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Spring News 2009

Sept 15 - Ski Chase Wrap-Up
Sept 3 - Charlie, Kozi, and Sundeck Dinner
Kangaroo Hoppet (link)
August 23-25 - NZ Winter Games
August 18 - Aus Open / Junior Champs
August 14 - Tuulicoutty Cancelled
August 10 - Australian Championship Action
August 6 - Delayed Weekend Report
July 30 - Hotham Pub to Pub Update
July 28 - Pursuit + Sprint Race Reports
July 23 - Events Old And New
July 21 - Victorian Junior Championship
July 15 - Ski Chase Update
July 13 - Miscelleanous Race Reports
July 10 - Ski Chase and Paddy Junior Updates
July 7 - Season Opening Races
July 3 - Australian Ski Chase
June 30 - Race Entry Forms
June 17 - Perisher Trail Pics
June 14 - June Snow Pics
June 10 - Now It's Winter!
June 4 - Not Quite Winter
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Mock Report - Wombat in a War-Zone
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Winter 2009 Updates


September 15 - Ski Chase Wrap-Up

2009 Australian Ski Chase
Congratulations to the following people who completed the 2009 Australian Ski Chase. With the help of the Kangaroo Hoppet office they will all receive a prize. They will also be able to stay at YMCA Howman's Gap Alpine Center at a significantly reduced rate during the 2010 ski season. They are:

Bob Cranage, Adrian Blake, Richard Roe, Ross Martin, Paul Waller, Gerry van der Ploeg, Alan Civil, David Cigana, John Hunt, Andrew Walker, Len Budge, Stephen McDowell, Ben Derrick, Michal Trnka, Dave Hunt, Ian Franzkie, Sam Drummond, Nick Grimmer, Mark van der Ploeg, Cam Dickinson, Cam McIntyre, Phillip Bellingham, Mark Pollock, Alasdiar Tutt, Robyn Rodd, Ronice, Goebel, Belinda Philips, Jackie Kildea, Helen Whittaker, Clare Louise Brumley, Penny Grose, Lescinska Fackerell, d'Arcy Baxter and Megan Pollock.

The 2009 Australian Ski Chase age handicapped competition was very competitive with many of the placing not being decided until the final weekend of races. The winner of the Men's Overall competition was Bob Cranage from Wodonga. Cranage completed 8 races across Falls Creek, Mt Hotham, Perisher, Charlotte's Pass and Cabramurra. His highest finishes were first in the Charlotte's Pass Open and second in the Cabramurra Tour. Second overall was awarded to Adrian Blake who despite his younger age raced consistently across the whole season to finish 25 points behind Cranage. Third was Richard Roe who received the same points as Blake but was relegated to third due to his sixth result being less then Blake's sixth result. Listed below are the top ten overall men who were also the top ten men in the born before 1960 class.

1. Bob Cranage VIC 475pts
2. Adrian Blake NSW 450pts
3. Richard Roe ACT 450pts
4. Ross Martin NSW 443pts
5. Paul Waller VIC 437pts
6. Gerry van der Ploeg VIC 431pts
7. Alan Civil ACT 423pts
8. David Cigana NSW 410pts
9. John Hunt VIC 394pts
10. Andrew Walker VIC 391pts

For their efforts Bob Cranage and Adrian Blake will receive a fully catered weekend for two at YMCA Howman's Gap Alpine Center for any time during the 2010 Australian winter. Richard Roe will receive a gift certificate at the value of $50 donated by Wilderness Sports in Jindabyne.

Ben Derrick from Falls Creek held on to win the born after 1960 category and will receive a 2XU drink bottle holder for his efforts. Second was Michal Trnka from Mt Beauty who will receive a gift certificate donated by Rocky Valley Bikes and Snow Sports valued at $50. Third was Dave Hunt who will receive a $50 gift certificate donated by Snowgum Wodonga.

In the women's event the winner was Robin Rodd. Rodd finished in the top three in three of her best five events to give her a clear lead over second place finisher Ronice Goebel. Third place came down to the last weekend. By being the first across the line in the Charlie Derrick Memorial Langlauf Belinda Philips was able to get the break needed finishing 8 points in front of Jackie Kildea and 9 points in front of Helen Whittaker. Philips is also the winner of the born after 1960 category which make Kildea the third place finisher in the born before 1960 category. Second in the born after 1960 category was Whittaker followed by Clare-Louise Brumley in third.

Overall Women
1. Robyn Rodd, NSW, 455pts
2. Ronice Goebel, VIC, 431pts
3. Belinda Philips, VIC, 376pts
4. Jackie Kildea, VIC, 368pts
5. Helen Whittaker, VIC, 367pts
6. Clare-Louise Brumley, VIC, 356pts
7. Penny Grose, VIC, 346pts
8. Lescinska Fackerell, VIC, 272pts
9. d'Arcy Baxter, NSW, 266pts
9. Megan Pollock, VIC, 214pts

Born before 1960 - Women
1. Robyn Rodd, NSW, 455pts
2. Ronice Goeble, VIC, 431pts
3. Jackie Kildea, VIC, 368pts

Born after 1960 - Women
1. Belinda Philips, VIC, 376pts
2. Helen Whittaker, VIC, 367pts
3. Clare-Louise Brumley, VIC, 356pts

Robyn Rodd and Ronice Goebel will receive the fully catered weekend for two at YMCA Howman's Gap Alpine Center. Jackie Kildea will receive a $50 gift certificate donated by Snowgum Wodonga, Belinda Philips will receive a 2XU drink bottle holder. Helen Whittaker will receive a $50 gift certificate donated by Rocky Valley Bikes and Snow Sports whilst Brumley will receive a $50 gift certificate donated by Wilderness Sports.

The Australian Ski Chase was made possible by generous individual donations and due to the sponsorship from the following companies: YMCA HOWMAN'S GAP ALPINE CENTRE, YMCA WINDY CORNER SKI HIRE AND CAFÉ, WILDERNESS SPORTS, SNOWGUM WODONGA, ROCKY VALLEY BIKES & SNOWSPORTS, WARBY ST VETERNARY HOSPITAL, KANGAROO HOPPET OFFICE, 2XU

I would like to personally thank everyone that signed up and embraced the 2009 Australian Ski Chase. I would particularly like to thank Jim Gargan, Len Budge, Allan and Finn Marsland, Bob Cranage, Peter Cunningham and Ross Martin for all of their support and help.

Nick Grimmer - Australian Ski Chase Coordinator

Full Results


September 3 - Charlie, Kozi, and Sundeck Dinner

The Final Charlie Derrick - September 5
This Saturday will see the Charles Derrick Memorial run for the last time. More details on the history of the race are contained in the July 23 update and also on the Entry Form.

Organisers are set to run the 2009 and final Charlie on the original course around Mt Loch and out to the Charles Derrick Memorial Hut. If the weather is bad - only isolated snow showers and moderate winds are forecast at the moment - then the course will likely go straight out to the Hut and return to the Mt Loch car park.

