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Winter News 1999

September 10

August 31

August 23

August 20

August 17

August 16

August 13

August 9

August 5

August 2

June and July News

September 10

Australian Juniors and delays in updates
Despite the best efforts of the weather demons, the Australian Junior Championships were held successfully at Perisher Valley last weekend. Freestyle and Classical results are available on the NSW XC site. Congratulations to all the juniors who competed.

Apologies for the delay in updating the site. Some technical problems have arisen. Expect further inactivity over the next week or so, then the next updates to arrive will be the national rankings and teams selected for the 1999/2000 season.

August 31

1999 Kangaroo Hoppet
Vitaly Tchernov of Russia, and Jannike Oeyen of Norway, have won the 1999 Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek. Full results are available on the Kangaroo Hoppet Website. XC caught up with some of top skiers after the race and here are a few brief interviews.

Results Results Results
Full results from the ACT and NSW Championships at Perisher Valley are now available on the NSW XC site. Other results from NSW are also linked from the XC results page.

August 23

Australian Championships
No surprises on the last day of the Australian Championships, another win each to Ben Derrick and Camille Melvey. Camille's victory takes her collection of national titles to twenty-two, equalling the record held by triple Winter Olympian Anthony Evans. More details of the races on the championships site.

Prizemoney down to 10th - But no Sprint.
The Kangaroo Hoppet has just announced that there will be no sprint after the first loop in this year's race. Instead all prize money will go into the full 42km event, with money being paid down to 10th place for men and women. The $4.200 prize pool is not yet the $35.000 required to be a part of the FIS Marathon Cup, but it will still buy a few rounds at the presentations. The break-up of money for the top ten placings is as follows:
1st $850
2nd $500
3rd $250
4th - 6th $100
7th - 10th $50

Evans to miss Hoppet 99
Anthony Evans is to miss the 1999 Kangaroo Hoppet due to injury. A case of patella tendonitis in Anthony's knee has flared up, and he has been advised to keep off it for at least two weeks and then begin a slow build-up of training. Despite his retirement from international cross country skiing and absence from the 1999 Australian Championships, Anthony was still one of the favourites for this year's event. His placings of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th twice in previous events show that the 30rd old triple Olympian knows what it takes to be up there in the Hoppet.

Race favourite status now lies heavily with Ben Derrick and Russian skier Vitaly Chernov. Ben Derrick has been in sensational form all season. Vitaly Chernov was third in the 1998 Hoppet, and also finished 3rd in the overall Worldloppet Cup. In the women's event, Camille Melvey will be looking for her second Hoppet victory, though she may face some tough international opposition lead by Swiss skier Brigitte Witschi and Norwegian Jannike Oeyen.

August 20

Australian Championships
The Derrick/Melvey juggernaut rolls on. Another national title each in the men's 10km and women's 5km freestyle races. Cameron Morton and Katie Calder put in creditable performances to take second places respectively. More details on the Championship site.

SKI TEAM '99 in full swing
With three races down and two to go in the Ski Team '99 tipping competition, Alex Webb from Sydney leads the race for the CSE jacket by 18 points with his team, "You're not a God, you're a Birthday Cake". To see if your team is in the top 50, check out the Ski Team '99 pages.

Results are now up on the Hotham to Dinner Plain web page. There's also some pictures from the race.

August 17

Regarding the 1999 KAC Martini
XC apologises to organisers of the KAC Martini race for incorrect information on this page on August 13. The seeding rules for the KAC are very clear regarding late entries, and race organisers went out of their way to accommodate late entries taken before the close of entries at 9:30am. Nick Almoukov was a very late entry, too late to be given a timing band as the computer timing program had already been sent to Charlotte's Pass. It was explained to Nick before the start that if he wished to compete he could ski in an unofficial race number. A letter from Erik Mather, seeding official for the 1999 KAC Martini, regarding the situation, is now published on this website.

August 16

Australian Championships
Big Benny Derrick and Camille Melvey dominated the first day of action in the 1999 Australian Championships at Mt Hotham. For full results and race summaries, follow the link above.

Paddy Pallin
The last Paddy Pallin was held in typical Paddy Pallin conditions at Perisher Valley. Unfortunately only a little information has come through regarding results. Nick Almoukov was victorious over Anthony Evans in the long course, and Alina McMaster was the first woman. In the Rex Cox Classic, juniors Katie Calder and Matt O'Rourke(see below)took out the honours.

