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Winter News 2000

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Features| General | Team Reports


Latest Updates...

October 19 - 2000/2001 National Teams - Job Opportunity in USA
September 22 - Spring Skiing!
September 8 - Canadian Nordic Nudes and National Rankings
September 4 - Australian Junior Championships
August 31 - Final Continental Cup Standings
August 29 - Ooops - Hoppet results go missing!
August 27 - Kangaroo Hoppet turns 10
August 24 - Continental Cup Standings
August 14 - Another Australian title to Derrick and Melvey
August 11 - Almoukov wins KAC
August 8 - Australian Continental Cup series and more
July 31 - Victorian Junior Championships and more
July 24 - Snow, Glorious Snow
July 17 - Young Skiers Continue to Challenge
July 11 - Race Weekend #2
July 4 - Coaching Opportunity and More Results
July 2 - Young Guns Rock the Boat
June 20 - Welcome to Winter News 2000


October 19 - 2000/2001 National Teams - Job Opportunity in USA

2000/2001 National Teams
The following skiers have been selected to the relevant Skiing Australia Cross Country Teams for 2000/2001:
Senior A Team: Ben Derrick; Paul Murray; Camille Melvey; Belinda Phillips; Cameron Morton; Katherine Calder
Senior B Team: Daniel van der Ploeg; Matt O'Rourke; Robert Curtis; Ian Franzke
Junior A Team: Esther Bottomley; Rhiannon Palmer; Sally Cunningham; Daniel van der Ploeg; Ben Sim; Chris Darlington; Duane Butcher; Andrew Mock
Junior B Team: James Rickard; Kieran Step

Senior and junior teams will be heading to Europe in December, with major competitions including the World Junior Championships in Poland, and the World Championships in Finland. Further details of the team schedules will be available prior to departure from Australia, and regular team reports will be supplied from overseas.

Robert Findlay from Wangaratta has been appointed Australian Junior Coach for the World Junior Championships. Robert has 14 years experience as a coach, including stints as Australian Junior Coach in 1993 and Australian Youth Team Coach in 1997.

Job Opportunity in USA
Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Resort in California is seeking a qualified cross country instructor for the upcoming season.
Apparently there is already snow on the ground! Preference is for a Level 2 Instructor or better, and work permits will be arranged. Interested persons shold contact Andrew Hall by email at xcski@tahoedonner.com or call int + 1 530 587 9484 on Pacific time.


September 22 -  Spring Skiing!

National Team Spring Camp
Despite very warm conditions in recent weeks, there is still plenty of snow in the Snowy Mountains and on the High Plains, and as you can see below the spring skiing freeze is back! Click on the image below for images at Falls Creek updated daily.

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The prospective Australian teams for the 2001 World Championships in Finland and the 2001 World Junior Championships in Poland will be training at Falls Creek all next week. While plenty of base training on the spring snow is the main priority, it will be difficult to keep some of the budding telemarkers away from the "Hero" snow. Coaching staff and senior team members will also get together to finalise the overseas training and competition schedule.

A Point to Prove.
There are quite a lot of young stars on the rise in Australian skiing, however one of the most impressive has been Matt O'Rourke from Cooma in NSW.. Coming from obscurity in 1999 to make it into the Australian Junior Team and the NSW Institute of Sport, Matt continued his rapid ascent this season and stepped straight into the Australian Senior Team. This article on Matt, "A Point to Prove", has been written by Christie Dowling.

National Teams 2000/2001
Provisional teams have already been posted, however the official teams will not be announced until after applications for post-selection have been considered at the SAXC meeting at the end of September.


September 8 - Canadian Nordic Nudes and National Rankings

Canada Nordic Nudes
This piece of news came up on the Cross Country Canada website yesterday and the XC Skiworld site today. The Canadian Women's National Cross Country Ski Team has produced a calendar to raise money for team training expenses. A  bold move, however it looks likely to be profitable for the Canadian girls. But what about the poor men on the Canadian team, they didn't make the grade for the calendar and have been ditched. For more details, go to www.nordicnudes.com

National Rankings
As publicised at the start of the season, the National Rankings this year are based on the best two results regardless of technique from the four selection races, junior and senior. It shouldn't be a surprise to learn that Ben Derrick and Camille Melvey retained their number one senior rankings. It is promising to see a lot more men making the jump up under 10% this year, though it still a bit light on in the women's field.

In the junior men's ranking the number one spot is shared by Daniel van der Ploeg and Matt O'Rourke, who won two races apiece. Katie Calder took the number one junior ranking for the fourth year in a row (shared in 1998).

Provisional National Teams will be published on the internet in another week. It should be noted that selection to the junior team will be based on the percentages behind the first eligible junior, and not the junior ranking list published here.

Employment Opportunities in the USA
The Royal Gorge cross country resort in California has been employing many Australians during the northern winter for quite a few years now. If you are interested in finding more information, click on the banner at the top of this page.


September 4 - Australian Junior Championships

Weather forecasts and diviners were predicting a foul weekend, however somehow the sky managed to clear for two days of great competition in the Australian Junior Championships at Falls Creek. Over 100 skiers from Victoria, NSW, ACT, and New Zealand took part in the championships, which were organised by Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club.

Daniel Van der Ploeg from Mt Beauty, and Katie Calder from Canberra and the ACT Academy of Sport took home the titles of overall Australian Junior Champion. Both skiers won comfortably in the freestyle events on the Saturday, however neither managed to make it a clean sweep with the classic events on the Sunday.

Van der Ploeg was reportedly 3-4 seconds up with 1km to go in the 10km classic, however a lapse in concentration saw him miss the finish chute and lose valuable seconds as he snow- plowed and scrambled back to cross the line. It was going to be close anyway, however the mistake gave an 8 second victory to Matt O'Rourke from Cooma, a scholarship holder at the NSWIS Institute of Sport. Both O'Rourke and Van der Ploeg won their respective M18 and M16 classes.

In the women's 5km classic Calder also held a slender lead at the top of the course, however a fall on a fast downhill enabled Esther Bottomley from Mt Beauty to come through and win the classic race by 11 seconds. Again, both Calder and Bottomley won their respective W18 and W16 classes.

Some controversy surrounded the circumstances of 15-year-old Ben Sim from Cooma competing in the 10km M16 class instead of the5km M14. Sim put in some very creditable performances against his older competors, however several experienced coaches commented that Sim's long term success would be better served by skiing fast over the shorter distances while he is still young.

The combined win in the M14 and W14 classes went to Kieran Step from Perisher Valley and Sally Cunningham from Canberra. Cunningham put in a particularly good performance in the 5km freestyle, where she had the third fastest time over all classes.

The under 14 classes were very hotly contested. Lachlan Cann from Yackandandah and Ian Bottomley from Mt Beauty won a race each in MU14 andwere separated by only 4.7 seconds in the combined result with Cann on top. Colleen Blake from Cooma won the WU14 skating race, but Lisa Russell from Mt Beauty won the classic with enough time to take the combined title.

Interstate relays were held on the Sunday afternoon over a fast 1km loop. Victoria was victorious in all four events, ACT got up to take second place in the women's over 16 and under 16 relays, NSW was second in the men's over 16 relay, and a New Zealand team came through to take second place in the men's under 16 relay.

Full results are available for each event.

Charles Derrick Memorial
The " Charlie" was held at Mt Hotham on Saturday, with Australian Champions Ben Derrick and Camille Melvey adding more booty to their treasure chests. Full results are not yet available.

Victorian Interclub Competition
Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club led the Victorian Interclub Competition going in to the Charlie Derrick, however with 5 of the 6 races to count towards the final points the odds were stacked in Wangaratta Ski Club's favour to win the John Aitken Trophy. Wangaratta won the final round on home turf comfortably, and so won the 2000 Victorian Interclub Competition with three wins and two seconds over Birkebeiners two wins and three seconds.

Round by round scores from the interclub competition can be found at the Victorian Cross Country Committee website.


August 31 - Final Continental Cup Standings

Australian Continental Cup
No surprises at the top of the tables with Ben Derrick and Camille Melvey each unbeaten in the 2000 Australian Continental Cup Series. Belinda Phillips and Katie Calder took the next two women's places, while Paul Murray and Nick Almoukov were next amongst the men.
Final Continental Cup Standings

Rocky Valley Rush
A couple of weeks late, but better late late than never. Results are now up for the Rocky Valley Rush and Sun Valley Ramble, which were held at Falls Creek on August 20.


August 29 - Ooops - Hoppet results go missing!