Entries will be taken on the day at the Wangaratta Ski Club at Mt St Bernard from around 8:00AM, and also up at the Mt Loch car park if you're running late. Don't forget the race will be held in classic technique. Presentations back at St Bernhard at 2:30PM will lead on into the traditional Wang Ski Club celebrations on the Saturday afternoon /evening / Sunday morning.

Any questions can be directed to Ben Derrick on 0400 110 046

Kosciusco Tour - September 6
On Sunday we have the final club tour race of the season, the Kosciusko Tour from Thredbo to Perisher. Full details of the race history and entry details are available on the Canberra Cross Country Ski Club website.

Race organisers have been out today checking out the snow conditions and it looks as though it will be possible to use the original course from the top of Thedbo. A couple of bridges on the road are bare and skis may need to be removed to get across, but that's well worth the effort to be able to include all the rest of the track.

Sundeck Dinner- September 12
Next weekend the Sundeck Hotel at Perisher Valley is holding their annual fundraising dinner for the XC Towards 2010 project. This year's special guests are Rob Frith, owner of Mt Vincent Estate Wines, and Rob Freshwater from the Malt Shovel Brewery. As usual the evening is also supported by the James Squire brewery.

The cost of the evening is $50 per person, including a three course meal with accompanying wines and beers Numbers are strictly limited so please confirm your attendance ASAP to Cliff Wallis at the Sundeck on (02) 64575222 or email to sundeck @ acr.net.au


August 23-25 - NZ Winter Games

Brief reports from the NZ Winter Games events at the Snow Farm will be posted in this special section. News and results may also appear quicker on the official NZ Winter Games website.


August 18 - Australian Open / Junior Championships

The Australian Open and Junior Championship series for Cross Country Skiing moved to Perisher Valley last weekend for races on August 15-16. While Ben Sim put up a tough fight in Saturday's race, Thomas Diezig from Switzerland was the dominant male athlete winning both the 10km Freestyle and 15km Classic events. In the women's events Katherine Calder from New Zealand cleaned up in the 5km Freestyle and 10km Classic and has now joined Diezig in the lead in the overall standings of the FIS Australia - New Zealand Cup (ANC).

Australian Open 5-10km Freestyle Championship, August 15
Australian Open 10-15km ClassicChampionship, August 16

Starting in interval start format Sim and Diezig were very close throughout the 10km Freestyle, with the lead changing at different parts of the course. Sim was one second ahead in time splits going up the last hill but couldn't hang on until the finish and Diezig won by under three seconds. Third place went to Tomio Kanamaru from Japan. Second Australian and first junior was Sim's NSW Institute of Sport team-mate Alex Almoukov from Berridale, who took 6th place overall. Third Australian was Mark Raymond from Alexandra.

On Sunday Diezig was in a class of his own in the 15km Classic, winning by one minute forty-seven seconds ahead of Kanamaru. Third place overall and the Australian title went to Paul Murray from Mt Beauty, Australia's best sprinter, who recorded his best distance race for some years. Second Australian was Chris Darlington from NSW in 5th overall, with the third Australian Sim back in 7th place. Callum Watson from Jindabyne was the Australian Junior Champion.

It was a New Zealand double in the 5km Freestyle with Calder winning ahead of current team-mate Andrea Fancy, with former team-mate Esther Bottomley from Mt Beauty taking third place and the Australian title. A scholarship holder with the ACT Academy of Sport for over 10 years, Calder switched nation from Australia to New Zealand in 2008. Second Australian was Mt Beauty winter resident Clare-Louise Brumley ahead of Aimee Watson from Sydney. Young 14-year-old NSW talent Lucy Glanville won the Australian Junior title ahead of Georgia Merritt from Melbourne.

Calder backed up to win the 10km Classic the next day, this time ahead of Watson, with Brumley and Belinda Phillips from Falls Creek rounding out the Australian Championship podium. Bottomley skipped the race after waking up with a sore throat, leaving Calder now 120 points clear on the ANC leaderboard. First junior was d'Arcy Baxter from Berridale.

In the younger junior classes Glanville won the U16 women's 5km Freestyle and Ashleigh Spittle from Melbourne won the U16 5km Classic. In the U16 men Nick Montgomery from Melbourne won the 5km Freestyle in a close battle with Jackson Bursill from Sydney, and Alasdair Tutt from Wangaratta won the 5km Classic. Damon Morton from Marlo won both the U14 men's 2.5km Classic and Freestyle races, while the U14 women's events were split with Tilly Pascoe from Bright winning the 2.5km Freestyle and Bridgette Cunningham from the ACT winning the 2.5km Classic. In the U12 classic Liam Burton from Jindabyne and Grace Franki from Sydney also won both 2.5km events.

Next weekend cross country ski racing action continues with the New Zealand Winter Games, which features competition in eight different Winter Olympic sports. The Australia - New Zealand Cup series concludes on August 29 with the Kangaroo Hoppet, Australia's international ski marathon at Falls Creek.

Freestyle Results - Classic Results

Australia - New Zealand Cup Standings
Now five rounds down in the 2009 FIS Australia - New Zealand Cup and things aren't looking so good for the Australians. Thomas Diezig from Switzerland and KT Calder from New Zealand are now over 100 points clear on top of the respective standings. Sim's 7th place in the 15km Classic has made it hard for him to contest the series with his Swiss opposition, however there are still four races left and the New Zealand events will have completely different starting fields. With Bottomley not travelling over to New Zealand Calder probably just needs to stay healthy to secure the series win, as Aimee Watson would need to catch up 180 points to reel her back in.

Men Overall Standings

Rank

Name

Nation

Points

1

Thomas Diezig

SUI

440

2

Ben Sim

AUS

321

3

Valerio Leccardi

SUI

245

4

Mark van der Ploeg

AUS

216

5

Tomio Kanamaru

JPN

208

Women Overall Standings

Rank

Name

Nation

Points

1

Katherine Calder

NZE

460

2

Esther Bottomley

AUS

340

3

Aimee Watson

AUS

285

4

Lucy Glanville

AUS

202

5

d'Arcy Baxter

AUS

200


August 14 - Tullicouty Cancelled

After overnight rain at Mt Baw Baw, and in view of the lack of any prospect of significant snowfalls before Sunday, the St Phillack and Tullicouty races this coming Sunday 16th August have been cancelled.

Please note that there is still significant sections of skiable snow on the upper trails for training and recreational skiing for those who are keen, and careful. Plus the added bonus of no trail fees due to the broken cover and lack of grooming.

Regards,

Warwick Davis, Race Chairman


August 10 - Australian Championship Action

The Australian Cross Country Skiing Championships in Sprint and Mass Start disciplines were held at Falls Creek on August 8-9. It was an exciting weekend of racing, with a strong international field and many close finishes in the head-to-head competitions. In the men's events Switzerland was the dominant nation, with Valerio Leccardi winning the Sprint and Thomas Diezig winning the 30km Freestyle. In the women's events Esther Bottomley won the Sprint and Katherine Calder from New Zealand won the 15km Freestyle. The events were also part of the 2009 FIS Australia - New Zealand Cup (ANC).

