<< News Home

Surfing CO
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So I flew out to Denver five days ago and rented a hot whip, a two door yellow Chevy Cobalt (as you might guess it was the cheapest vehicle I could find), stuffed my skis in it and started driving west. It was dumping so I stopped in Vail for diner with Nick Foster, a buddy of mine from high school, and ended up crashing on his couch. I did absolutely not accommodation planning for this trip as I just felt it would all fall into place. Not to mention, I’m a big fan of the no plan plan and this was that type of trip. I’ve learned – over the past few years – that over planning is far more painful and expensive than under planning. This was clearly an under planned trip. Over the last five days, I spent each night on a different couch. I nearly had a bed with some of the ski team guys before a coach showed up with a significant other. Luckily, there’s always extra space somewhere for a ski racer looking for merely a place to crash. I’d like to thank Fordy, Ramsay, Brett, Adam, and Ian for all being very helpful on potential coach surfing locations.

We always joke, “If you need snow, just schedule a speed series.” That was certainly the case in Aspen. The snow was painfully soft for racing – amazing for powder skiing – the mountain operations crew was grooming the hill twice a night to give us a chance to race. The first day, not being on SG skis since last spring, I went too straight and got caught up in some soft snow and blew out. The second day, I started in the high twenties so I took a very high line down most of the piste, pinned it off in the middle section where there was hard snow from where they injected the hill for the Women’s World Cup and Men’s Nor-Am earlier this year. In that split, I was second two hundredths back. However, on the top and the bottom, my high line approach kept me in the course, but it just wasn’t enough to do much damage. I ended up finishing in 15th 1.2 second off Chris Frank. It was great to see Chris win his first Nor-Am and put himself in contention in the SG standings. And for me it was nice to cross the finish line. In the last month, I have only finished two races yesterdays and a USSA slalom at Proctor.

It was fun to get a few SG races in before the end of the season where we’ll be racing 5 of them. The March schedule is pretty intense and I’m already getting fired up for it. Since there isn’t all that much on the schedule right now I fly later today to Boise where I’m going to meet up with Dane for three days of training out in Sun Valley. Then we’ll have a bit of a break before the final push in March.

The Olympics
It has been extremely exciting and fun to watch Julia, Bode, Weibrecht, and Lindsey absolutely destroying in the medal count. NBC American coverage is terrible, but it’s great to see so many inspiring runs put down by the whole group. Ted nearly picked up a medal in the SG and the Combined. Will Brandenburg was second in the slalom run of the Combined behind Ted (Bode was third on the run to obviously win gold). For Bode it was really nice to see him get some retribution after struggling four years ago. It’s been fun to watch them all kill it. Who knows what the slalom is going to bring. The GS was a bit painful to watch, but even Bode had some moments of brilliance that I haven’t seen in ages. And right now, Schleper is looking pretty good about a second out.

Anyway, hope you’re all doing well. Cheers, w

P.S. AJ thanks for the couch and breakfast this morning. See ya later Denver.

posted by Warner at 2/24/2010 01:38:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hello all,

I just landed in Boston, MA on a direct flight from Munich (I love direct flights) my good buddy Nick Landry picked me up at the airport and I can’t explain how wonderful it is to be on American soil. It feels like a lifetime ago that I pushed off on New Year’s Ever. It’s been a long, wild road.

The last few Europa Cups were painful for me. After my last update, we hiked around Cinque Terra – which was fun, beautiful, and refreshing – swung by Monaco where checked out Monte Carlo at Jon Olsson’s flat overlooking the water. Unfortunately at the end of the trip, I came down with a deep chest cough that turned into a full body cold that I haven’t ditched yet. In Meribel, France, I skied pretty poorly into 11th place after first run and talked to Luc, Chris Frank’s coach from GMVS, in-between runs who got me fired up for second run. I didn’t have much energy and knew my first run wasn’t special and he explained how I could arc every single turn on the pitch and wondered why I slid my way down. He ended with so you’re a little sick, whatever. Fired up I put down a great second run attacking my plan. I started letting it run coming off the pitch on a left footer 8 gates from the finish and on the last roll I took the straight line and wheeled through an undergate (longer turn) and missed the second to last gate of the course. A number of us had trouble there, but I was one of the few that actually didn’t finish.

The day turned out to be a huge success for Dane. He started first second run and totally killed it. Starting first on non-injected snow is always an advantage, but he really capitalized on. It broke down a bit after him, but he laid down a run that no one could touch. He won the second run by 8 tenth and moved from 30th all the way up to 4th. After a tough season constantly switching equipment without much luck and grinding away, it was great to finally see a smile on Dane’s face after a race. He killed it and scored a 9.17. By the way, he skied on a pair of my skis. The next day we went to Kennelbach, Austria to pick up some skis for him, but for now he’ll race on a pair of mine that are broken in.

Oberjoch yesterday, was somewhat similar to Meribel. I straightened out the line nearly at the finish, the snow broke away, I went onto my hip, and my European racing for the season is complete. During our painful repacking session – man, do I have a ton of stuff – I ran into Claudia, the person that manages and owns the apartments in Patsch, and she had the same damn cold as me. Lufthansa wasn’t too painful, they charged me $200 for my extra bags and overlooked that everyone was grossly overweight. It’s a painful era when you’re happy to get away only spending an extra $200. Hopefully the next couple days will take care of that.

Home sweet home. Ahhhhhhh. Hope all is well, w

posted by Warner at 2/12/2010 07:05:00 PM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments

Cinque Terra
Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The second GS in Kranjska went slightly better than the first. As you probably imagined since I haven’t sent out an update in the last couple days, my mission was not accomplished. Antti Kolstelic, the old grumpy Croat who is my hero, set a painfully turny course without much rhythm. I pushed out of the gate and skied quite well on the upper pitch. The snow on the top was quite icy and my skis were getting great grip so I was able to be on pace in the top interval. At the same roll as the day before, I got a little light and made a big mistake, but stay in the course. I came onto the flat without much speed, which is never a good sign. From there down the snow was very grippy so I actually had too much grip on the bottom and found myself never having early pressure, sliding the top of the turn, and crawling to the bottom. Essentially, I was never any speed from half way down. I finished 40th so I didn’t get a second run (only the top 30 get a second run).

It was definitely Dane’s final World Cup start so it was fun to celebrate with him, the New Zealand crew, and a bunch of others getting ready for the Olympics. Right now we have a 3 day break after a month of hammering from one venue to another so Dane and I drove to La Spezia, Italy. We stayed in a hostel last night in the ghetto. Worrying about someone breaking into our van we tracked down some cardboard boxes, newspaper, and magazines from the street and scattered them all over the inside of our van trying to make our 12 pairs of skis and countless equipment look like a bunch of trash. We checked on it this morning and it was untouched. We’re going to start walking from town to town in Cinque Terra area. The weather here is beautiful; there are only a couple clouds in the sky and the temps should hit 50 degrees today if we’re lucky. Then we’re off for a couple Europa Cup GS races in France and Germany before I catch a flight home on the 12th.

Hope all is well, w

posted by Warner at 2/02/2010 03:58:00 AM (permanent link to this post) 0 comments