Club Working Bee – Saturday 6th May at Falls Creek

The annual Working Bee is held to get the clubhouse ready for the winter and to assist Falls Creek Resort Management with trail work that benefits all skiers.

The club is asking its members and those of other XC Clubs to volunteer for this year’s task which will have a big impact on improving XC skiing at Falls.  The more volunteers we can get, the more resort management will commit to the day.

The major task this year, identified with resort management, will be flattening out the bench surface on the south side of the Rocky Valley dam wall, to allow better snow retention, grooming and thus skiing.

Some volunteers can crack and or moving the bigger rocks, resort staff say they shatter easily. Others can be involved in moving smaller rocks to smooth the surface for grooming.

If we get enough volunteers we could also do some pole realignment in Sun Valley taking the track away from the wash outs the groomers have had trouble with in the past. Continue reading

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Casey Wright endures to take third in XC Sprint in Asian Winter Games

Casey Wright, from Launching Place Victoria and a Birkebeiner, has given Australia its first cause for celebration at the Sapporo 2017 Asian Winter Games, finishing third in the women’s 1.4 km cross country skiing sprint.

Wright was consistently strong across the four rounds of competition and maintained her stamina throughout the day to claim Australia’s best result at the Games thus far.

The 22-year-old began her day the best possible way, overtaking the athlete before her in qualification for a 15 second gain. The gusty 3:52.84 qualifying time was five seconds faster than the next best competitor and saw her qualify fastest for the round of 16.

Starting in the first of four quarter finals Wright powered home to finish second and progress to the first semi-final in which she fought back in the end stages to take the win and qualify for the final.

In the decider the Alaska based student dug deep to secure the third place finish.

It was a significant moment in the career of the emerging athlete who has aspirations to one day represent Australia at the Olympic Winter Games.

“I’m skiing like a totally different athlete than what I have in past seasons,” Wright said.

“I’m in new territory and testing the waters. Totally a confidence boost and I’m stoked.

“Competing against an unknown field that I haven’t raced against before and to experience these new challenges and see where I sit against the world at the moment is exciting.”

As guests of the Asian Winter Games, Oceania nations Australia and New Zealand do not receive medals, but that couldn’t wipe the smile from Wright’s face.

“I came here to race and that’s what I did. A shiny thing at the end is just an added bonus. For me, I don’t need that. It’s more about the self-satisfaction and knowing I’ve done my best and that’s what I take home from every race.”

In the men’s event Jackson Bursill narrowly missed progressing beyond qualification after he finished 17th in the first round.

Article courtesy Michelle Cook-AOC

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Birkebeiners at the 2017 World Championships – Lahti Finland

Congratulations to the five Birkebeiner members who have been selected to compete in the 2017 World Championships in Lahti, Finland, from 22nd February to 5th March 2017. The Club wishes them every success.

The Full Australian Team for the 2017 Cross Country World Championships:

Athletes: Phillip Bellingham, Paul Kovacs, Nick Montgomery, Callum Watson, Barbara Jezersek, Katerina Paul, Aimee Watson, Jessica Yeaton

Head Coach: Valerio Leccardi (SUI)
Assistant Coach: Robert Jones
Head Wax Tech: Randy Gibbs (USA)
Technicians: Bryan Cook (USA), Paul Moore (USA)

Event Schedule:

  • February 22 – Women 5km & Men 10km Classic Qualification Race
  • February 23 – Women & Men Freestyle Sprint
  • February 25 – Women 15km & Men 30km Skiathlon
  • February 26 – Women & Men Team Sprint
  • February 28 – Women 10km Classic
  • March 1 – Men 15km Classic
  • March 2 – Women 4x5km Relay
  • March 3 – Men 4x10km Relay
  • March 4 – Women 30km Freestyle Mass Start
  • March 5 – Men 50km Freestyle Mass Start

To read the Team Preview by Finn Marsland click [HERE]

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Valerio Leccardi (SUI) appointed as new Australian Cross Country Head Coach

Posted on  by Finn Marsland on the AUSXC website.

Australia is set to continue its proud history in Cross Country under the guidance of new Head Coach Valerio Leccardi, appointed by the Ski & Snowboard Australia Cross Country Committee.

The 32-year-old represented Switzerland at two World Championships and at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, as well as at over 40 World Cups.

“It`s great that I`ve been given the trust by SSA to coach the Australian athletes – they have a lot of potential and I am looking forward to help them achieving their goals,” Leccardi said.

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“Giving up racing and training on a professional level was not easy for me. But by having the chance to pass on my passion and knowledge to the athletes will make the transition a lot easier. I am looking forward to also learning a lot from another perspective as a coach compared to an athlete. I feel privileged to still be able to do what I love, cross country skiing.”

Continue reading

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Birkebeiners at Junior World Ski Championships – Soldier Hollow, Utah, USA

The Club congratulates three of its junior skiers for being selected to represent Australia at the upcoming 2017 FIS Nordic Junior & U/23 World Ski Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah, USA  30th January to 5th February 2017.  

Casey Wright

Katerina Paul

Jarrah Forrer

Casey Wright (Launching Place Vic) and Katerina Paul (Taggerty Vic) will be competing for the first time in the Under 23 Years World Ski Championships. Events: Classic Sprint, 10km (F) & 15km Skiathlon i.e. 7.5km classic & 7.5km freestyle.

Jarrah Forrer (Mount Beauty Vic) will be competing in the Junior World Ski Championships for the first time. Events: Classic Sprint, 10km (F), 20km Skiathlon i.e. 10km classic & 10km freestyle and possibly a Relay.

Finn Marsland will have regular updates on www.ausxc.com. If you haven’t already subscribed to the site, log on and sign up so you will be kept up to date with all National XC Ski happenings. You can also follow the Australian Team @ausxc via social media.

For the Official Championship website click [HERE]

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Australia Day Awards – 2017

The Alpine Shire Council Australia Day 2017 Community Awards were held on Thursday 26th January in Hydro Park Mount Beauty (newly named park next the the Mt Beauty Swimming Pool).

Congratulations to:

  • Allan Marsland who was awarded an Order of Australia (OA) Medal. This will be officially presented to Allan at Government House in April.
  • The Kangaroo Hoppet which was announced as The Community Event of the Year. Race Director Ben Derrick received the award on behalf of the organisation.

Note: At last year’s awards ceremony, Birkebeiner’s Search & Rescue Unit was awarded The Community Organisation of the Year. Some years ago the Kangaroo Hoppet was also awarded the The Community Organisation of the Year.

It was great to see so many Birkebeiner and Hoppet volunteers at the awards.

From left: Ben Derrick (Race Director), Ronice Goebel (President Birkebeiner NSC), Allan Marsland (Board Chairman) & Helen L’Huillier (Race Secretary)

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Falls Creek — Resort Entry Season Permit for 2017 – low price by 5pm today Friday 16th Dec

Also – not forgetting about winter…if you haven’t got in early and secured your Resort Entry season permit for 2017 at the unbelievably low price of $295, you better hurry! $99 down is all it takes. Be warned, prices will be going up…we’ve held this price steady for three years, but it won’t last. There will be no other time to purchase at this price, so hurry and lock it in. It would make a great stocking stuffer…sort of!

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2016 Kangaroo Hoppet Annual Report

The Kangaroo Hoppet held its 2016 AGM on Thursday 24th November.

Click – 2016 Kangaroo Hoppet Annual Report to view.

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A reminder — Annual End of Season BBQ – Sat 19th Nov 2016

Please RSVP our Social Secretary Kerry Lucas if you intend coming to the end of season BBQ on Saturday.

  • When: Saturday 19th November.
  • Where: In the NEW picnic area by the lake in Mount Beauty.
  • Time: From 5:30 p.m.

What to bring

We will provide the meat (and vegie burgers for those who prefer them), as well as bread and sauce.

You’ll need to bring your own chair, cutlery, plates, drinks, plus, for families, a salad and a sweet to share (singles and couples – please bring a salad OR a sweet to share).

RSVP to Kerry Lucas (social secretary) by Wednesday 16th November:
Email: <km.lucas@bigpond.com> or Mobile: 0419 349 319

As a courtesy to Kerry, please let her know you will be coming and if you need vegetarian food (or else BYO meat!!) If you don’t reply, we will assume you are not coming so we don’t over-order. It also makes it easier to contact you if the weather necessitates a change of venue.

If you decide to come at the last minute, please bring your own meat!

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Annual End of Season BBQ – Sat 19th Nov 2016 – correction

Sorry for the incorrect day in the body of the last Post. It’s definitely Saturday 19th November. When I take short cuts like copy & paste from last year I need to proof the Post better.

    • When: Saturday 19th November.
    • Where: In the NEW picnic area by the lake in Mount Beauty.
    • Time: From 5:30 p.m.
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