Perfect snow conditions greeted the athletes and spectators on both days of competition. After several days with strong wind and new snow the sun came out and the Falls Creek tracks were hard and fast. The fastest qualifying time in the Sprint dropped to two minutes and six seconds, compared to over three minutes in training during the week.

Australian Sprint Championship, August 8,
The Swiss men were in great form in the Sprint, qualifying in the first three places and remaining unchallenged through to the A-Final. Other competitors had some bad luck, with Australian number one sprinter Paul Murray breaking a pole in the qualifying round and Wataru Omori from Japan falling in the semi-finals. Mark van der Ploeg was the only Australian in the A-final, coming up against the Swiss trio of Leccardi, Diezig, and Gaudenz Flury. Van der Ploeg fought hard but was unable to make it onto the podium. Leccardi, who narrowly missed the qualification for the Sprint finals at the 2009 World Championship in Liberec by 0.01 of a second, won clearly ahead of Diezig and Flury. As the highest ranked Australian van der Ploeg notched up his second Australian title, with Ben Sim taking the silver medal after coming from behind to out-lunge Andrew Mock in the B-final. Callum Watson

In the women's Sprint qualification Calder was the fastest skier, posting a time four seconds faster than the reigning Australian Sprint champion Bottomley. However in the A-final Bottomley came out firing, dropping Calder in the first 200m and holding a lead all the way to the finish. Calder closed the gap in the latter part of the race but wasn't close enough to force a lunge for the line. Third place (and the Australian Junior title) went to d'Arcy Baxter ahead of her older NSW team-mate Aimee Watson. Georgia Merrit was the second placed junior, winning the B-final ahead of Lescinska Fackerell and the third junior Lucy Glanville.

In the other Australian Junior Sprint Championship events Alasdair Tutt won the U16 men's A-final ahead of Tom Ashton, with Damon Morton taking third place. Ashleigh Spittle won the U16 women's final ahead of Laura Bull and Anna Trnka. The first U12 junior woman was Tara Child, and the first U12 junior man was Matt Bull.

Sprint Results

Australian 15/30km Championship, August 9
The men's 30km Freestyle on Sunday was one of the most exciting championship races witnessed in Australian racing history. 2008 ANC champion Ben Sim and Diezig of Switzerland skied away from the main pack already on the first 7.5km loop, then took turns to attack each other throughout the rest of the race. With neither skier able to make a break it all came down to a finish sprint, and Diezig claimed victory by half a ski length.

Leccardi from Switzerland had a grip on third place throughout the race however it was an intersting race for the rest of the top 10. A pack of seven skiers was together until part way around the second lap, then Chris Darlington, Callum Watson and Andrew Mock broke clear and started to reel inTomio Kanamaru from Japan who was skiing a solo race solo in fourth place. Mock dropped off the pace as Darlington and Watson got to within 10 seconds of Kanamaru at the end of the third lap. On the final lap Darlington started to cramp, leaving Watson to battle on and just be pipped by two seconds at the finish by Kanamaru for fourth.

Calder won the women's 15km Freestyle relatively comfortably, just over two minutes ahead of Bottomley. Bottomley was in fourth place near the top of the course on the first lap, then pushed over the top and managed to gap Andrea Fancy from New Zealand and Aimee Watson, with Clare-Louise Brumley also close behind. Fancy and Watson had a tussle for the rest of the race, with Fancy making a break and Watson making up time at the end to finish just four seconds behind. Brumley was fifth, with NSW junior Lucy Glanville taking sixth place.

15-30km Results

Australia - New Zealand Cup Standings
With three rounds down in the 2009 FIS Australia - New Zealand Cup there is a close battle for the top places. With his win in the 30km Diezig has taken the lead in the men's standings from Sim by 30 points, while Bottomley leads by 20 points ahead of Calder. The overall winner of the ANC receives their own personal quota place on World Cup in the 2009/2010 series. Next weekend there are two more rounds of competition at Perisher Valley in Australia before the competition moves over to the Snow Farm in New Zealand. The series concludes with Australia's international ski marathon, the Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek on August 29.

Men Overall Standings

Rank

Name

Nation

Points

1

Thomas Diezig

SUI

240

2

Ben Sim

AUS

205

3

Mark  van der Ploeg

AUS

176

4

Valerio Leccardi

SUI

160

5

Callum Watson

AUS

114

Women Overall Standings

Rank

Name

Nation

Points

1

Esther Bottomley

AUS

280

2

Katherine Calder

NZE

260

3

Aimee Watson

AUS

160

4

d'Arcy Baxter

AUS

131

5

Lucy Glanville

AUS

126

 

Falls Creek Junior Cup, August 9
With the top ranked junior racing the 30km Phillip Bellingham from Mt Beauty had no problems to win the Falls Creek Junior Cup 10km Freestyle. Second place went to Mark Pollock from Albury ahead of Dyllan Harmer from Wodonga. Gluttons for punishment, Bellingham and Pollock backed up to race the 30km only half an hour later, finishing in 15th and 21st place. In the 5km Freestyle Jackson Bursill from Sydney won by just 3 seconds ahead of Tom Ashton from Jindabyne. The first junior woman in the 5km was Gabriella Cigana from Cooma ahead of Juliette Booth from Melbourne and Siobhan Jones from Jindabyne. In the 2.5km Freestyle it was another close race with Damon Morton from Marlo winning by 3 seconds ahead of Hamish Roberts from Canberra. Younger sister Darcie Morton was the first junior woman in the 2.5km.

Falls Creek Junior Cup Results


August 6 - Delayed Weekend Report

Hotham to Dinner Plain Pub to Pub, August 1
The 20th anniversary of the H otham to Dinner Plain Pub to Pub saw over 150 people compete in the 12km race. Though the snow was soft it was reasonable fast, and the weather got better and better the closer you got to Dinner Plain. First across the line was Andrew Mock, in a sprint finish with Mark Raymond. The pair managed to drop Mark van der Ploeg on the big climb that's not supposed to be there, van der Ploeg holding onto third place ahead of former race winner Ben Derrick. The first woman was Clare-Louise Brumley in 14th place overall, fighting back after losing time in a fall on the way down to the road crossing in the first kilometre. Belinda Phillips was second, and junior Anna Trnka third.

Results (and a big pic of Andrew Mock and Mark Raymond) are available on the Pub to Pub website.

NSW Championship, August 2

NSWIS athletes Ben Sim and Aimee Watson were victorious in the NSW Championship Open 15km and 10km Freestyle races at Perisher Valley last weekend. Sim won comfortably ahead of Chris Darlington who was in turn 17 seconds ahead of Ewan Watson. Younger NSW skiers Alex Almoukov and Callum Watson opting to train through the weekend in preparation for the Australian 30km Championship next Sunday. It was Aimee Watson's distance race debut for the season, as she has been tip-toeing around injuries over the last month and only raced the ACT Championship Sprint the previous weekend because it counted for Continental Cup points. Watson was just 30seconds ahead of young junior Lucy Glanville who has been prominent in all the open races so far this winter. d'Arcy Baxter took third place 50 seconds behind Glanville.

