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News and Stuff

Welcome to my new website keirroberts.com I have changed up my website a bit because I do not have time to write blogs because of school, skiing and dryland. I will still be blogging just not a lot. I have just finished the season here in Italy with a great team called Bachmann. I improved in my skiing a lot this year and I have some big goals for next year. My goals for next year are to podium in Topolino and Skofia Loka internationals.


I am heading home to NZ at the moment. I will be skiing my brains out in NZ skiing 5 days a week and also dryland 5 days a week. This year I have two coaches one from Italy and one from Austria. I will be returning to Bachmann next year. I have just changed skis and boots from Rossignol to Head and am sticking to Shred helmet because it is the perfect fit for my head. I hope you like the new layout of my website and I will see you in New Zealand!

2k16/17

Two Thousand and Sixteen

2k16 started great for me.  We started the year in Cortina, Italy.  I was still skiing with Sci Club Druscie in the 2015/2016 season but now I’m skiing with Bachmann Ski Collage.  I’ve improved a lot in my skiing this year and I’ve also managed to join the Shred VIP Ski Team.

I competed in three international ski races for NZ in the beginning of 2016. The first was Pokal Loka in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. Kranjska Gora is right in the top North Western corner of Slovenia with Austria just North and Italy to the West.  The school I am now at (Bachmann) is in the top North Eastern corner of Italy about 15 minutes down the road from Kranjska Gora.  The race went well – for my first international race.  I did not have a team to ski with as I was the only athlete from NZ, so my crew was me, mum (Manager), my brother Tigne (support crew) and my Dad (Tech).  

The next race was Topolino which is in the middle/west of Italy, near Verona. Unfortunately I crashed in both the SL and the GS, but I was skiing fast at the time.  Guilia Faggian was my coach – she’s awesome! And Alice joined my from her season in America. We had loads of fun! Then the last race was in Abetone, called Pinocchio. There was hardly any snow and the melt was really bad.  It wasn’t that safe and only a few kids actually finished the race.  GS was cancelled because there was no snow and it was too warm.  

Then I went home for the winter but I broke my ankle during the first day dryland training with QAST.  I did a load of rehab work with my mum in the pool but we decided that I shouldn’t race in NZ this season, which was ok because I was heading back to Italy to join Bachmann.  I did get to ski with Giulia and Sasha – the head coach from the US Ski team which was great.  2k16 was a good year for me and I hope 2k17 goes better.

Two Thousand and Seventeen –  here I come!

We are already almost two weeks into 2017 and it is going great! I have improved my skiing so much. I am now going to the one of the top Alpine Ski Sports College/Boarding Schools in Italy. I go to school in the summer 6 days a week because in winter I only go to school 2.5 – 3 days a week, ski/race 3 – 3.5 days and have one day off at home. My room is nearly complete –  all I need is a projector and a DJ setup!  At the moment I am saving up for them.  I share my room with Pietro and Federico who both used to ski with me at Drucie.  

For Christmas I got what I have been wanting for ages – Santa and I went halves (and finally it arrived this week – a little after Xmas!). The computer I got given for christmas is a Razer Blade Stealth.

My goals for 2017 are to constantly get in the top 10 in my ski races as a first year U16.  And my goal for New Zealand season is to win every race I compete in while at home – I can’t win the overall NZL National Youth Series title as I have to be back in Italy to start school, so I’ll miss over half of the season, but I can win enough to qualify 1st to representative  NZ at International races

 

Stelvio glacier 

Stelvio is a glacier about 8 hours away from Tarvisio. We left at 7:30 am and arrived at 5:00 pm including stopes, like lunch and petrol. We where there for only 4 days and those 4 days were hard. We woke up at 6:40 am to be skiing bye 8:00 pm. The hotel that we stayed in wasn’t as good as the hotel we stayed in lash time. The hotel we stayed in last time was 1 gondola down from the ski slopes. The hotel we stayed in this time was strait on the slopes. I have only been here a month and it has been fun.
The skiing was good apart form their being no snow anywhere and also the fact there was no hot water and no toilet in our hotel. Tomorrow we go to Stubai. I hope it is nice there I just brought a new pair of gloves to ski in. I enjoyed Stelvio I don’t think I will get to go there till next year, in two weeks dad and I are going to solden to watch the first World Cup race.