Addition August 17: Oops, another mistake, Matt O'Rourke was leading the Rex Cox, but fell in the last few kilometres, opening up the door for Matt Murtagh to come through for the win.

Hotham to Dinner Plain
Horrific road conditions delayed the start of the 1999 Hotham to Dinner Plain race, but the track was sufficiently sheltered to provide excellent racing conditions. Full results should be available soon via the race website, but the overall winners were, surprise surprise, Ben Derrick and Camille Melvey.

Hoppet Course Packed and Ready to Go
With just under two weeks to go to the Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek, the 42km course is fully groomed and available for training. The course will be groomed again nearly every day leading up the the race on August 28.

August 13

KAC Martini
Despite being "retired" for about 5 years, Tom Landon-Smith celebrated the prospect of his first real job by winning the 1999 KAC Martini on Wednesday August 11. Camille Melvey was the fastest woman in the 8km race from Perisher Valley to Charlotte's Pass.

NSW junior coach Nick Almoukov broke away early, taking a 50m lead over the Perisher Gap. It should be noted that contenders Paul Murray, Katie Calder, and Leanne Laajoki were caught in a pile-up 30m out of the start. Tom Landon-Smith whittled down the gap to Almoukov with Finn Marsland in tow, and at Bett's Creek all three were together.   Landon-Smith then made a decisive move, quickly establishing a 30m break. Marsland tried to follow, but The Cat was too strong and slowly pulled away for the rest of the race. Almoukov finished 3rd, with Victorian Robert Curtis finishing strong for 4th place.

Camille Melvey kept her winning streak intact, despite opposition from former national team member Alina McMaster, who finished 2nd. Katie Calder recovered from the early pile-up to take 3rd place ahead of Leanne Laajoki.

In controversial circumstances, Nick Almoukov was not awarded the prize for first up the Perisher Gap, and his name was not to be found on the result list. Aparently this was a penalty for starting on the front line without a front group seed. This was a ridiculous situation as Almoukov was last year's winner, and the seeding problems marred an otherwise perfectly run race.

There is a copy of the results at Paddy Pallin Jindabyne.

Technical Delegate and Calendar Planning News
- From Rae Moore

The TD course which was to be held on next weekend Aug 14/15 has been cancelled and a Calendar meeting proposed for Aug 14 after the TD meeting has also been cancelled. It is proposed, at this stage to hold the Calendar meeting on Sunday morning after the Hoppet (Sat), probably 9 or 10 am in Mt Beauty on SundayAugust 29. I will try to get further details arranged before I go away, but if this cannot be done, a notice will be placed on Windy Corner noticeboard before the Hoppet. The TD course for NSW has been revived and there are now 6 takers. It will be held on the Friday 3 and Sat 4 Sept in Jindabyne/Perisher. It is not too late to get into this, but please contact me early as I am away from August 20 to August 30 inclusive. If you are not able to attend the Calendar meeting, but wish to make input about the whole scene please email or write to me at Box 142 Neerim South 3831 phone 03 5628 1279. We are not looking at individual applications - the point of this meeting is to look at the overall placement and relationship of annual events, especially with only 4 August weekends next year.

Rae Moore Calendar Secretary and TD Coordinator.

August 9

Derrick, Melvey take points in first Continental Cup
No surprises as Ben Derrick(VIC) and Camille Melvey(NSW) dominated the ACT Championships at Perisher Valley on Saturday August 7. Both skiers remain unbeaten this season in individual events. This was the first race in the 1999 Australian Continental Cup series, and also the first points race in the 1999 Ski Team tipping competition.

Derrick won the men's 15km skate by nearly two and a half minutes ahead of Finn Marsland. It was a further 2 minutes back to Leon Spiller in third place, making it a Victorian treble. NSW junior Michael Wieland showed a lot of promise with competitive early splits, but faded badly on the last lap to finish 8 seconds behind Spiller.

1    35:55    Ben Derrick
2    38:24    Finn Marsland
3    40:22    Leon Spiller
4    40:30    Michael Wieland
5    40:40    Ian Franzke(VIC)
6    40:46    Nick Almoukov(VIC)
7    40:54    David Hunt(VIC)
8    41:16    David College(ACT)

ACT junior Katie Calder put in a creditable performance to finish 42 seconds behind Camille Melvey, probably the closest anyone has been so far this season. Belinda Phillips(VIC) took third place, 1:08 behind, with junior Esther Bottomley(VIC) taking 4th place 1:22 behind.

