Kitzbühel Alpine Skiing World Cup Racing

On Friday Dad, Tigne, Mum and I went to Kitzbühel to watch the mens World Cup. The race was a Super Combined which is  combination of a Super-G and a Slalom in two separate runs – but your times added together. The Super-G was first. That started at 11:45am in the morning and the Slalom was at 4.45pm in the afternoon. We drove up from Cortina in Italy to Austria especially for the race -Kitzbühel is a 3 hour drive away from Cortina so we had to leave early.  We got there with about half an hour spare and we had to find a park and walk to the slope where the race was being held. Giulia, our really good friend got us free tickets to the race because she was working with the US ski team which was very cool of her!  Before the race started they flew old fighter plans over us and then flew newer planes over us. The new planes went from 400km to 1000km in just a few seconds.

The super-g is to the left and the slalom is to the right
The super-g is to the left and the slalom is to the right

When the race started we found a great spot to watch the race from. We watched until approximately bib number 50 then we walked into town to get lunch. After the first run Aksel Lund Svindal from Norway was winning. Ted Ligety did better than last year – he got 2 more gates further towards the finish than last year before crashing!  When we ate lunch in town we tried to take as long as possible so we didn’t have to wait so long for the Slalom to start. It was getting dark and the temperature was dropping.  After we finished lunch we walked up to the Slalom very slowly because we still had time till the start.

The slalom was in the dark so they had these big flood lights pointing down onto the course which was cool. The course was also super icy so there where loads of crashes. Alexis Pinturault won the whole race so he is still the defending champion at Kitzbuühl. Aksel Lund Svindal crashed and hurt his knee. After the race we headed straight home – the drive was long but we got home early enough at 9 o’clock.

Race Two of the Season.

Last Sunday was my second race of the year. It was a GS race at San Vito. I had to meet Andrea at the main train station in town at 7am in the morning to drive to the race as San Vito is about a 20 minute drive from Cortina. It was super cold at San Vito because the sun gets blocked out by the mountains that surround it – so it’s normally quite icy too.  My brother Tigne was racing at Faloria which was even colder because of the wind – they had a wind chill factor of minus 30 while we were a nice warm minus 5!

IMG_1905.jpgThe race started a little later than it was supposed to but we still managed to be finished before lunch. At U14 level we only get one run as there is still a huge amount of kids ski racing so there is not enough time to run a two-run race! My bib number was 139 which was a late bib number because of my last race where I popped out of the course and had to hike, only coming mid field. I still did well though; starting 50th out of my age group (of 54) and placing 7th. The race was 35 gates long which was taking about 54 seconds to finish for the top guys.  It was rutty by the time my turn came to race. There were some parts of the race I knew I should tuck but I couldn’t because the ruts were too big.

After the race mum and I went to pick Tigne and Dad up from the bottom of the gondola that leads up to Faloria. Then we headed into town to eat lunch. Dad and I ate burgers while mum had a yummie pasta and Tigne had a pizza. After lunch we headed home, to have a rest before going to dinner at Micky’s house.

First Race of 2016

On Sunday was my first race in Italy of 2016. It was a Slalom race not a GS. In Italy it is usually a GS race as the first race of their season but this time it was Slalom because of the conditions. The night before the race it rained really hard. It wasn’t cold enough for it to snow on the lower slopes so it rained which was really bad. It meant that the gates would not stay in the snow.

When I woke up in the morning our driveway was covered in sheet ice. It was like an iceskating rink. Dad drove me down to the station where my coach Andrea was waiting for my whole group. After the van was all packed and every one was in the van we left Cortina to go to Auronzo, about a 40 minute drive away where the race was held.

We drove a lot slower than we normally do but we still passed cars at 100km/ph. Because of the time in the morning it was still dark and the ice was all over the road. When we got there we grabbed our gear and walked over to the chair lift where we put our stuff on. After inspection we were given our bibs. My bib number was 107 and Federico’s was 97 so I was only 10 people behind him.

100116-Auronzo-Keir-SL-2

The first part of the course was not rutted, rather it was smooth and straight.  This is how the course went; It started with a few gates that where straight then we went down onto the steep. Then we had our first hairpin, and after that it was rutty for the rest of the course.   We had a few gates that were wide then we had a delay to get us around the corner and onto the flat. Then we would gain some speed on the flat and go into a really turney section, then straight into another hairpin. After that we had 1 flush then another hairpin.  The last few gates where very straight which lead you to the finish.

My time was slow because of a big mistake I made which costed me about 8 seconds. My mistake was on the turney  part at the flat. I hit a bump that popped me out of the course and forced me to hike up to the gate I missed.  With a big time penalty I still bet people in the race so I didn’t come last which was impressive. After the race was finished I went and had lunch in the cafe with Mum, Dad, Pietro and his parents.  When we were eating lunch we watched the woman’s World Cup Super-G race and the mens second run of Slalom. Then after lunch we headed home – the drive wasn’t as icy as on the way to Auronzo.

Upcoming Race

These holidays have been tough. We have skied nearly every day this holiday and I have only had 3 days off so I’m very tired. This Sunday is my first race of the year at a place called Auronzo. I have raced there before – last year and the year before and last time it snowed heavily. The weather forecast says it will be snowing this Sunday for race day too!

Training has been hard when it’s minus 10 degrees and we still have to go full suit and it feels like I’m freezing to death. Their are only a few days of training  left before the Christmas holidays are over and we go back to normal days which is skiing only in the afternoons and then skiing full days in the weekends. The race this weekend at Auronzo is a slalom race, then next week on Saturday we will compete for our first GS points followed by another slalom on the Sunday.  Tomorrow I think I will be training slalom because of the race on Sunday. The weather conditions have been sunny, rainy and slightly snowy.

Christmas Day in Italy

This 2015 I have had Christmas in Italy. This year it was different we had a white Christmas instead of a sunny hot one like New Zealand. The day was fun I woke up at 5:30. I could not sleep and laid in bed for half an hour until I woke up my little brother so he could wake up Mum and Dad. Dad wasn’t to happy with us waking him up at 6 in the morning because it was are only sleep in day. All the rest of the holidays I got up very early in the morning to ski.

Opening the presents was fun I got a lot of awesome things like a new NZL race suite witch I wear every time I ski now. I also got sun glasses, climbing belay device and a heap more. For breakfast we hade bacon, eggs and ham. For lunch we hade 7 courses of food. 1. Bruschetta 2. Pasta Redicco 3. Fish 4. Christmas chocolate. And a full monty Christmas turkey. Then for desert we hade 4. Panettone 5. Panacota 6. Veanetta. Then after dinner we watched a movie called The hunt for red October. The movie finished last so we went strait to bed after.

Merry Christmas