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Archive for the ‘Race Reports’ Category

Arber OPA Cup

9.Mar.2016 by Liz Guiney

Heather and I are currently in Toblach, Italy, having traveled here after racing OPA Cups in Arber, Germany last weekend. OPA Cups are like the SuperTour of Central Europe, except much more competitive- instead of just one nation, skiers from many nations come here to compete for their country’s World Cup spots. However, skiers have to qualify just to be at OPA Cups, so the fields are small but incredibly deep. Racing here gives us exposure to the style of European racing found at the World Cups, and prepares us to jump into international competition.

So what was racing in Arber like? I’ll give you the run-down, with my five highlights from the trip so far:

  1. Entering the stadium as a gladiator. In order to get to the start on race day in Arber, you have to go underneath the race trail in a dark, slightly slippery tunnel. Then you pop out in the start corral and drop your warm-up clothes. Nothing makes you feel more amped up about racing! And it was full-on battle mode, especially on the mass start day with falls, broken poles, surges, and icy downhills.
    Photos from the 15k mass start, thanks to tech Justin Beckwith!

    Photos from the 15k mass start, thanks to tech Justin Beckwith! Heather is in the middle right, and I’m lower right, following Erika Flowers from SMS-T2

     

  2. Not being “that American”. We’re really lucky on this trip to have Julia Kern as one of the US athletes. Her parents are German and she speaks German fluently. Having someone to communicate helps everything run so much more smoothly. The hotel owner, Georg, took a liking to her which led to many rounds of schnapps during our stay! Several of the more musically talented athletes also wrote a song for Georg and performed it for the whole dining room. It’s great to stay somewhere and feel welcome, and we certainly all left with great memories of the Magdalenenhof (the hotel).
  3. Watching cross country and biathlon, on TV, during primetime! Germany loves its biathlon, and we got to watch the first few races of biathlon World Champs as well as some of the stages of the Ski Tour Canada, on Eurosport, right in our rooms. Watching our teammates duking it out on the big stage gets us excited to take on the Euros over here.
    That's Hannah (Dreissigacker's) head after the sprint race at biathlon World Champs

    That’s Hannah (Dreissigacker) after the sprint race at biathlon World Champs

    4.  Experiencing a little bit of US skiing history. On our drive from Arber to Toblach we went straight through Innsbruck, Austria, so we decided to take a little detour up the pass to Seefeld, site of the 1976 Olympic cross country venue. That’s also where Bill Koch won his silver medal in the 15k classic, the only American to do so. Of course we had to go to the stadium and take a team photo, and soak up some of the vibes from that day.

    Team USA in the stadium where it all happened. Thanks Bryan Fish for the photo!

    Team USA in the stadium where it all happened. Thanks Bryan Fish for the photo!

    5. Being a tourist. Sometimes when we travel as athletes in a foreign country, the most exciting things we see are the race course and the inside of our hotel room. Traveling to Germany a few days before the race, we had the opportunity to walk around Zwiesel a bit and check out the town. Zwiesel is famous for its glassblowing, which used to supply the noble houses of Europe in the Middle Ages. Nowadays, the most prominent feature of the industry in town is a huge pyramid made of wineglasses. We couldn’t tell if they used glue to keep it together or not, either way it was impressive!

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Guessing there isn’t a whole lot of seismic activity in this part of the world. 

 

To check out results from the OPA races, look at www.FIS-ski.com. We’ll try to update again after our races in Toblach- a freestyle prologue, 10k classic individual, and 10k freestyle pursuit starting on Friday. Auf weidersehen/arrivederci!

Heather and Liz out!

Heather and Liz out!

Eastern SuperTour Photos

15.Feb.2016 by Liz Guiney

The domestic GRP contingent recently wrapped up two weekends of SuperTour racing in the East, the first in Lake Placid, NY and the second (originally scheduled in Stowe, VT) ended up right at home in Craftsbury. Alex Howe and Deb Miller (Kait’s mom) took some great photos during the Lake Placid races and Northeast Kingdom photographer and skier John Lazenby photographed the Craftsbury races. Overall, we had a mixed bag- some amazing results, some that weren’t quite what we were hoping for, and unfortunately a team-wide sickness during the Vermont SuperTour weekend that left a few on the sidelines. However, on the whole it has been a really successful few weeks and it’s also fun to see our Craftsbury biathletes doing so well on the World Cup (Susan 2nd and 5th this weekend!!), and Caitlin making her way on the cross country World Cup (scoring her first ever World Cup points in 25th in Falun yesterday).

I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the racing story! First up was a freestyle sprint in Lake Placid where all 7 GRP athletes  and 2 Craftsbury juniors qualified in the top 30.

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Low snow at the Olympic venue, Mt. Van Hoevenberg, meant the races moved to another Olympic venue, the base of the ski jump. This meant lots of vertical, all at once, and then a fun ripping descent and sharp corner at the bottom. Here’s I am in my semifinal heat in the freestyle sprint (Photo Alex Howe).

 

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A very green quarterfinal heat- Caitlin leading out with Emily Dreissigacker (white boots) and U16 Callie Young (far upper left)  on her heels (Photo Deb Miller).

 

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Kaitlynn Miller taking it out strong in her quarterfinal, she finished 13th on the day (Photo Deb Miller).

 

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The first uphill of the women’s A Final, Caitlin in green

 

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Caitlin had a great day in the sprint- winning qualification and 2nd in the heats, all on her 26th birthday!

 

The following day was 10k classic mass start for the women. Building on her success from the previous day, Caitlin Patterson took the victory and Kaitlynn Miller was 3rd. It was a sunny, klister-y type of day on the jumps, not what one would usually expect for January 31st, but with the climatic curveballs we’ve been thrown in the East this year, any weather is normal weather.

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GRP Head Wax Guru Nick Brown always has a smile even with sticky hands! (Photo Alex Howe)

 

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We got to see Hannah, who was in Lake Placid training for her next biathlon World Cup 

 

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Brush it, Anna! Craftsbury Junior coach Anna Schulz having way too much fun. Which makes sense because the Craftsbury juniors are doing so well this year- 6 going to Junior Nationals! (Photo Alex Howe)

 

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Caitlin kick double-poling en route to her 10k classic victory (Photo Alex Howe)

 

Heather Mooney kicking hard in the sunshine (Photo Deb Miller)

Heather Mooney kicking hard in the sunshine (Photo Deb Miller)

 

Hallie, Kait, and I at the finish

Hallie, Kait, and I at the finish (Photo Deb Miller)

 

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10k classic women’s podium- Caitlin on top, Kait Miller in 2nd (Photo Alex Howe)

6 days later, we were on to the next SuperTour in Craftsbury. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate at all, and a rainstorm knocked out both the original race site in Stowe, and much of our trail system here in Craftsbury. With two days notice, the crew here did a heroic job putting together a 2.4k course and hosting the entire collegiate, junior, and SuperTour field in the east. Our team was a bit down for the count with multiple skiers coming down with colds in the days leading up to the races, but we still had 3 GRP women and 3 men able to compete.

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Hallie Grossman striding to a 13th place finish at home in Craftsbury (Photo Kait Miller)

 

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Biathlete Mike Gibson decided to ditch the rifle for the weekend, here he is in the men’s 10k freestyle individual (Photo Kait Miller)

 

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Hallie and I happy to be done with our 10k classic! As the only healthy members of the GRP women’s team we had to hold down the fort in the 10k. (Photo John Lazenby).

 

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I was happy to land on the podium in the 10k classic- big thanks to Pepa and crew for all-star cheering, and Nick for the sweet skis! (Photo John Lazenby)

For a more results-oriented take on the races, check out the news pieces on the Craftsbury website: Lake Placid here and Trapp’s here .

What’s next? The skiers are scattering to the wind- Heather leaves soon for U23 World Championships in Romania, Caitlin, Kait, and Ida to the Canadian World Cups in March, and I’ll be meeting Heather in Germany after U23’s to race OPA Cups in early March.

Green beginnings at the Supertours

12.Dec.2015 by Caitlin Patterson

If you’re among the curious ranks of friends and family, you’ve probably seen a few skiing race-recaps on our GRP news page – thanks for the interest! (And for those of you who haven’t found it, we post news updates for races by our athletes around the world here: http://greenracingproject.com/news/).  A combined report on the start of the season for skiing World Cups and Supertour is here, and results from weekend 2 are here.

Results never tell quite the whole story, so I’ll take a moment here to share photos and a bit more commentary on the start of the Supertour and domestic race season for Kaitlynn, Heather, Liz, Alex, and myself (Caitlin).  Most of these pictures will focus on the skiing part of our trip… we did do many other things besides ski, like eat nice meals including Thanksgiving dinner together, knit hats and scarves and mittens, read books, go on walks, visit with family and friends, and many other day-to-day small tasks, but most of the daily life escaped getting photographed.  It was great to get to West fairly early, acclimate and readjust to being on snow. But when the races hit, I know I certainly felt like it was a shock to the system, to be back in a bib and racing.  Overall we had some solid results and most especially signs of good things to come, but none of us were overwhelmingly happy with the start, merely content or dreaming of bigger things to come. Driving over to Sun Valley we were concerned about rumors of low snow, but otherwise quite excited for classic skiing and racing at a new and different venue.  We skied up high at Galena Pass once in training, but then due to the dedication and hard work of local volunteers, the race organizers were able to open the Lake Creek trails near town for the race weekend and a few days of preparation leading up to it!   Racing at Lake Creek was great, nice hilly courses and fast descents, and especially for the four of us GRP girls, we definitely hit our stride with classic racing!  We had 3 women in the top 10 each day, and all of us see even greater potential to improve our skiing in the future. The photos below are in a semblance of order from the trip and will walk you through some of the best moments and race days…

Heather, Liz and Kait out on an easy afternoon distance ski in West Yellowstone. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Heather, Liz and Kait out on an easy afternoon distance ski in West Yellowstone. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Synchronized skiing in West. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Synchronized skiing in West. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Heather with a backdrop of fiery sky. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Heather with a backdrop of fiery sky. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

In green on the far side, Caitlin and Heather start their quarterfinal heat. Photo: Margaret Hillhouse

In green on the far side, Caitlin and Heather start their quarterfinal heat. Photo: Margaret Hillhouse

Caitlin starting the semifinal of the skate sprint in West Yellowstone. Photo: Kaitlynn Miller

Caitlin starting the semifinal of the skate sprint in West Yellowstone. Photo: Kaitlynn Miller

Alex lining up to start a sprint heat. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Alex lining up to start a sprint heat. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

The start of Alex's quarterfinal heat - he finished 2nd in this one and ended the day 6th overall

The start of Alex’s quarterfinal heat – he finished 2nd in this one and ended the day 6th overall

Alex nearing the finish line in a heat of the skate sprint. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Alex nearing the finish line in a heat of the skate sprint. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Men's skate sprint podium, Alex in 6th

Men’s skate sprint podium, Alex in 6th

Women's skate distance podium, Caitlin in 6th

Women’s skate distance podium, Caitlin in 6th

Smiling if rather tired, after the skate distance race in West Yellowstone, left to right Kait, Heather, Caitlin, Liz. Photo: Margaret Hillhouse

Smiling if rather tired, after the skate distance race in West Yellowstone, left to right Kait, Heather, Caitlin, Liz. Photo: Margaret Hillhouse

Kaitlynn charging at the front of a classic sprint heat. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Kaitlynn charging at the front of a classic sprint heat. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Caitlin following Chelsea in the distance classic race. Photo: Fasterskier

Caitlin following Chelsea in the distance classic race. Photo: Fasterskier

Kaitlynn taking a corner during the Sun Valley distance race. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Kaitlynn taking a corner during the Sun Valley distance race. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Caitlin rounding a fast corner right on the heels of Chelsea Holmes during the Sun Valley distance classic. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Caitlin rounding a fast corner right on the heels of Chelsea Holmes during the Sun Valley distance classic. Photo credit: Hank Dart via Fasterskier

Nick, Alex, Anna packing up after a race. Thanks a bunch Nick and Anna for all your hard work testing skis in Sun Valley, and Nick and Ollie in West Yellowstone!

