Sunday, February 24, 2013

World championships. Pictures and thoughts.

They must have played The Final Countdoon 2000 times.

"Shaking and Baking" the last of the Brits in the Individual race (okay, I only beat him because he got a time penalty). They were pretty strong, but it was pretty cool to only finish behind athletes from countries with real mountains.

Me (at least I think it's me) about to get passed on the descent. I've got to spend more time skiing the skinny skis to get better at letting them run straight!

Brad and I at the finish after some "shake and bake". Top results for first time Canadians at World Champs! I really surprised myself with the perfect race and that motivates me for future races. I had a lot of fun in this race as I did well and the descents were fun with good snow.
I've got to start looking for a real job. My future potential in this sport is a huge constraining factor as it is not easy to find a position that will give me the time/location to play in the mountains. Even with my top marks in University, I guess my limited work experience is not helping generate any bites for interviews.

The teams race played around on the left side of the picture. I was pretty worked at that point. It was a tough race as my partner blew up early and unfortunately the Greeks and the Belgians got the best of us. 

Mel putting in a blazing fast qualifying time.

Mel slaying the gates. The skiing in the sprint race was very straightforward, but  I definitely saw some power plow from some of the weaker skiers.

Keep those poles on the ground! I like the new rule as I was never a fan of trying to  stuff the remaining skins into my suit, lock my boots all while trying to hold my ski poles and taking off on the descent! The poles on the ground rule doesn't really work with less serious racers who have tailhooks on their skins as poles are usually required for balance. They are thinking of changing the rule to require that polestraps should be off while the transition is underway. It seemed like there would be a lot of close calls with regards to penalties for sometimes blatant and subtle infractions, but we came away clean. Maybe they stop caring when you are a certain time back from the leader?

Nina captured the first ever American (and North American) medal ever at Ski Mountaineering World Championships with a silver in the sprint. She dominated this semi-final.

Mel fumbled a little on her transition and unfortunately didn't move on to the finals.

Andrew in the quarter finals. He was in a fast heat and moved on to the semi's as a lucky loser!
Andrew seems to like the Colltex PDG skins for their superior glide, but I did see a lot of the Pomoca Race Pro skins as well. The race pros don't glide as well, but they have amazing grip and come with some good glue. Steve comes from an XC ski racing background and cuts his skins short for glide, but maybe grip is more important, especially at the end of long races.

Some people came prepared to empty their wallets to save on shipping back home. I would think that the skis/bindings would be right at the 750gram weight limit and those boots are as light as they get!
Chilling in the sun after the race. We were never too busy and had lots of time to chillax after tough races.

Food tent serving up some delicious food. More than once we were faced with the dilemma of skiing more  and potentially missing lunch. We always chose to rest and grab lunch!

Some obvious Scandinavians checking out the relay races.

Vertical race. Didn't see any Maurelli product (bindings or walking plates) and not that much Merelli product either. This was my turn to sit out racing and I thought it would be possible to watch the start then take the lift to the top to see the finish. Unfortunately there was lots of foot traffic on the lift (I guess it's good that people WANT to see the races) so the chair was running slow and kept stopping and I missed the finish. The euros are definitely strong on both the up and the down.

Cold food, open bar, and athletes who have been givin'er all week is a good recipe for a dance party!
Canada house. The chalet owner was a little odd, but it was nice to have everyone together. I picked up some tips on technique and gear from the more experienced races (speeding up transitions, fast gliding skins, battling for position), I enjoyed some delicious food cooked by some team members who put a little more effort into cooking than I do. Each team member (maybe except me) contributed to the general good vibes that we had going on in there. I'm sure people tired of my immaturity as the week wore on ;)

I'm not exactly sure what ERTIPS sells, but what I do know is that they are big supporters of skimo. A sponsor to give us pocket change would go far to subsidize entry fees ($500), accomodation ($28/night), flights, car rentals, etc... Travelling and racing in Europe is expensive and I am fortunate that I received some generous support from my parents Brian and Mary.

Big thanks to Dynafit for hooking up national team members with massive savings on their excellent gear.

More videos of the races on the same channel.

And an awesome video from Mark Smiley who was allowed to ride in the heli for the individual race. . I think there is some footage of me on the descent in there! It was unreal having a helicopter filming me ski!

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