help having Reid along for the trip, not to mention a heck of a lot of fun. I'm super glad that he was able to make it as we don't get to see each other as often these days.

Powder test skis, ready to be brushed in the morning.
Jack booked this crazy bed and breakfast for me and Reid. We were quite literally in the honeymoon suite. There was a huge jacuzzi tube in the room for our convenience. Note - we didn't make use of the tub.
Stefan Kuhn, one of the AWCA coaches, took this picture of the sun coming up the morning of the race. We were on the trails early to test and luckily the temperature was not too cold.
Burning powder for race skis.
Waiting for the medal ceremony.
Medal ceremony - Graham won and Brian was fourth! Awesome day.
The team - me, Graham, and Reid. What an amazing weekend and such a great picture!
Once it was all over, Graham won the race by more than 30 seconds and today it was announced that he is going to World Championships - WSC announcement.

As I said to Madeleine, the day she qualified for the Olympics is still probably my best skiing memory, but this past Sunday now ranks a very close second.

And... to top it all off, Graham's sister, Emily, was also selected to represent Canada at Worlds. Amazing stuff!!!

Birkie Wax Clinic

Duntroon went well... really well. Graham won the race and Reid and I had a lot of fun. I will post an update from that race with some pictures later this week.

In the meantime, last night I taught the last Fast Trax wax clinic of the season. It was a specific clinic for the Birkie to help people get ready for the marathon race.

The group was small, but they were very keen. It was fun to share some tips and stories from the World Cup.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Duntroon - 2013 Edition

Tomorrow Team Fast Trax, consisting of me and Reid, head to Duntroon for the last set of World Championships selection races. The results of these races, combined with the prior results from Thunder Bay earlier in the winter, will determine which athletes are selected to fill the open spots on team Canada.

Mount on your waxing trousers and buckle up... this is going to be serious. We'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Tour de Ski - 2013

Next up after Canmore was the Tour de Ski. There is a good overview of the event here - overview. In nutshell, this was seven races over the course of nine days at four different venues. Pretty intense.

Here is some stuff that happened.

An overview of where the races were.
Oberhof - Some of the wax cabins on the left. To the right you can see the waxing trucks of Sweden, Norway, and Germany. Pretty cool.

Oberhof - Lack of snow was an issue again. At certain points, pavement was actually showing through on the race course.

Oberhof - This is a picture of the venue. Sort of. The fog and rain that you see here is typical of Oberhof. It is a disgusting place to be in the winter and the entire World Cup is always excited to leave.

Oberhof - Wax cabins.

Oberhof - Applying structure.

Oberhof - Working.

Oberhof - Modern art? Nope. Just the six klisters that we tested and the aftermath of cleaning up the test skis.
Oberhof - Heading out to test.
Val Mustair - Compare this to the pictures of Oberhof above. This is what makes Switzerland better.

Val Mustair -See? So much better.

Val Mustair - The sun even shines here!

Val Mustair -  The refreshment room in the wax cabin had a fridge full of Coke. Hard to argue with that.
Val Mustair -  Matt, Cork, and me. Ready to get after it.
Italy - Since I was working with Noah at this year's Tour, I got to head up to the start of the point to point race in Cortina. It was a good day to be up in the mountains.

Italy - Racing in Italy is like racing in Germany... only the sun shines and it doesn't rain.

Italy - The stadium at Toblach. Take note of the hill in the middle-back of the picture. That is part of the sprint course and you'll also note it is a building!
I was lucky enough to be upgrade to the Executive First cabin for both my flight to and from Europe this time. If you have no idea what I am talking about, you should check it out here - Executive First. Seriously, go have a look. It will blow your mind. 

Next weekend Reid and are I heading to Duntroon, Ontario to do race support for a few folks at World Championship trials. This is Canada's last set of selection races for Worlds, so this is event is a big deal.

Canmore World Cup - December 2012

I haven't managed to post anything here in a long time... too long, really. But that doesn't mean that nothing has been going on.

In December, Canmore hosted World Cups, which was the start of my season with the USST. I was working with Kris Freeman and Liz Stephen. Kris had some awesome races, but Liz was sick the entire time and didn't start a single event.

On the way to Canmore. Ski racing gets me excited.

Inside the wax cabin. All cleaned up at the end of a long day.

Canmore is a good venue, for sure one of the best in the World.

Getting after it.

We make amazing skis for the sprint and didn't want the entire world watching what we were applying. So we got some bottles from Canadian Tire and camouflaged them.

Testing skis.
Mass start. You can just see Kris poking his head out behind #21.

Kris racing hard.

The Norwegian girls came around the hotel one night with pastries and songs for Saint Lucia night.

More of Kris racing. He is #16 in this picture.

At one point, I was on live TV in Europe for several minutes when the cameras were in our wax cabin.

Sunrise at the venue.
Working on Kikan's skis for the sprint. That's me in the yellow jacket.