Past Events - Short Reports
In 1979 the Mt Beauty based Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club organised the first Australian Birkebeiner in the classical style over 21km at the Falls Creek Ski Resort and on the Bogong High Plains in the Victorian Alps. It had 80 participants (Mens winner: Laurie Jortikka (AUS) and Womens winner: Robyn Rodd (AUS).
In 1989 the club conducted its own trial marathon event in the classical style over 42km to gauge the logistics of organising such a long distance event. This event was called The Australian Birkebeiner Ski Marathon (Mens winner: Chris Heberle (AUS) and Womens winner: Jeanette McLaren (AUS).
Following the success of this initial trial the club then applied (through the Australian Ski Federation) to the Worldloppet body for admission. Before this could occur the 1990 event had to be assessed by three International Worldloppet representatives - technical delegates. This event was called The Australian International Ski Marathon and was assessed by Rolf Kjaernsli (Norway), Robert Steiner (Austria) and Tom Duffy (USA). (Mens winner: Mark Gray (AUS) and Womens winner: Michelle Wolfe (CAN). The club was successful and in November 1990 was admitted as the 12th member of Worldloppet with the first Australian Worldloppet event (now called the Kangaroo Hoppet and conducted in the Freestyle technique) being held in August 1991.