Apologies for those seeking the Kangaroo Hoppet results today who have come upon a Hoppet Website with 1999 Results. The server had a problem between yesterday and today, and unfortunately was backed up from the day of the Hoppet. Please be patient while we get the results back up there. Hopefully they'll be up by about 6pm (Australian time), after that time if the results don't come up when you hit the "refresh" button.then the procedure is to become really frustrated and curse the Hoppet webmaster.

Ski Team 2000
A close finish to the tipping competition this year with just 9 points separating the top 3 teams. Congratulations to Gerry Van der Ploeg and Ben Derrick (Is there anything he doesn't win, dammit!) for selecting the winning teams. Full round by round results are now up in the Ski Team section.


August 27 - Kangaroo Hoppet Turns 20

The Kangaroo Hoppet, Australia's international ski marathon, celebrated its 10th birthday on Saturday August 26 at Falls Creek in North East Victoria. Ben Derrick from Wangaratta Ski Club became the second Australian to win the men's 42km event, while NSW Institute of Sport skier Camille Melvey was the first woman across the line and recorded her second Hoppet victory.

Over 1200 skiers from 23 nations participated in the event, which was started by the Honourable John Pandazopoulos, the Victorian Minister for Tourism.

Derrick broke away from Frenchman Frenck Gorry and Australian Biathlon Champion Cameron Morton on a hill at about 12km, however it took a long time for the 2000 Australian Champion to be assured of victory

"At the 30km mark I looked back and the French guy (Gorry) was only 20-30 seconds behind," said the 27 year old Derrick after the race. "I put my head down and worked hard into the wind for about 5km, and then when I looked again there was no sign of him and I knew the race was mine."

USA Winter Olympian Ben Husaby from Oregon, winner of the overall USA marathon series earlier this year, was dropped early and finished in 6th place, behind 3-time Australian Winter Olympian Anthony Evans.

Second woman across the line was Carla Ziilstra from the Netherlands, who competed at the last three Winter Olympics in speed skating. Third place went to Belinda Phillips from Woori Yallock.

Full results will be available soon on the Kangaroo Hoppet website.


August 24 - Continental Cup Standings

Australian Continental Cup Standings
With one race to go the number one spots in the Continental Cup series are pretty much given. Ben Derrick leads the men's list with 300 points, ahead of Paul Murray on 205. Barring a Hoppet victory to Murray and a non-finish to Derrick, this will be another Continental Cup series win to Derrick. Similarly Camille Melvey also sits on 300 points, with Belinda Phillips in second on 210 points.
Continental Cup Standings after race 3.

Australian Championships
The 2000 Australian Championships finished up last weekend at Perisher Valley with a couple more titles to Ben Derrick and Camille Melvey, however Paul Murray and Esther Bottomley were the victors in the inaugural Sprint championships. Full results and reports from the races can be found in the Australian Championships Special Section.

Kangaroo Hoppet this weekend at Falls Creek, see you there!


August 14 - Another Australian title to Derrick and Melvey

Snowy Mountains Classic - Australian Championship
The inaugural Snowy Mountains Classic combined with the Australian Long Distance Championship took place in perfect conditions at Perisher Valley on Saturday August 12. It was a close race in the men's 42km event, with Ben Derrick claiming his 5th Australian title just 3.5 seconds ahead of Cameron Morton. Camille Melvey notched up her 23rd Australian title in the women's 21km event,a new Australian record. More details on the race to be available soon in the Australian Championships Special section.

Mt Bullfight Charge
Down at Lake Mountain on the Sunday they were splashing money all over the place in the Mt Bullfight Charge. Ben Derrick and Belinda Phillips picked up a handy $600 each for the trouble of taking the long drive south after the Snowy Mountains Classic, $5000 was reported to up for grabs in various categories, including cash spot prizes. Duane Butcher reports on some of the action:

It was a mighty fine tussle indeed... BBD was not always in control of the race that's for sure. I'll tell you what I saw... I flew out of the start once again and managed to hold it for about 2.5km or so, then BBD passed me going like a train on a long continuous climb... then Dan [Van der Ploeg] and myself tagged on the back for a while, but those two then continued to move away from me. [BBD aparently broke away from DVDP, went the wrong way, and had to break away from him again.] Around the 6km mark, Ian "Bear" Franzke (named so because that's what he sounds like) passed me and I stuck with him for the rest of the race. I tried another attack on him with 1km or so to go, but he managed to hold on by a few metres at the finish.... The course was pretty exciting, marginal cover made it very fun! Anyways, everyone was happy to get a bit of cash, I got $200 for 4th place.

Other results from the Bullfight not yet available, hopefully coming soon.

Some other results..
NSW Sprints and Boonoona Open now available in the results section, however please note that there may be some errors in the Boonoona times.


August 11 -Almoukov wins KAC

KAC Cross Country Classic
Despite semi-blizzard conditions there was still a large turnout for Australia's longest running citizen ski race on Wednesday August 9. Over 300 people entered in the 8km race from Perisher Valley to Charlotte's pass, according to the three commercial TV stations in Canberra which picked up race footage.

While small packs of skiers bunched up for shelter from the wind, Nick Almoukov gritted his teeth and broke away off the front. A chasing pack of Matt O'Rourke, Ben Sim, and Robert Curtis worked hard to bring him back, but in the end the 35 year old Russian managed to hold them off and take victory.

ACT junior Katherine Calder was ahead of Camille Melvey mid way through the race, but a couple of falls didn't help her cause and Melvey went on to add another KAC title to her collection.

As of today, race results are not yet on the KAC race site, however no doubt they will be posted there sometime soon.

Ski Team 2000 Round One Results
For all those who have been hanging on the end of their seats, results for the Ski Team 2000 tipping competition are now up. Congratulations to KT Calder for winning the first round and those fabulous prizes from Mt Hotham, Akkia, and the Mt Beauty Bakery.

Lake Mountain Mini Series
They slipped through the news reports in the last couple of weeks, but the Lake Monutain Mini Series has been going strong with two out of the three races completed so far. The final race in the series is on this Sunday August 13 at Lake Mountain, after the Bullfight Charge race in the morning. Results for race1 and race 2 are now up in the results section.


August 8 - Australian Continental Cup Series and more

Victorian Championships and Australian Continental Cup Series
The 2000 Continental Cup series opened over the weekend with the Victorian 5/15km Championships in classic style at Mt Hotham. Ben Derrick and Camille Melvey took the first points in the series, press releases and results can be found in the Victorian Championship Special.

NSW Sprint Championships
The warm up event for the inaugural Australian Sprint Championships in two weeks time. From all reports it was a successful event, with a few faces from the past coming out to put their sprinting style to the test. The men's final was contested by Brady Bantick, David Greber, Peter Murphy and Tim Retchford, with the wiley Retchford coming out on top. In the women's final Jane Sheer was victorious over Erin Davies, Allison McArdle, and Cheryl Power.

Hotham to Dinner Plain Pub to Pub Race
Records all round in the 12th Hotham to Dinner Plain. 240 participants took part in the 12km event, and a very competitive field saw the first 8 skiers break the previous course record. The ringleader of them all was Big Benny Derrick, who took his own race record down to 27 minutes and 17 seconds.

Cameron Morton lead the field out of the Mt Hotham village, but a fall to him and a fall at the road crossing to BBD saw Duane Butcher and Paul Murray with a slender lead going into wire plain. BBD and Morton fought their way back by the Biathlon range, and then BBD made the decisive move over the Switchback Hill. Canadian John Westdal came through for third place, with Belinda Phillips the fastest woman across the line in 16th place. Results and pictures are expected soon to be available on the Hotham to Dinner Plain web pages.

Snowgum Wodonga Mini-Series #4
The fourth and last for this season of the Snowgum Wodonga Mini Series of Cross Country Skiing races was held in beautiful weather at Dinner Plain on Sunday August 6. The mini-series race was conducted at the conclusion of the increasingly popular citizens race The Hotham to Dinner Plain "Pub to Pub". A total of 155 junior skiers competed in the four race series. Nineteen skiers competed in at least three of the four races and earned a series Diploma. Mount Beauty Primary School won the Snowgum Wodonga Perpetual Aggregate Trophy for Primary Schools for most participants while Catholic College Wodonga won the Snowgum Wodonga Perpetual Aggregate Trophy for Secondary Schools for most participants. For full results..

Nottage City Tatts Boonoona Open
On a weekend when too much racing is just not enough, the Boonoona Open put the icing on the cake on Sunday at Perisher Valley. As usual, competitors in the Boonoona had the choice of skiing classic or freestyle, and all the top NSW skiers made the trip back from the Victorian Championships. The victors in the classic races were Camille Melvey and Nick Almoukov, and in the freestyle events Anthony Evans and Carla Ziilstra. Most NSW skiers are still up at the snow, with the NSW Night Relays happening this evening. If the weather deteriorates then maybe results could be available over the next couple of days.


July 31 - Victorian Junior Championships and more

Victorian Junior Championships
A great weekend of skiing and racing at Lake Mountain with the Victorian Junior Championships. Thanks to Rob Barrow  for getting the results up nice and early on the Victorian Cross Country Committee website. Classic Results, Skating Results, and the Overall Results are all available. Daniel Van der Ploeg was the fastest boy on both days, however Esther Bottomley and Rhiannon Palmer had a close contest, taking out one race each. All in all it sounded like a pretty professional job from the Lake Mountain Nordic Team Inc and the Lake Mountain Resort.

Snowy Hydro Cabramurra Tour
The high profile event of the weekend, with a casual mention on JJJ's "This Sporting Life". A great day, great snow, Anthony Evans the fastest man and Camille Melvey the fastest woman on the Cabramurra 15km loop. Matt O'Rourke put in a solid performance for 2nd place behind the Rodent's trusty Fischer Crowns. Overall results...


July 24 - Snow, Glorious Snow
(There's just lots of it!)

APSI Cross Country Instructor Courses
Apologies that this information hasn't been promoted on the website earlier, however there are a number of cross country skiing instructor courses being conducted this season. Read the information here or find your way at the APSI website.

NSW and ACT Junior Championships
NSW junior skier Matt O'Rourke dominated the "North of the Border" junior championships at the weekend, finishing over a minute clear from fellow NSWIS junior Chris Darlington in each of the NSW classic and ACT freestyle events. Katherine Calder was well clear of her competitors in the NSW classic, however Calder opted not to ski in the ACT freestyle event, opening the door for Allison McArdle (also skiing for the ACT) to win in the W18 class. However, the fastest time in the women's 5km came from W14 ACT skier Sally Cunningham.
NSW Junior Championship results
ACT Junior Championship results

Snowgum Wodonga Mini Series #3
Another round of mini series races down, full results available. Mount Beauty Primary School still leads the Primary School cumulative section after the third round, however Scots School Albury has drawn even with Wangaratta High in the Secondary School section after a strong turn-out on the weekend. Gary Arnold of Albury High snuck in by 1 second from Alistair McKimm of Scots School in the Year 9-12 Men class, while Sarah Phillips of Catholic College Wodonga was comfortably clear in the Year 9-12 Women class.


July 17 - Young Skiers Continue to Challenge

NSW and ACT Championships
NSWIS skier Camille Melvey and 3-time Winter Olympian Anthony Evans took home the overall honours in the combined ACT/NSW Championships at Perisher Valley at the weekend. However ACT junior skier Katherine Calder upset Melvey in the skating leg of the competition to win the NSW event and the $250 prize money up for grabs.

Melvey looked strong in the 5km classic ACT Championship, establishing a lead of 1 minute 13 seconds over Calder, who struggled with the wax. But then Calder came out flying in the 5km skating NSW Championship, pulling back 15 seconds on Melvey, not enough to win overall but enough to secure the NSW title. The NSW event had prize money for the first man and woman, courtesy of Smart Radio Systems of Cooma.

Evans again raced on his rocket Fisher Crowns in the 7.5km classic ACT Championships, winning the race by 13 seconds from NSW junior coach Nick Almoukov. Then an hour and half later in the 7.5km skating NSW Championships "El Rodento" was untouchable, breaking clear early and going on to win by nearly a minute and a half. Rising junior NSWIS skier Matt O’Rourke got up for second place in the skating event.
Full Race Results

Birkebeiner Classic
Ben Derrick made it two Birkebeiner Classics in a row, however he was pushed to his narrowest victory of the season so far, 15 seconds ahead of Paul Murray. Murray's double pole strength showed on the flats, and it wasn't until about the 8km mark that BBD managed to break clear.

"He went about halfway up Mackay rd,and had about 30 meters on me by the top," said Murray. "I started to pull him back , but had a crash on a corner and it was all over."

Belinda Phillips was also pushed in women's 5km event by fellow Lake Mountain Ski Team member Rhiannon Palmer.  Palmer, 17 years old, produced her best result of the season to finish only 24 seconds behind Phillips.
Results still to come. - Posted July 19!