Gabriella Cigana was the clear winner in the U16 junior women's 5km, while Jackson Bursill was unopposed in the winning the U16 junior men's 5km. Lachlan Porter won the U14 junior men's 2.5km just 14 seconds ahead of Hamish of the ACT, while Maddi Davis won the U14 junior women's 2.5km ahead of Bridgette Cunningham of the ACT. All athletes mentioned above are from NSW unless otherwise specified.

Results coming soon.


July 30 - Hotham to Dinner Plain Pub to Pub Update

The Hotham to Dinner Plain Pub to Pub celebrates 20 years since the first running of the event on this Saturday August 1. Pre-registration is up and running on the race website - http://www.dbstrategies.com.au/pubtopub. The more people who pre-register, the easier it is to get started on time and to get presentations underway on time. Pre-registration will remain open un til 9pm Friday night before the race.

As in previous years, The General Store at Hotham will be opening their doors for us at 9am for race registrations - and the essential pre-event coffee. If you've pre-registered, you'll just need to sign your pre-printed registration, pay up and you'll be ready to go. Cost for adults is $15 and $5 for under 18. Registrations will close at 10.30 and all being well the race will start from outside The General at 11 am. At the other end the Dinner Plain Hotel welcomes everyone for the presentations at 2.15 - and of course plenty of food and drink to be had while you're waiting. Ajays Snow Country Sports - who've been sponsoring this event since it's inception - will again have a great range of spot prizes available to ALL entrants.

Here's an update on the conditions from organiser Mick Sinclair:

Skied the Dinner Plain trail from Hotham yesterday afternoon and while the snow was on the soft side, the cover on the trail is for the most part very good. There are the usual suspect places - the north facing trail sections on the lower part of the switchbacks up to Paw Paw Plain - where it's getting a bit thin but apart from that its skiing very well. Had a fair freeze up overnight and we were skiing in mizzle on the Wire Plain trails this morning, but it was trying hard to turn to snow. So with fingers crossed we should be in pretty good condition for Saturday.

Thanks again to those who have pre-registered via the website. If you haven't, it will remain open till 9pm Friday evening. Once again remember if you're driving up Saturday morning, allow LOTS of time to get parked etc.

Hope to see you on Saturday.

Cheers, Mick


July 28 - Pursuit and Sprint Race Reports

Last weekend at Perisher Valley saw the first events of the 2009 Australian Championship and 2009 FIS Australia - New Zealand Cup (ANC). The two sprint events below were part of the ANC, which all up has 10 events at Perisher, Falls Creek, and the Snow Farm in New Zealand from last weekend to the end of August. The full ANC Schedule is found in the results section. While the Team Sprint is an ANC event, it doesn't count for individual ANC rankings. The final event in the ANC is the Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek on August 29.

Australian Pursuit Championship, July 24
Last Friday Ben Sim from Cooma and Clare-Louise Brumley from Templestowe (and winter resident of Mt Beauty) became the inaugural Australian Pursuit Champions. The Pursuit event was added to the Australian Championship program after the calendar review that was conducted in 2008 by Brian Keeble on behalf of SAXC. With the Pursuit event now a staple of the major championship events worldwide it was decided that our athletes should be able to gain more experience in this event format at home.

Sim had a close race with NSW and NSWIS team-mate Callum Watson on the classic leg of the men's 15km Pursuit, then made his break during the ski exchange. Alex Almoukov was back in fifth after the classic leg then skied a very strong skate leg to move up to third place and make a trifecta for NSWIS athletes. Australian Biathlon Champion Mark Raymond was fourth. Brumley got off to an early lead in the women's 10km Pursuit, only to have the gap brought back by NSW junior Lucy Glanville during the skate leg. Still only 14 years old, Glanville skied the fastest skate leg to finish just 18 seconds behind Brumley. Victorian junior Georgia Merritt took third place. It was Brumley's 10th Australian title, and her first since competing at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino.

Ashleigh Spittle won the U16 women's 5km Pursuit just ahead of Gabriella Cigana, while Jackson Bursill won the U16 men's 5km event.

Results

ACT Sprint Championship, July 25
Mark van der Ploeg and Esther Bottomley from the Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club in Mt Beauty posted the fastest qualifying times in the ACT Classic Sprint, then backed up to win the finals. Though van der Ploeg was joint Australian Sprint Champion in 2006 this was his first ever sprint victory. On that occasion Pais from France won the event and Mark and Neil van Ploeg tied for second place and first Australian.

It was close men's A-Final between van der Ploeg, Ben Sim, Nick Grimmer, and Thomas Diezig from Switzerland. Sim came from last place after the first lap to lead over the top of the second lap, only to have van der Ploeg come back past him on the last downhill and ski on for the win. Diezig double-poled the final without wax and took third place.

In the women's A-final Bottomley established a lead on the first hill and held it to the finish. KT Calder now skiing for New Zealand had a battle with Lucy Glanville up the first hill before skiing away for a clear second place, while Aimee Watson overtook Glanville on the second lap to get up for third place.

NSW Junior Team member Laura Bull won the U16 junior women'sA-final ahead of Victorian Ashleigh Spittle, while it was a NSW Junior Team triple in the junior men's A-final with Tom Ashton, Damon Morton, and Lachlan Porter.

Results

Australian Team Sprint Championship, July 26
The format for this Team Sprint event was possibly a world first. A normal individual sprint time trial was held first, then the times used to seed teams for the finals. While this seeding wasn't absolutely essential with the relative small number of teams in the finals, the time trial was used for FIS points and as an additional Australian Team selection race. Again Birkebeiner skiers were the fastest qualifiers in the open class, this time Nick Grimmer and Esther Bottomley. For the finals the open and U20 two-person teams skied six 800m laps (two laps each skier), while the U16 teams skied four laps.

In the women's Team Sprint Bottomley and Victorian team-mate Lescinska Fackerell won relatively comfortably, with NSW junior team d'Arcy Baxter and Lucy Glanville holding onto second place ahead of Victorian juniors Juliette Booth and Georgia Merritt.

Chris Darlington came out all guns blazing in the men's finals, leaving the rest of the starters to try in vain to catch him on the first lap. His NSW team-mate Callum Watson kept the lead on the second lap, then Nick Grimmer closed the gap on the third lap with Alex Almoukov in tow. Ben Sim and Mark van der Ploeg went clear on the front on the fourth lap, then on the fifth lap Almoukov made a decisive move that Grimmer was unable to follow. Van der Ploeg tried his best but couldn't pull back Sim on the final leg and NSW #1 was the winner. The first U20 junior team was Phillip Bellingham and Paul Kovacs from Victoria, in 4th place overall.

Results


July 23 - Events Old And New

Charlie's Final Farewell - September 5
This year will be the final running of the Charles Derrick Memorial Langlauf at Mt Hotham. Charlie's race was first held in 1966, the year following Charlie's death as he was attempting to ski from Mountain Creek to Mt Hotham in a day, and has been running for over 40 years. Past champions have included a host of Australia's top cross country skiers as well as Australian and International Olympic representatives. However, the weekend developed into more than just a race and has represented the spirit and camaraderie that our great sport is renowned for as well as a time to remember a skiing enthusiast whose life was cut short following in pursuit of a goal.