Ski Season in New Zealand

The ski season has just started in New Zealand. The mountains have just opened but the skiing is not perfect.  I started strong this year skiing on with QAST the second day the mountain opened. My two coaches this year are Mats, an old coach from last year, and a new Italian coach called Marco.

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Yesterday I made a mistake! I was at dryland and we were doing piggy back races and I was catching up to first and then my foot dug into the gravel and I fell twisting my foot. So now i’m home with my leg up and a cast around my ankle. I’m lucky I didn’t break my foot, it was only a fracture. I am off the snow for two weeks maybe then then I will be back on the snow skiing. Plus i’m not missing anything my gym got kicked out because of being two loud when they drop their weights and the snow on the mountain is really bad, the might even close the mountain.

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Hopefully by next week I will be back on the snow skiing and getting ready for my first race of the season.

Italian national qualifier

Last weekend was the Italian Sci Alpino National Qualifiers in Padola and Passo Monte Croce. The racing was 3 days long, starting on Thursday and ending on Saturday. There was also a training day on Wednesday for the Super G which was on Wednesday, making the whole week really long. The trip from Cortina to Padola and Passo Monte Croce is 1 hour each way.

To be able to race in these Qualifiers you had to place in the top 10 of our greater region of Alta Belluno which has about 70 U14 boys racing in it.  I made it in on my points even though I didn’t do all the races as I was away racing in the internationals.  There were 60 boys in these qualifiers.

We had only been home for 2 days from a week at Topolino racing when I had to go and do these races.

On Wednesday we had a training day on the course where we got to race with bibs but no timing – just like in the World Cup.

On Thursday it was a Super G. The weather was fine that day. I had Guilia with me because she had the day off from coaching. The course was long but still the same as the last time I raced there 2 or 3 weeks ago. I did ok, but not as good as I wanted to – but still ok. I think I got somewhere between 20th to 30th. I know I could have done better as I’ve gotten into the top 10 before.

Friday was slalom over at Passo Monte Croce witch is another 45 min drive from Cortina. In the slalom I did much better. I still had a late bib – from the 3rd draw but managed to get to 16th – 1 place away from the flip but on the second run I managed to pull up to 15th place so I got in the top 15 in the end, and I was the only ‘3rd bib draw’ athlete to make it into the top 20.

Saturday was GS –  I had a better bib number than the other few days and I still managed to get 16th. It is only a one run race.  The course was down the same slope as the Super G but a few gates less. My coaches said I skied well on the steep and technical sections but need to hold my edge longer as I go round the turn.

I didn’t make it to the National Finals – I was close, but I have made huge improvements over the last two years and with lots of hard work,  next year I’ll be even better

Pokal Loka – My First International

A month ago, in early February, and on a Saturday and Sunday, I had my first 2 international ski youth alpine ski races for New Zealand. While the race is called Pokal Loka, it is normally held in Stari Vrh – Slovenia, but because of the lack of snow at the time, the race was moved to  Kranjska Gora which is a world cup location in Slovenia too. On Saturday it was due to be a GS and on Sunday, a Slalom, but they changed it to two Slalom races because of the conditions. It snowed the whole weekend!

Day 1 race course
Day 1 race course

On Friday mum and I went to the slope that the race was on and skied it to get a feel of the terrain. At this race I didn’t have a coach so I did everything with my parents.  Saturday arrived and it was race day. On Saturday the weather was great – it was hot, sunny and the new snow was perfect. The race started at 10 and inspection was a 8:30 so we had to get up early, as the hotel that we were staying in was an hour drive away in the old historical town of Škofja Loka. The night before the race mum and dad had to go to a coaches meeting to get my bib, and find out about the race start time and other information. Dad did my skis after warm up, and mum was in the start zone with me.