Nick, Alex, Anna packing up after a race. Thanks a bunch Nick and Anna for all your hard work testing skis in Sun Valley, and Nick and Ollie in West Yellowstone!

Alex was really into this truck we saw after the race, and made me take a picture of it for him. I'll let you tell him what was so cool about it...

Alex was really into this truck we saw after the race, and made me take a picture of it for him. Nice truck, but I’ll let you tell him what was so cool about it…

Top 3 in the women's classic sprint, Kaitlynn and Caitlin putting Becca R in a green sandwich!

Top 3 in the women’s classic sprint, Kaitlynn and Caitlin putting Becca R of APU in a green sandwich!

Group hug with Pepa and the girls after a great day of classic sprinting. Photo: Alex Howe

Group hug with Pepa and the girls after a great day of classic sprinting. Photo: Alex Howe

Pepa, Alex, and Anna watching the men's distance race in Sun Valley. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Pepa, Alex, and Anna watching the men’s distance race in Sun Valley. Photo: Caitlin Patterson

Women's classic sprint podium, Kaitlynn 2nd, Caitlin 3rd

Women’s classic sprint podium, Kaitlynn 2nd, Caitlin 3rd

Women's 10k classic podium in Sun Valley, Caitlin 3rd, Kait 6th

Women’s 10k classic podium in Sun Valley, Caitlin 3rd, Kait 6th

This weekend is off from racing for Liz, Heather, Kait, Hallie and I, as we navigate the crowded snowmaking loop back in Craftsbury, interspersing skiing chaos with running and strength.  Meanwhile, we eagerly await checking in on the results from our teammates who are racing elsewhere – World Cup biathletes Susan, Hannah, Clare in Austria; World Cup skier Ida in Switzerland; domestic biathletes Emily, Alex, Ethan, Mike and Casey in Canmore, Alberta – good luck team!

Men’s Double Sculls Racing Report

11.Jul.2015 by Ben Dann

Hey There Sports Fans,

 

Ben here to update those interested in progress of the Men’s Double Sculls event at the 3rd World Cup in Lucerne.

I last wrote in the beginning of this week, touching upon our positive feelings of progress and excitement to race. In the present moment, I feel the same way I did last Sunday, but this past week has been a puzzling and rocky ride.  John and I tend to feel quite comfortable rowing together, but since the first time the boat touched water on the Rotsee, we have had the roughest time negotiating the boat’s stability.

Once crews start to arrive at the course, opportunities to practice in flat water rapidly disappear. If a boat is not going well or something feels off, the problems only amplify with increasingly challenging and unpredictable water.  Bless the Rotsee for being the best rowing course in the world, but curse it for the tempest it becomes during race week.  You have to love rowing for throwing you those extra hurdles.

That being said, John and I have been fighting tooth and nail to prove ourselves a relevant crew, and with some success.  Our 3rd quarter of the race has improved undoubtedly, which I couldn’t have said earlier this season.  However, we are learning our lessons the hard way, and our inability to create a stable platform has cost us a lot of speed overall.  We have kept a good attitude, which I see as one of our strengths, and I feel confident we will work through this problem and come out as better rowers. Part of the benefit of rowing in World Cups is figuring out how to correct kinks so as not to encounter them when it counts the most at World Championships.

Going forward, John and I will race the B final tomorrow, giving us one more chance at qualifying for Worlds through the World Cup by finishing top 7.  A.k.a. we have to win tomorrow to forgo trials.

We will kick of 9:30 am Swiss time.

Lane 5

Competing against: Serbia, France, Latvia, Norway, and Denmark.

Over and Out,

Ben

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