Over the past few years numbers attending the race and the weekend have fallen dramatically. The race WSC committee has tried changing the date to earlier in the season, with little effect on participation levels so we feel that the time has come where the race has finally run its course. It has therefore been decided that this year will be the final staging of the race and we are planning to send it off in style. It has been moved back to its traditional home on the first Saturday in September and we are in negotiation with Mt Hotham to stage it on the traditional course around Mt Loch with the traditional party back at St Bernard after the event as well (the traditional Sunday morning hangover is entirely optional). We are hoping to host as many of the past participants as possible to make it a great final celebration for everyone.

It would be great if people could spread the word north of the border to get as many of the past participants and characters down at St Bernard for the final fling this year. All the current guns should think about trying to get their name on the trophy that reads as a who's who of cross country skiing in Australia over the last 43 years (Finn Marsland accepted of course).

If anyone has any questions regarding this year's event please contact me at any time.

Kind regards,

Ben Derrick.
0400 110 046
benderrick @ fallscreek.com.au

The Wallaby and The Wombat - August 22
Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club is running a new event at Falls Creek on Sunday Aug 22, the weekend before the Kangaroo Hoppet. It is called The Wallaby and The Wombat and is a low key, no fuss, tour race over 15km or 7km respectively.

The Wombat course goes across the dam wall and along the Bogong High Plains Rd to Watchbed Creek. The return is along Paul's track which runs parallel to and above the road. After crossing the dam wall, Wombat skiers head to the finish in the Nordic Bowl. The BHP Rd is wide, flat and ideal for an easy ski. The Wallaby course is the same as the Wombat but after recrossing the dam wall, skiers turn left and follow the Joey Hoppet course into Sun Valley in reverse, then back to the Nordic Bowl.

There will be prizes for the first three men and women in each distance, plus a prize for the fastest in each age class. The Wombat classes are Under 12 years (U12), U16, U20, U50 and Over 50. The Wallaby classes are U20, U50 and Over 50. Entry fees are $20 for adults and $10 for juniors under 20. Age is calculated as at Dec 31, 2008, i.e. how old you were at the end of last year. Entries will be taken on the day at Windy Corner Day Shelter, but there will be a $10 late fee. You can enter through our new secure Active Network RegOnline. Go to the Hoppet web page at www.hoppet.com.au and look for the registration button.

Whether you are looking for a warm-up or training race before the Hoppet, or just want a challenging fun race, this could be the event for you.

Australian Ski Chase Update #3
The Australian Ski Chase has just passed into its third week. Since the last update there has been one race, the Cooma Open, in Perisher. The Ski Chase results are yet to be fully updated so will not be released until after next weekend.

The next Ski Chase events are not until the weekend after next. For Victorians the Hotham to Dinner Plain is on Saturday 1st of August. For those north of the border, the next race is the NSW Nordic Cabramurra Tour also on the 1st of August.

If you are yet to enter or know someone who you think might want to enter there is still time. To enter, email your name, year of birth, email and postal address to australianskichase @ gmail.com.

The Australian Ski Chase would not be possible without the support of its sponsors. They include YMCA Howman's Gap and Windy Corner, Snowgum Wodonga, Wilderness Sports, Rocky Valley Bikes and Snow Sports plus more to be annouced later in the season.


July 21 - Victorian Junior Championship

Victorian Junior Championship, Falls Creek, July 18-19
About 60 juni or athletes took part in the Victorian Junior Championship at Falls Creek last weekend. In the open junior men's class local Mt Beauty junior Phillip Bellingham dominated the races, winning both the 10km Classic and the Sprint Freestyle events. The open junior women's events were split on each day, with Ashleigh Spittle from Viewbank winning the 5km Classic and Georgia Merritt from Ivanhoe winning the Sprint Freestyle.

The classic distance events on Saturday were held in mass start format, while the sprints on Sunday involved a time trial followed by head-to-head finals. Classes were combined for the action packed sprint finals, with U12 and U14 skiers racing together and U16, U18, and U20 skiers competing together for the open junior titles. The events were organised by Wangaratta Ski Club on behalf of the Victorian Snowsports Association. Results from this weekend count towards selection for the Australian Junior Team.

Runner-up to Bellingham in the 10km Classic was Robert Jones from Ivanhoe, ahead of Mark Pollock from Albury. In the A-Final of the Sprint Bellingham won ahead of Alastair Tutt from Wangaratta, with Pollock taking third place once again.

The junior women's 5km Classic was a closely fought contest, with the top three skiers finishing within just nine seconds. Lucy Glanville from Sydney led for much of the race however a fall 500m out from the finish saw Spittle squeeze past and ski on for the win. Glanville was up quickly and held on for second place just ahead of Merritt. The next day Merritt was impressive in the Sprint, easily winning the time-trial and leading all the way in the A-final ahead of Spittle and Mt Beauty local Anna Trnka.

In the U12 female class Falls Creek juniors did well. Sarah Hodge won the 2.5km Classic ahead of Cara Plant and finished second in the combined U12/14 Sprint A-final behind Tilly Pascoe from Bright. Pascoe was the clear winner in the U14 class on both days. Hugh Pollard from Mt Eliza won the U12 boys 2.5km Classic, while Oliver Adams from Gwinear was the highest ranked U12 in the U12/U14 finals. The NSW Junior Team led by Damon Morton made a clean sweep of the podium in the U14 2.5km Classic, with Misa Trnka from Mt Beauty winning the Sprints the next day after the NSW team headed home for NSW interschool competitions.

Classic Results - Sprint Results

Next weekend the national cross country competitions move to Perisher Valley in NSW for the first of the Australian Championship and Australia / New Zealand Cup events.

Cooma Open, Perisher Valley, July 18
A short report on the Cooma Open at Perisher on July 18. The race was held on quite fast dry snow with some gusty winds. Chris Darlington led the first hill climb and along the flat. On the first downhill, he was overtaken by Ewan and Callum Watson. Darlo and Ewan held on to Callum for the first part of the second climb, then Callum gapped them. Soon after Ewan gapped Darlo and it was solo time trialling for the remaining 8km. No word on the first women or any results yet.


July 15 - Ski Chase Update

The Australian Ski Chase is now two weeks and five races old. 160 men and women have competed in at least one of the five races held at either Falls Creek or Perisher. Of those that have competed, 61 have officially signed up for the Australian Ski Chase. If you are yet to sign up do so now before it becomes too late. Sign up by emailing you name, year of birth, email and postal address to australianskichase@gmail.com.

Last weekend saw the completion of three Ski Chase events, the Snowgum Wodonga High Plains Tour and the YMCA Victorian Interclub Relays at Falls Creek and the Cooma Clean Out The Waxbox at Perisher. The leaders of the Australian Ski Chase are decided by adding race points (40 for 1st, 39 for 2nd and so on) to their age. In the menís competition Mt Beauty skier Gerry van der Ploeg gained the most points. In order to take the lead van der Ploeg needed to finish 9 places clear of Wodongaís Bob Cranage in the High Plains Tour. Gerry spent most of the race in 18th position until towards the end of the race when he was passed by Tawonga South resident and Ski Chase contender Stephen McDowell. Cranage, knowing it would be close, skied strongly and was able to hold on for 27th denying van der Ploeg the outright lead. The strongest performance from Perisher was that of Adrian Blake who gained 88 points in the Cooma race which moved him into 4th overall. After a quick look at the results it is clear that there are some strong performances by NSW skiers who are yet to sign up for the Ski Chase. With over $2000 worth of prizes available it is recommended that these skiers sign up now.

At the completion of 5 races, Gerry van der Ploeg and Bob Cranage co-lead the Ski Chase with 202 points, Stephen McDowell raced himself into third overall with 178 points followed by Adrian Blake in forth with 177 points. Paul Murray is the next best with 174 then Ben Derrick of Mt Beauty and Kevin Tory of Rosanna with 170 points. For the full results send an email to australianskichase@gmail.com.

Robyn Rodd extended her lead in the womenís Ski Chase by finishing forth overall in the High Plains Tour. Rodd now has 211 points and is 30 points clear of Belinda Phillips on 181 points and Clare-Louise Brumley on 173.

The Australian Ski Chase would not be possible with out the support of its sponsors. They include YMCA Howmanís Gap and Windy Corner, Rocky Valley Bikes and Snow Sports, Snowgum Wodonga and Wilderness Sports.

The next Australian Ski Chase event is the Cooma Open on Saturday 18th at Perisher. The next Victorian event is the Hotham to Dinner Plain on August 1st.


July 13 - Miscellaneous Race Reports

Cooma Clean Out The Waxbox, July 12
Thanks to Anthony Evans for this report from the Cooma Ski Club race at Perisher Valley. The race was held in windy, overcast conditions and slow snow, thanks to a dusting overnight which had turned wet. The fastest skiers used 'hairies' which were fast, but a bit on the slippery side. Two laps of the 2.5k were used, which is a bit more testing than a single loop of the 5 km. Twenty-nine skiers lined up at the start, a good number seeing many had also lined up for the state championships the day before and the state team sprint championships held a few hours earlier. As with the race the previous week (and the Cooma Open next weekend) the race was hosted by Cooma Ski Club.

The men's open ace was hotly contested, with Chris Darlington and Ben Sim together at half way, and Alex Almoukov about 10 seconds back. Simbo pulled away on the second lap to win by about 20 seconds, with Darlo just holding off Alex (who had klister, so he had great kick, but struggled on the downs). D'Arcy Baxter easily won the womenís race. Another big improver was Jackson Bursill, a relative newcomer to classic skiing who did very well over the 5km distance. Sioban Jones was fastest over 2.5k - great to see her back after getting her tonsils out recently, with Laura Bull and Bridget Cunningham second and third. Matthew Bull was the fastest junior boy, followed by Hamish Roberts and Lachlan Porter.

ACT Classic Championship, July 11
Thanks to Toni Hulme for this report from the ACT Championship. It was a great day of racing for local XC skiers at the ACT Classic Championships on Saturday. In tricky waxing conditions local skiers took the majority of line honours in all events.

In the Open Men's event, No 1 National Distance and NSWIS Skier Ben Sim crossed the line first, in-front of fellow NSWIS skier Alex Almoukov who is returning to XC ski racing after spending 2008 overseas training for biathlon. Jindabyne skier Chris Darlington rounded up the local trio of placegetters with a 3rd place.

In the Junior Women's event d'Arcy Baxter from Berridale skied a great race, winning ahead of Sydney based skier Lucy Glanville. In her first time racing Nelle Forster-Berghuis was successful in crossing the line in first place in the U12 Girls, ahead of Georgia Cigana from Cooma. Other successful skiers on the day included Bridgette Cunningham (U14 Girls), Gabriella Cigana (U16 Girls), Matt Bull (U12 Boys), Lachlan Porter (U14 Boys) and Jackson Bursill (U16 Boys).

In a successful return to racing, Cherie Power won the Masters Ladies event to start her run for the Masters prize of a trip for two to New Zealand at the end of the season. NSW racing takes a break for a week with the "Come and Try X-Country Skiing" day being held next Saturday and the Regional X-Country Interschools races on Sunday.

Snowgum Wodonga High Plains Tour, July 11
A short report from the High Plains Tour at Falls Creek. Ben Derrick was fast out of the start and lead a pack of six or so for the first couple of kilometres of the windy 5km loop set by the Howmans Gap Allstars. Mark Raymond took over the lead and pushed the pace, dropping BD, Nick Grimmer and Phillip Bellingham, but was then dropped on the downhill along with Callum Watson. Paul Murray and Mark van der Ploeg were alone at the front, then Watson skied back on at the start of the second 5km lap. The youngster (ok he turns 20 this year, not so young) pushed hard to the top of the course, dropping van der Ploeg, however Murray kicked over the top and was never seen again, winning by 42 seconds. Van der Ploeg caught Watson with about 500m to go and then sprinted past for second place. Amongst the women's field Clare-Louise Brumley led up the hill just ahead of Lescinska Fackerell and Belinda Phillips, but CLB too suffered from the slow ski syndrome and was dropped by Fackerell on the downhill. Fackerell went on to win by 1:40 ahead of Brumley, with Phillips another 1:18 back in third.

The 5km event was won by Alasdair Tutt (MU16), second across the line was the first junior woman Imogen Blanche (WU18) who was just ahead of Megan Pollock (WU16). In the 2.5km event Misa Trnka (MU14) just squeezed in ahead of Tilly Pascoe (WU14) by 3 seconds. Full results in PDF on the DB Strategies website.

Howmans Gap YMCA Victorian Interclub Relays, July 12
All-star teams won comfortably in the open categories of the Victorian Interclub Relays at Falls Creek. Paul Murray, Mark van der Ploeg and Nick Grimmer from Birkebeiner won the men's 3x5km ahead of BNSC #2, while Clare-Louise Brumley, Lescinska Fackerell and Belinda Phillips from Birkebeiner (?) won the women's relay ahead of Brenda Pollock, Gen Blanche, and Jacqui Kildea from Wangaratta.. Full results in PDF on the DB Strategies website.

Results for all other events (including last weekend) coming soon - maybe tomorrow?


July 10 - Ski Chase and Paddy Junior Updates

Australian Ski Chase Update
The first weekend of the A ustralian Ski Chase was a great success with 87 competitors completing their first event. Of those 87 competitors 53 have signed up for the Ski Chase by emailing their name, year of birth, email and postal address to australianskichase@gmail.com. If you are yet to sign up do so now and races will be counted and points awarded retrospectively.

Following the completion of the first two races there are clear leaders in the points competition. Bob Cranage from Wodonga leads the male category and Robin Rodd from Jindera is leading the female category. A full results list will be available after this weekend.

There has been a slight rule change in calculating results. The longest distance of each race will count for the most points, those that complete shorter distances will be added to the bottom of the longer distances results. For example if there are 6 females in a 10km race they will count for the top 6 places. The first female in the 5km race will be awarded with 7th place and so on.

The Ski Chase would like to acknowledge Peter Cranage and Snowgum Wodonga who has generously offered to sponsor the event. They join current sponsors YMCA Howman's Gap and Windy Corner, Rocky Valley Bikes and Snow Sports and Wilderness Sports.

The next three Ski Chase events will be held this coming weekend. We are aiming to have over 100 individual participants across the three events. If you missed out last weekend come up this weekend and be counted.

Paddy Pallin Junior Pictures
Some images from the Paddy Pallin Junior event last weekend:


Abbey Evans with Bib #1


No more room on the front line


The start of the youngest category


The 14-16 year-olds

Many thanks go to the sponsors, volunteers, and parents who helped to make it such a successful day of fun. Thanks particularly to Paddy Pallin, in both Sydney and Jindabyne, for providing the spot prizes, Buttercup Bakery for providing the bread rolls, the National Parks and Wildlife Service for grooming the tracks, and Canberra Alpine Club for providing support.


July 7 - Season Opening Races

Cooma Clean Out The Cobwebs + Paddy Pallin Junior
A great report here from Anthony Evans:

Who wouldn't have wanted to be at Perisher on the weekend? A great cover of new dry snow, sunshine and two races to bring a festive atmosphere to the place. On Saturday the Paddy Pallin Juniors were held. This race has been held for over 50 years and this weekend saw over 30 kids, ranging in age from 4 to 17 competing in this fun event. No results to publish for this race, but thanks to the Greville family, it was a great event with prizes for just about everyone (thanks to Paddy Pallin Jindabyne) as well as hot dogs and the traditional lolly hunt.

Sunday saw a slightly more serious line up for the first Open race if the year - the Clean Out the Cobwebs, hosted by Cooma Ski Club (I never realised how aptly named this race was - after the race I was coughing up phlegm which Iím sure had been sitting deep in my lungs since February!). Thirty-seven competitors lined up for the 5km (or 2.5km) event in near perfect conditions. Freshly groomed trail, sun, a slight breeze and around zero degrees. The open event was won by Anthony Evans (hey, that's me), who had a tussle with Cameron Morton, Murray Carter (up until about 3 km when he decided he needed a few more kmís in his legs) and Alex Almoukov who decided to join in the race at the 2km mark. Cameron and I had a 'sprint finish' at the 3.5 km mark, which is the high point of the 5 km course. After that point it is very difficult to pass due to the fast downhills and tight corners (particularly when the person in front is cutting all the corners and sticking his elbows out!). I held the lead over the top and that is the way the positions stayed until the finish.

At only 15 years of age Jackson Bursill had a great race to finish 7th overall, but still the most impressive ski of the day was the winning female - Lucy Glanville, who finished 4th outright and still has many years as a junior ahead of her.

Next week is the second of the Cooma races - the muchly despised Clean Out the Waxbox! See you there.

Anthony Evans

Birkebeiner Classic
The opening race of the season at Falls Creek saw great racing conditions on the traditional 2.5km loop. In the men's 10km event a group of four skiers broke away early including locals Nick Grimmer, Paul Murray, and Mark van der Ploeg, and Callum Watson from NSW. Grimmer lost contact on the second lap, leaving the other three skiers to share the lead until about 1km to go. Murray was looking comfortable and when he put his foot down after the Panorama corner no-one was able to follow. Watson outsprinted van der Ploeg for second place. Mt Beauty resident for the winter Clare Louise Brumley was an ovewhelming winner in the women's field, with Falls Creek local Belinda Phillips getting away from NSW junior d'Arcy Baxter for second place.

In the 5km Classic event Jaxon Merritt from Ivanhoe looked to be in the drivers' seat for the win until he missed the turn for the finish, allowing Alasdair Tutt from Wangaratta to come through for victory. Ashleigh Spittle from Ivanhoe skied a very impressive race to be the first junior woman across the line, ahead of Anna Trnka of Mt Beauty. Tilly Pascoe from Bright and Misa Trnka from Mt Beauty were the first across the line in the 2.5km event.

Ski de Femme
About 75 women and girls took part in the annual Falls Creek Ski de Femme cross country day, which consists of free clinics and a female only race starting in the Nordic Bowl. A rock solid freeze overnight made for challenging conditions on some of the trails, however great weather, enthusiastic coaches and a stack of spot prizes more than made up for it. Ronice Goebel and the Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club deserve a lot of credit in making this event work year after year.

In the 5km Freestyle race Esther Bottomley must have jumped the gun (she swears it was a slow start for her) as she had a 20m lead only 150m into the race. Bottomley went on to win comfortably by just over a minute ahead of Lescinska Fackerell. It was a close battle for second between juniors Georgia Merritt and Ashleigh Spittle (one a former and one a current Ivanhoe student), with Merritt only getting away in the last km or so for third overall. Only 20 seconds separated the top three in the 2.5km Freestyle event; Elli Hesse was first across the line ahead of Melis Rutherford and Sarah Hodge. In the 1km Freestyle Sophie Hodge was first ahead of Katerina Trnka and Alina Smith.


July 3 - Austalian Ski Chase
The following information about the Australian Ski Chase has just been sent in:

The Australian Ski Chase is new XC skiing event aimed at 'master' skiers. The Ski Chase incorporates 18 of Australia's top club based citizen races. Complete 5 events and be eligible for a share in over $2000 worth of prizes.

The winner of the ASC will be the male and female who scores the most points. Participants will receive points based on their placing (40 for 1st, 39 for 2nd. . .). The participant's age will then be added to their points.

Enter now by emailing your name, year of birth, email address and postal address to australianskichase@gmail.com

For more information, email the above address and ask for a more complete outline.

The Australian Ski Chase will begin this weekend with the Birkebeiner Classic at Falls Creek on Saturday and the Cooma Clean Out the Cobwebs at Perisher on Sunday.


June 30 - Race Entry Forms

A pile of race entry forms have just been p osted on the calendar page.

Paddy Pallin Junior
Thanks to Tim Greville for providing this information on the Paddy Pallin Junior:

The Paddy Pallin Junior will be held at 11am on Saturday 4 July 2009 at the Perisher Valley Nordic Shelter. The race is for children up to 16 years of age (for the 2009 race you must be under 16 years at 31 December 2008).

The Paddy Pallin Junior has been a Perisher Valley event for many years; our records suggest that this is the 51st year. It is the OLDEST cross country ski event in Australia (older than the KAC and older than the Paddy Pallin Classic (now replaced by the Snowy Mountains Classic) - and it's just for the YOUNGEST skiers.

The Paddy Pallin Junior provides an opportunity for juniors to try cross country skiing. It's a fun ski race (no prizes for first, second and third) but everyone gets a certificate! You can ski in it if you are only two years old or over fifteen, as long as you were under 16 at the 31 December 2008. The distance you ski depends on your age and snow conditions. The older skiers (14/15 year olds) ski up to 5 kilometres - the younger skiers (3/4 year olds) ski a few hundred metres, depending on conditions.

