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A strong finish
Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The desperation tour is finally complete.

As weather approached the mountains in central Norway, yesterday, the race organizers opted to have two races in one day. And I am overjoyed they did it. I finished 5th and 4th scoring two 21 point results. It was a huge day. In the last two weeks, I scored 4 career results (2 in GS and 2 in SG).

This was indubitably the most successful trip of the season. Now we will just have to wait and see if the US Ski Team agrees. I´ll keep you all posted.

Take care. w

posted by Warner at 4/26/2006 04:51:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Trials and tribulations in Norway
Monday, April 24, 2006

Yesterday was brutal.

I fell first run, jammed my thumb (which makes typing difficult), and cut up my chin. But, the day didn’t get any better. When we were coming down the access road from the mountain, probably speeding, we rallied around a turn and hit a rock the size of a soccer ball. It didn’t do any cosmetic damage, but it violated the undercarriage of our little A3. We immediately lost power steering and were inundated with tones, alarms, and red lights flashing on the dash. I wasn’t driving, but I was the lucky one who put down my credit card for the rental…DOE! Unfortunately since it was Sunday, we had a dreadful time reaching our rental car agency and were forced to drive it in its dubious condition for 3 hours to the Oslo Airport to pick up another one.

When we explained our story to the rental car agent he immediately asked, “If we lost the power steering?” I responded with, “Oh yeah, totally, does this type of thing happen all the time?” The agent replied after a short pause with a smirk, “yeah… to rally cars.”

Needless to say, I’m happy the day is over. I parted ways with the rest of the guys as I decided to race the two SGs in Hamstall, Norway (another 3 hours away) that start tomorrow so I’m now driving a tiny little French car that handles like a pair of slalom skis in a downhill (i.e. she’s not the A3 rally edition that I’ve come accustom to).

Anyway, I’m tired and want nothing more than the first flight home, but the desperation tour lives on.

I’ll leave you with the quote the kept me here from one of my old teacher’s at NHS, Mark Tilton, “The reason most people fail, rather than succeed is because they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment. Remember what you want most.”

The tour continues and I now know why most rental agencies will not rent to males under 25.


posted by Warner at 4/24/2006 11:46:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

A few rewarding days...
Saturday, April 22, 2006

The desperation tour turned rewarding in Stoten, Sweden. The piste was relatively flat with a moderate pitch in the middle. I knew that pinning it was in order so I leaned forward, cut off the line, and had four good, borderline great, runs. I finished fourth and second scoring a 15 and 14 point race, respectively. Which are the two best GS results of the season (and my life).

Yesterday we traveled 6 hours from Stoten, Sweden to Rjukan, Norway for today’s race rather than racing in a worthless slalom even further away. We were back at it early this morning. I put together another two solid runs, took home the victory, and some prize money. Brilliant!!! It’ll pay for a tank of gas. Seriously, filling up a 15 gallon tank costs around 100 bucks over here. It’s brutal.

The desperation tour continues for at least another day. There’s a chance I might stay for two SG’s on the 25th and 26th, but I’m not sure if they’re worth doing.

Hope all is well, w

posted by Warner at 4/22/2006 07:22:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

the despiration tour

so… it’s been a rocky start to what is commonly referred to as “the late April desperation tour.” I’m 0 for 3 in the significant slaloms; there’s one more scheduled slalom start, but unfortunately I will be the low point holder which is never a good sign. Thus, it’s extremely difficult for me to score a point race and lower my world rank.

Anyway, I’m in Scandinavia so things are good. It’s always a treat to race in a random, remote location, like this one, for the first time. The people are exceptionally nice, not quite as nice as New Zealand, but really nice. Most of the Swedes speak fluent English that makes life much easier for us. The country has a North American feel with a European touch.

I have to run, but we have two great opportunities in GS on Wednesday and Thursday so the desperation tour continues. Hope all is well, w

posted by Warner at 4/22/2006 07:22:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

So we’re back at it.
Thursday, April 13, 2006

Our skis arrived today, a few days late, but just in time to hit the slopes and train before tomorrow’s race. We’re in Sweden for the next four or five days racing and then we’re off to Norway to do the same. The schedule is modified daily as each ski area is rapidly losing valuable snow. Either way, we’re racing tomorrow with a stacked field.

I drew bib 5 so I will certainly have an advantage first run as it continues to rain through the night.

The final push begins at day break. Hope all is well, w

posted by Warner at 4/13/2006 03:28:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

More ups and downs
Thursday, April 06, 2006

Today marked the last day of FIS racing on the east coast for the 2005-2006 season and the last time to score a low point race in the east to qualify for the USST. The conditions were marginal as the nasty weather from yesterday paid its toll on the hill, but Killington did an exceptional job getting the race off.

In the first run, I skied well, finding speed in the rhythmical sections, and finished the run in second place two tenths off of Chip Knight. The second run was set with a little more swing, but nothing out of the ordinary. In the middle section the inconsistent snow created a bad, low rut, which was extremely far from each gate. Basically it meant you had to have an exceptionally high line; I didn’t. I found myself stuck in the low rut dragging from gate to gate rather than accelerating. All and all, it was a day where any little mistake cost you the race. I finished in the top ten well over a second behind Chip.

That being said, I booked a ticket to Norway a few hours ago in search of another low point result. I leave for 8 starts (3 GS and 5 SL) on Monday. And if nothing else, we'll be in Norway and Sweden for 15 days.

Hope all is well, w

posted by Warner at 4/06/2006 09:42:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Good skiing

The last two days we were racing at Sunday River. The first day, Iskied exceptionally well (winning the race by 1.5), but the points we not spectacular. The better the racers are that attend each race, the better, technically lower, the point are. Yesterday, we raced againand I took a more 'ski to finish' attitude, which is never ideal. I still won, but the two low point holders, Jimmy Cochran and Chip Knight, didn't finish. Either way, we walked away from Sunday River with two wins.

Today we were scheduled to race at Killington. However, inclement weather ruled the day and the race was cancelled. Hopefully, we'll be able to get at least one slalom race off before skiing in the east is over. Without good scoring opportunity here we, a few of us from SRI, are considering the option of extra starts in Norway. We can only hope for decent weather and a race tomorrow. Take care, w

posted by Warner at 4/06/2006 09:17:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Finally a respectable finish
Saturday, April 01, 2006

So we’re three beers deep and believe it or not I am certainly feeling it. Actually that’s two beers and a Jell-O shot with Dad. Either way, we had a damn good day with moments of brilliance. The snow was perfect. It was hard as a rock and slightly grippe. First run, I took a very conservative line on a few trouble sections of the course (entering snow bowl, headwall, and kangaroo). They always have wacky, irrelevant names for different sections of well known race courses such as this one. Anyway, I was conservative because I wanted to finish. After the first run I tied for 7th place 1.7 off the lead.

Then the second run came and I decide to have fun. I bent my ski at the top of each turn, took an aggressive line, and let my skis run pretty much the whole way down. I became slightly caught up near the finish when I lost snow contact on my downhill ski, but it didn’t really affect my speed or line too much. When I crossed the finish line I was up by nearly 1.5 seconds and finished in 5th place on the day and 2nd on the run behind Bode.

All and all, it was just what the doctor ordered. Take care and we’re going to do just a little cerebrating. w

posted by Warner at 4/01/2006 01:22:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments