It has been an exciting autumn for Red Mountain Racers – all over the world.
Sammy Gaul has just returned from spending her summer, wintering in Australia where she continued her ski training, racing at Mt. Buller.
After a very successful campaign, Gaul succeeded in securing a spot at the Whistler Cup in April.
All Red Mountain Racers were invited to a surprise dryland training camp last week, and they were joined by 23-year-old, World Cup and Olympic hopeful, Sasha Zaitsoff.
Zaitsoff, a member of the national ski team, is a role model for BC athletes and racers, especially those from Kootenay ski hills like Red Mountain Racer and U14 Provincial Alpine Champion Jane Andison.
“It is really cool to be able to train with somebody who is where I want to be someday,” said Andison.
For Zaitsoff, this is a watershed year with the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia adding some extra pressure.
“I’m going to Austria for training,” says Zaitsoff. “My goal is to get selected to compete at a World Cup slalom event in Finland in November.”
The pressure is on for this young skier and consistency is key.
“I am trying to be as fit as possible at all times. Not only do I need to peak before the Olympics in order to qualify for a spot there, but as an Alpine Racer, I need to peak several times over the season in order to do well at each race I go to.”
A few days later, with Zaitsoff off to Austria, several Red Mountain Racers, including Andison, boarded a flight to take them for a three week training camp in Tignes, France.
Accompanied by their coach, Mike Osatiuk, these Racers will train right alongside the National Teams of France and Canada as they prepare for the first alpine World Cup downhill of the season, in Solden, Austria. “Watching the French and Canadian ski teams is very inspirational,” said Andison. “I’ve been particularly excited watching Tessa Worley (a French skier ranked third in World Cup GS], she is just amazing.”
Local ski racers and enthusiasts will get their first fix of skiing with the annual Red Mountain Racer Ski Swap on Saturday at the Willi Krause Field House in Trail. Gear drop off is at 8:30-11 a.m. with the swap doors opening at noon.
Phil Patterson, head coach of Red Mountain Racers, and several Nancy Green coaches will be on hand to answer questions regarding Nancy Green registration.
Lesley Chisholm of Lesley Chisholm photography will be there with a team photo of Nancy Green ski racers from last season – and an opportunity to purchase as well as view other superb images of ski racing.
In addition, Elaine and Peter Zaitsoff will be helping out at the Swap if you happen to have any questions for these enthusiastic and supportive racer parents.