Cooma Open
Another win to Anthony Evans in the mass start 10km event, however the most impressive ski of the day however came from 15 year old NSW junior Ben Sim. Sim   pushed the pace early and spread out the field, taking only Evans and Almoukov with him. Evans broke away in the last few kilometres, and Sim finished a few seconds behind Almoukov after taking a fall heading down towards the finish. Camille Melvey was also fired up, easily winning the women's event and giving a few of the faster men a bit of a scare. Special mention to Cooma Ski Club's initiative of providing free hot dogs to all at the prize ceremony.
Full Results.

Falls Creek Ski de Femme
A very good turn out for this all female affair at Falls Creek. Instruction provided to all in the morning, then a low-key race in the afternoon. 75 women and girls participated in the 1km, 2.5km, and 5km events. In the women's 5km Belinda Phillips was the fastest, however this time it was 17 year old Esther Bottomley who gave her a run for her money, finishing only 14 seconds behind.
Full Results.


July 11 - Race Weekend #2

Snowgum Wodonga High Plains Tour
Another victory each to BBD (Big Benny Derrick) and Belinda Phillips in the High Plains Tour, but some promising signs for Australian skiing back amongst the pack. Nick Grimmer took the opportunity again to demonstrate his sprinting ability and doubtful race tactics by taking a 50m lead on the rest of the field in the first 750m and working his way back from there. A bunch containing BBD, Daniel Van der Ploeg, Leon Spiller, John Westdal and Paul Murray held a slender lead from another group of 5-6 skiers for the first 4km, but then BBD split the field up as they headed out into Sun Valley. Paul Murray and Daniel Van derPloeg had another tussle, with Paul Murray turning the tables this week and taking second place only 36 seconds off BBD. In the women's 10km race Belinda Phillips took a while to get away from Kate Spiller (but then extended her lead to just over a minute), and junior Rhiannon Palmer wasn't too far off the pace when she turned off in the 5km event. Full results available on the Victorian Cross Country site.

Snowgum Wodonga Victorian Interclub Relays
The opening race of the 2000 Victorian Interclub Series. Wangaratta Ski Club was doing a lot of trash talking during the week, and backed it up with an exciting victory in the hotly contested open men's 3 by 5km event. Lake Mountain Nordic Team took out the women's open event, and also upset the Wangaratta-Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club traditional rivalry for much of the men's race. However, the overall interclub honours went to Birkebeiner, who managed to field 19 teams of 3 skiers.

Paul Murray was expected to deliver a lead for BNSC on the classic leg, but difficult waxing conditions evened up the field. Murray snuck in ahead of James Rickard from LMNT, with Leon Spiller from WSC and Ian Franske in close contact. Duane Butcher of BNSC stuck with John Westdal of LMNT (and 1999 Kangaroo Hoppet fame) for most of the first lap, but then Westdal broke away and extended the lead out to 30 seconds from BNSC, with WSC a further 40 seconds back. Young LMNT member Lincoln Smith had his moment of glory leading the Victprian Interclub Relay main event for half a lap before being caught by BNSC's Finn Marsland, who also had his moment in the snow before the bubble burst and Big Benny Derrick mowed him down at the top of the course on the second lap.

Apologies for the lack of comment on the women's event, however the LMNT of Belinda Phillips, Penny Grose, and Rhiannon Palmer wasn't challenged and won by over 6 minutes.

Full results available on the Victorian Cross Country site.

Cooma Clean Out The Waxbox
Perisher Valley also experienced difficult waxing conditions for the first classic race of the season. You would reckon that Anthony Evans, Australia's most successful cross country skier, would have something special up his sleeve when the waxing gets tough. But you might think he would pull out some secret wax and not the pair of fish scales he used to win by a mere second ahead of Matt O'Rourke. The word is out that The Rodent has the fastest pair of Fischer Crowns in the country. NSW Junior Coach Nick Almoukov took third place. Most of the rest of the field struggled with the wax, including Camille Melvey and Katie Calder, who were the first women across the line in that order. Further results coming soon.

Snowgum Wodonga Mini Series Race 2
This race was held after the Victorian Interclub Relays on Sunday 9/7/2000, held in classical technique. The weather the race was held in was light snow at about zero degrees, the most difficult conditions for grip wax selection. Full Results

  • Mt. Beauty Primary School is leading in the Primary Schools cumulative participation section after race two.
  • Wangaratta High School is leading in the Secondary Schools cumulative participation section after race two.

The next race is at Falls Creek at 11am on Sunday 23/7/200 and is Freestyle Technique.