In 2009 the race will be held at the Perisher Valley Nordic Shelter. After the race the usual festivities - poppers and hot dogs and spot prizes - will be held at or around the Nordic Shelter. When that's over there'll be fun and games. We will run the event regardless of the snow conditions (unless there are blizzard conditions).

Originally organised by Paddy Pallin, Tony and Sandra Greville have run it for the last few years with the support of Paddy Pallin, Canberra Alpine Club and CAC members.

Entry is on the day, and there's no charge. Just turn up to register and pick up your bib at the Nordic shelter from about ten o'clock on Saturday morning 4 July 2009. Come and give it a go!

For information ring Tim Greville on 02 6456 3834 or Tony or Sandra Greville on 02 4844 5047 or 0418 412 460

Howmans Gap Allstar Competitions
Thanks to Len Budge for the following information on the July 11-12 races at Falls Creek

Dear Cross Country skier,

This year discounted quality accommodation at YMCA Howmans Gap Falls Creek is again on offer for race participants in the cross country ski race weekend organised by HGA Ski Club Inc. The races are:

Sat 11 July Snowgum Wodonga High Plains Tour
Sun 12 July YMCA Howmans Gap Victorian Interclub Relays

The races also incorporate Interschools Cross Country series races 1 & 2.

A 2.5km course has been added this year to the Tour for Under 14 years skiers.. These are fun, low-key and low cost races. They have lots of spot prizes and the Relays have quality certificates. The races are designed to get you started in ski racing for the season. Past races have had different and enjoyable courses.

Details including pre-entry and discounted accommodation offer are available at http://www.dbstrategies.com.au/hga_races/

Regards,

Len Budge
Race Secretary
HGA Ski Club Inc
ph. 0417 352 845


June 17 - Perisher Trail Pics

The following press release was issued by the NPWS last week:

June 12. Because of recent heavy snowfalls the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has been able to prepare cross country skiing trails about three weeks earlier than usual. NPWS Snowy Mountains Regional Manager, Dave Darlington, said today that this was great news for the keen cross country skiers.

"It's almost a decade since we have been able to groom snow for cross country skiing this early in the season. 2000 was the last time the Perisher Range Cross Country Trails were groomed at this point in the season. Some of the more popular Cross Country ski trails at Perisher are packed and ready for skiers this weekend. This is great as it offers a couple of weeks extra on the season.," he said.

"Some skiers have already taken advantage of the great conditions and reported the conditions to be excellent with good firmly packed snow. The back country ungroomed skiing is reportedly soft but great nevertheless. We plan to groom the Smiggin Holes two kilometre and four kilometre trail early next week. With a good freeze overnight and more snow and cold weather forecast the tracks are likely to be fantastic for the weekend," Mr Darlington said.


Pics from the Perisher Trails on June 12.


June 14 - June Snow Pics

Lake Mountain has over 30 centimetres of snow and most of the trails are groomed. The images below supplied by Andrew Mock were taken this weekend. By skiing at Lake Mountain this winter you are supporting the entire Marysville community that was severely affected by the Black Saturday bushfires this year.

Falls Creek has 30km of tracks groomed and Ben Derrick has delivered on the these images of the conditions, taken between 7 and 8 AM on Friday morning.


Just about all the standard trails (2.5km, 5k, 7.5km, 10km) at Perisher Valley have been groomed. All we need now is some pics... Anyone?


June 10 - Now It's Winter!

Typical, as soon as we announce there's not enough snow yet it starts to dump. There's snow at all the resorts, all over the Snowy Mountains and the Victorian Alps, and cross country trail grooming started today at Falls Creek. Come on BD, we know you've been out skiing before work, send in a pic.

New Ski School at Perisher Valley
The following media release was provided by K7 Adventures:

3 June 2009

MEDIA RELEASE

The NSW Sport of Cross Country Skiing is about to enter a new era based on the European model where instructors own and operate the ski school. Over the last few weeks experienced and APSI qualified NSW Cross Country Instructors have grouped together to form the Kosciuszko Cross Country Ski School under the umbrella of K7 Adventures

Ski School Director Zac Zaharias said "This is a fantastic opportunity for instructors and cross country skiers with more direct involvement of instructors in the ownership and operation of the Ski School. Our APSI accredited instructors including Warren Feakes, Graham Hammond and Mike Edmondson are enthusiastic and ready to deliver quality services to a wide range of skiers, from beginners to the truly advanced people wanting to refine their classic cross country and nordic skating skills."

"The School will operate for the time being from the Perisher Nordic Centre with a fee per student returning directly to the maintenance and upkeep of the Nordic Centre," he said. "Now that the Perisher Nordic Trails are no longer a part of the Packer Perisher Blue Lease Area it is possible for the cross country ski fraternity to generate and run their own professional ski school."

Mr Zaharias said "Formerly, ski instructors were under the auspices of a retailer or indeed, one of the major resorts. Now, the ski school is the responsibility of highly qualified and fully motivated instructors who also spend time refining their skills overseas. K7 Adventures has offered to provide an insurance and NPWS commercial operators licence umbrella for the Kosciuszko Cross Country Ski School and will also run snow shoe tours from Perisher Valley Nordic Centre. This is an exciting moment for the development of cross country skiing in NSW and indeed Australia."

"The Kosciuszko Cross Country Ski School will also sponsor NSW and ACT skiers or teams especially during their Winter Olympic bid and reinvest into training for the School to ensure the best quality of instruction is available to NSW and ACT skiers."

Zac Zaharias said "We welcome members and friends of the NSW and ACT Cross Country Skiing community to the official opening of the Kosciuszko Cross Country Ski School at 1 pm on 11 July at the Perisher Nordic Shelter."

Contact Zac Zaharias: 0402286257

www.k7adventures.com

Further details including prices for lessons are available on the K7 Website. Special deals are available for local schools and ski lodges, there is also a blogspot connected to the site.


June 4 - Not Quite Winter

The official opening of the winter is coming up this weekend however the snow is not quite ready yet. An early April snow dump saw skiers heading up onto the Kosciusko main range and the Victorian high plains in spring-like conditions, however it was all too early to last the distance through to winter. The first National Team on-snow camp is scheduled at Falls Creek from June 28 to July 3, and club or championship competitions are scheduled every weekend in July and August. The national race calendar has just been updated with a couple of minor changes, and more entry forms will be available on-line soon.

Mock Report - Delayed Transmission
Those of you who subscribe to Australian XC News will already have had the pleasure of reading about Andrew Mock's experiences of skiing in Kashmir after the 2009 World Championship. Wombat in a War-zone is now posted in full in the report section of this site.

Australian Cross Country News On-line Subscription
Australian XC News is the only publication in Australia devoted to news and information on competitive cross country skiing. Finally we are starting to catching up with the times and subscription to AXCN is now available on-line via the Ski & Snowboard Australia website. To find it on the SSA site you need to click on the membership section and then on the non-compeition tag along the top. Or, follow the link from this page. Subscription is $25 for three editions per year.



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 info@hoppet.com.au.