My bib number was 12 on the first day which is a great number.  I came 16th which is ok because it was my first international race and it was a really hard field with lots of athletes from Eastern Europe as well as all of the big skiing nations like Austria, Norway, Germany and France. The second day was different (but still the same time and everything), just it was snowing and my bib was number 4. The course was on the same slope as the day before but with all the new snow it made it a tiny bit different. Not harder and not easier – just different.  My first run was ok – I skied into the top 20, but I didn’t do very well on the second run as I crashed about 4 gates from the finish. On both of the days it was 2 runs. I had lots of fun there and I want to go back next year.

Day 2 start
Day 2 start

Topolino 

Last weekend was Topolino. Topolino is the biggest international alpine ski race for under 14 and under 16 year olds. This weekend did not go so well for me. The race was in a place called Folgaria which is in Italy. Dad, Tigne, Mum, Guilia, Alice, Sarah and I arrived there on the Monday before the race. For the whole week we trained and took time to watch the Italian qualifiers for Topolino which were really hard. Our international races were on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday it was GS for u14 and slalom for u16. Our courses were right next to each other. I was doing GS because I’m u14. The day was good – it was hot and sunny nearly like summer.  I didn’t do so well on the GS, as I got late on two gates then crashed near the finish but as I was still moving I was able to hike the gate and I made it to the finish. Alice didn’t do so well either as she crashed in the slalom. Saturday was a different kind of day.  On Friday night it had snowed a heap of snow and was still snowing heavily when we arrived on the mountain. Throughout the whole day it snowed and it didn’t stop once! That day I had slalom and Alice hade GS. Again the slalom didn’t go so good. I had a really bad first run which put me into 33. I was hoping for a top 15 as I have been training and racing well. On the second run I crashed on the first hairpin and broke my shinguard so now I have to buy new ones.  Alice placed 8th in her GS which was fantastic.

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The trip back home to Cortina is 3 hours long and we had so much stuff that Tigne and I could not see each other for the whole ride home as the car was packed to the top. We had two big ski bags in between us which made it impossible to see anywhere but out our windows. The Robinsons headed to Milan to spend a few days there then they would fly back to America. The race was fun even if I didn’t do well – I still had fun and I hope I can come back next year.

Thank you Giulia for being my coach and looking after me.

Schladming

Last Tuesday Dad, Tigne, Mum and I went to Schladming in Austria to watch another Alpine Ski World Cup race – but this time it was the famous Men’s Slalom Night Race at Schladming. It was so much fun watching the race. We left Cortina in Italy at around 11am and arrived at Schladming at around 3:30pm (after first checking into our apartment). The race was awesome because Nils (the head coach of the NZL Mens team) got us free VIP tickets so we got to watch from a stand near the finish line. The first run was cool. After the first run, Neureuther from Germany was in 1st place, 2nd was Kristoffersen form Norway, and in 3rd place was Setefano Gross from Italy.  Marcel Hirscher who was the home favourite was in 22nd because his goggles fogged up while he was racing.

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About halfway through the first run we headed into town to get some food from the festival tents then shot straight back up to the stand to watch the New Zealand team come down. Willis Feasey DNF’d (did not finish) in the first run and Adam Barwood finished but did not qualify for the second run – although I thought he skied well; he started from bib number 80 and finished in the 50’s . Only the top 30 skiers get a second run.

The race was awesome – in the end it was 1st Kristoffersen, 2nd Marcel Hirscher who skied from 22nd place after the first run, and 3rd was  Alexander Khoroshilov.  Hirscher was unbelievable!

The race finished at around 9 o’clock. We stayed in a little apartment out of town so that we didn’t need to drive home that night, but rather the next morning after breakfast.  I still made it home in time to ski in the afternoon!

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.