July 4

Coaching Opportunity in the USA
Elite Coach Position available at the Auburn Ski Club, near Lake Tahoe, California, USA. The club is looking for an elite level coach with national & international experience to work with their junior athletes. The position is Full time in the winter (5 months) & half time in the summer (6 months).  The Auburn Ski Club is one of the oldest ski clubs in the US. The Club has its own Training Center and Trail System.

Interested parties should contact Sally Jones at sallyxc@hotmail.com

More Results
Full results for the Telemark Tour, the Snowgum Wodonga Mini-Series, and the Cooma Clean out the Cobwebs are now available in the Australian Results 2000 section


July 2
Young Guns Rock the Boat (but BBD still the captain)

Telemark Tour, Falls Creek.
Ben Derrick of Wangaratta Ski Club was victorious in the first senior race of the season in Victoria (the Snowgum Wodonga Mini Series was held two hours earlier), however the local junior skiers gave a glimpse of the future. Nick Grimmer (16 years old, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club) demonstrated his natural speed in the early stages of the 10km freestyle event, but then it was Daniel Van der Ploeg (16, BNSC) who was most impressive. Van der Ploeg worked his way up through the field after Derrick went of the front of the pack, and took second place only 40 seconds behind the 1999 Australian Champion. Paul Murray (BNSC) was third.

The first woman home in the 10km was Belinda Phillips, comfortably clear from fellow Lake Mountain Nordic Team member Amy Hunt. Talented local junior girl Esther Bottomley opted for the shorter distance and cleaned up in the 5km event. The first male in the 5km event was junior Warwick Cann. Full results to come during the week.

Cooma Clean out the Cobwebs, Perisher Valley
North of the border Camille Melvey overcame a fall at the start to win the women's 5km freestyle event. Melvey finished in a time of 15:58, 41 seconds ahead of Katherine Calder on the two by 2.5km loop. In the men's 5km event Pete Murphy gave the field a scare for the first half a lap, but then the race was fought out between the two NSWIS junior skiers, Chris Darlington and Matt O'Rourke. It was a close battle, with O'Rourke coming past at the end of the race to win by one second in a time of about 14:20, Murphy hanging on for third place.

National Team Training Camp
Taking advantage of the excellent early snow conditions, the national cross country skiing squad had a training camp at Falls Creek from June 25-30. 18 skiers spent the week at the Howmans Gap Alpine Centre, overseen by national coach Finn Marsland and Victorian junior coach Len Budge. The squad was also assisted by physiology and biomechanics staff from the Australian Institute of Sport, and physiotherapist Stuart Imer of South Yarra Physiotherapy Centre.

The focus of the week was on early season distance training and technique analysis, however with the introduction of sprint events at the World Championships and Winter Olympics, a number of tests were also held to identify sprinting ability. The attraction of the sprint event is that Australian skiers may potentially be able to achieve international success without the 8-10 years of endurance training necessary to be internationally competitive over the longer distances.


June 20
Welcome to Winter News 2000
Yes it has been a fantastic start to the Australian winter, skiing conditions have been very good for June and everything looks set for a great season (touch wood).  We will endeavour to bring you regular news and race reports throughout the 2000 season, and feel free to put those latent journalist skills to work and submit material to marslandf@ausport.gov.au .

News from the 2000 FIS Congress
The 42nd FIS Congress was held in Melbourne from May 30 to June 3. Some of the   outcomes from the congress relevant to Australians competing internationally are the dropping of FIS point qualification standards for World Cup sprints, and the axing of the mass-start event for the Lahti World Championships. For more details and other FIS news...

New snow cams at Falls Creek
Falls Creek Resort Management has just added some new 'roving' cross country skiing snow cams to it's website. The images from various locations on the Falls Creek cross country trails will be updated twice per day. So if you don't believe the snow condition report from the radio, have a look for youself. You can also view the latest grooming report.

Ski Team 2000 up and running
Yes it's back again, Ski Team 2000, the dream team competition for Australian Skiing, supported by the Mt Beauty Bakery as usual, and two new sponsors - äkkiä Sportswear and Mt Hotham Alpine Resort. Select your team of 5 skiers for the Australian Continental Cup series and get your entry in before August 5th. Entry forms will also be available in the July edition of Australian Alpine News and the winter edition of Australian Cross Country News.


XC is the official website of the Skiing Australia Cross Country Committee. It is produced with the assistance of the Australian Sports Commission and the Kangaroo Hoppet. The editor can be contacted via hoppet@netc.net.au.