1    13:50    Camille Melvey
2    14:32    Katie Calder
3    14:58    Belinda Phillips
4    15:12    Esther Bottomley
5    15:20    Amy Hunt(VIC)
6    15:31    Christie Dowling(ACT)
7    16:00    Sally Cunningham(ACT)
8    16:24    Leanne Laajoki(ACT)

Full Results are not yet available.

The NSW Championships were held as a pursuit race in the afternoon after the ACT Championships. Ben Derrick pulled away by about 25 seconds from Finn Marsland in the men's 7.5km classic, while Nick Almoukov was the mover and shaker behind climbing up to 3rd place from 6th. In the women's 5km Camille Melvey extended her lead, Belinda Phillips moved to 2nd place with the absence of Katie Calder, and Leanne Laajoki jumped up to 3rd with the second fastest classic time.

The Nottage City Tatts Boonoona Open was held at Perisher Valley on the Sunday in very wet snowing conditions. Results are not yet available.

In Victoria the Bullfight Charge, Buffalo Tour, and Razorback Rush, were all cancelled due to snow conditions. The Snowgum Wodonga Mini Series was moved from Mt Buffalo to Falls Creek, results available.

August 5

Baw baw race cancelled, Bullfight Charge still a possibility
Due to poor snow conditions the St Phillack and Tullicoutty Cups at Mt Baw Baw on August 8 have been cancelled. However, organisers are still hoping to able to run the Bullfight Charge at Lake Mountain on August 8.

A new web-site has been set up for the Hotham to Dinner Plain Pub-to-Pub race, scheduled for August 14 at Mt Hotham. STAV President Mick Sinclair is encouraging participants to pre-register on-line, in order to help the organisers save time on the race morning. More details and course conditions are available on the website.

Winter Classic
The 1999 Winter Classic was held last weekend between Mt Hotham and Omeo. In somewhat unpleasant conditions (for the Saturday at least), Russell Newnham added yet another Winter Classic title to his belt. Second place individual was Tom Crebbin, with Tom Landon-Smith in third place. The first woman home was Alina McMaster, followed by Kim Major and Vivienne Prince. Fastest on the cross country leg was Cameron Morton, who skied for the winning open team, Stray Dogs. For a unique insight into the event, read Alina McMaster's race summary.

August 2

Victorian Junior Championships
Ooh, action-a-plenty from Falls Creek and the Victorian Junior Championships. Freestyle, classic, and combined results are already available thanks to Chris Heberle and In-Touch Technology. Here's a quick summary of the for each day (no classes, longest distance).

Day one, freestyle. Esther Bottomley(BNSC) comes out firing in the girls' 5km event, wins by 23 seconds from Kate Spiller(WSC). Lake Mountain Ski Team-mates Narelle Ross and Rhiannon Palmer battle it out for third place, Narelle squeezing in by 2 seconds. In the boys' 10km it is as close as it can get. Duane Butcher(BNSC) edges out Andrew Johstone(WSC) by point one of a second. James Rickard(LMST) is 20 seconds back in third, Andrew Mock (TNSC) fourth another 13 seconds down.

Day two, classic. Esther Bottomley does it again,  55 seconds ahead of Kate Spiller. Rhiannon Palmer takes third place 1.31 back, well clear from Narelle Ross   2.33 and Lizzy Ryan(TNSC) 2.42. Andrew Johnstone gets up by 10 seconds in the boys' 10km, Andrew Mock takes second this time, with Duane Butcher relegated to third place 1.15 off the pace.

Pushed for time, no more details.

Perisher Valley Tour
No Cabramurra Tour, but a 15km classic was held at Perisher on Saturday July 31. Finn Marsland won by a bit over a minute from Nick Almoukov, NSW juniors Chris Darlington and Michael Wieland taking the nect two places. Hot on their heels was Camille Melvey, well ahead of second place women Leanne Laajoki. Top ACT junior Katie Calder withdrew after one kilometre with back pain. Results are not available yet - look on the NSWCCC to see if they appear.

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.