Phil Bellingham & Victor Gustafsson (SWE) take 2nd at the 2020 Nattvasan in Sweden

2020 Nattvasan 90 km (F) Race (SWE)        
Phil Bellingham & Victor Gustafsson (SWE) — 2nd
The Nattvasan 90 km is an exercise race where no winner is crowned.

While many of our readers know Phil who grew up in Mount Beauty, not so many Australians outside the local Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club know Victor Gustafsson (Sweden), who spent the 2013 winter here as the club’s coach in residence … and … ‘what is Nattvasan 90?’ is a question most people will ask.

The biggest cross country ski event in the world is the 90 km Vasaloppet held in Sweden, with over 15,000 skiers in the main event and more than 40,000 skiers taking part in other events held in the week leading up to the main race.  

One of these is the Nattvasan (Night Vasa). It is held on the same 90 km course as the main race, with the slight difference that skiers start in the dark at 8 pm wearing headlamps and must take part as teams of two. In a close finish, Phil and Victor finished just before midnight and were given the time of 3:53:22, the same time as the winners. While Phil and Victor finished on Friday, most of the 524 teams finished the next day, with team Fridaforsarna ‘signing the finish list’ just before 7:30 am the next morning with the time of 11:29:17. Starting an hour and a half after sunset … and finishing an hour after sunrise! 

Phil reported, “that about halfway into the event my headlamp ran flat so I did just over 40 km relying only on the light from Victor’s headlamp”.

As if one 90 km ski race is not enough, Phil backed up Friday night’s 90 km ‘night’ race with another 90 km in Sunday’s main race, the Vasaloppet. Perhaps unsurprisingly, his time was a bit slower than on Friday night, a still very respectable 5:25:09, just under an hour behind the winner Petter Eliassen of Norway. 

Phil has been ‘ski busy’ while in Europe, Scandinavia and other places this winter.

  • Vassaloppet China 5o km — 21st 
  • Dolomitenlauf (AUT) 42 km (skate) Saturday — 15th.
  • Dolomitenlauf (AUT) 42 km (classic) Sunday — 16th.

From left: Phil Bellingham & Victor Gustafsson

Junior World Championships now on until 7th March

Follow the skiers at the Championships. Click [HERE]


Snow Australia XC Athlete Pathways

The FTEM framework (see below) consists of 3 macro stages of the skill and performance development of sporting participants which are further differentiated into 10 micro stages. These stages and micro stages include — Foundations (F1, F2 and F3); Talent (T1, T2, T3 and T4); Elite (E1 and E2); and Mastery (M).
Click [HERE] to view the excellent Brochure that has been produced and which explains the framework brilliantly. Finn Marsland (National XC Program Director) had much input into the Brochure.


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Aussie wins American Birkebeiner Worldloppet Race

Australian National Team member Jessica Yeaton smashed the previous women’s record by nearly three minutes to win the 2020 American Birkebeiner 50km race, finishing 41 seconds ahead of five times winter Olympian Riitta-Liisa Roponen from Finland and Erika Flowers from Montana.

The American Birkebeiner is the largest ski marathon in North America and part of the Worldloppet series of international ski races, which also includes our own Kangaroo Hoppet at Falls Creek. 

Originally from Perth and now studying Physical Therapy full time at the University of Albuquerque in New Mexico, Jessica said she headed into the race with no expectations and was ecstatic with the final result. “I wasn’t sure how I’d go having not raced in a while, but I’d been training really well – although I had absolutely not planned on winning,” Yeaton said. “It was an awesome race – I’d heard from many people about how amazing a scene it is and I’ve always wanted to go,” she said.

“It lived up to every story I’d heard – it was an amazing experience.”

Yeaton said she could not have imagined a more perfect day, with bluebird conditions topped off with the gold medal. “The skiing was perfect and the conditions were literally incredible,” Yeaton said, “ … just being in that environment where everyone is psyched on cross country skiing was an amazing experience, you don’t get that everywhere.”

Jessica returned immediately after the event to Albuquerque and a week of exams at the University of New Mexico where she is studying Physical Therapy.

Jess’s win makes her only the second Australian to win an overseas Worldloppet race ….. the first Aussie win was at the Sapporo Ski Marathon in 2010 when local Mount Beauty skier Belinda Phillips won the women’s title by over 4 minutes.

For the record, and hopefully, there will not be too many corrections to this list coming in after it is published, here is a list of all the Australians who have had top-five results at northern hemisphere Worldloppet events.

  • 1980 Vassaloppet (SWE) — Colleen Bolton (NSW) 2nd
  • 1982  Birkebeiner-rennet (NOR) — Colleen Bolton (NSW) 2nd
  • 1992  American Birkebeiner (USA) — Mark Gray (Vic) 5th
  • 2000  Keskinada (CAN) — Ben Derrick (Vic) 2nd
  • 2004 Konig Ludwig Lauf (AUT) — Ben Derrick (Vic) 2nd
  • 2010  Sapporo Ski Marathon (JAP) — Belinda Phillips (Vic) 1st
  • 2020  American Birkebeiner (USA) —  Jessica Yeaton (lives in the USA) 1st

Jessica Yeaton — 2020 American Birkebeiner 50 km winner

Well done Jessica! Love that Aussie Race Suit.

From left: Riitta-Liisa Roponen Finland, Jessica Yeaton Australia, Erika Flowers Montana USA

Thanks, American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation for the use of the photos.

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Club Members at Junior World Championships

Congratulations to club members Nic Blackwell (U23), Ella Jackson (U23), Adam Barnett and Lily Murnane for their selection in the 2020 FIS Nordic Junior and U23 World Ski Championships set to take place in Oberwiesenthal, Germany from 29 February to 6 March.

Others to be selected are Steve de Campo (Vic) U23, Fedele de Campo (Vic), Phoebe Gridland (NSW), Rosie Fordham (NSW), Bentley Walker-Broose (NSW) & Declan Burke (NSW)

Congratulations to the two coaches (both Birkebeiner members) Valerio Leccardi & Tom McMahon. All the best at the championships.

Follow the skiers at the Championships. Click [HERE]


From left top: Bently, Nic, Phoebe, Rosie, Steve. From left bottom: Declan, Adam, Ella, Lily & Fedele.


Coaches from left: Valerio Leccardi & Tom McMahon

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Saturday’s Working Bee cancelled

Based on current conditions (bushfires in the area) and also forecast weather conditions for the upcoming weekend the working bee scheduled for this Saturday 30th November will be postponed to a later date — Geoff Sorenson (Falls Creek Resort Management), Blair Hume & Kevin Cosgriff (Parks Victoria).

The photo was taken late last week illustrating the bushfires that are currently burning on the Eskdale Spur north of Mount Beauty and east of Mongans Bridge. As this is written fires are not threating any property. There are also fires east of Mt Bogong, near Mittagundi Outdoor Camp and Shannovale Station in the Omeo Valley. All fires were started by lightning strikes. (photo credit — thanks to local Tawonga photography Diane Griffith for the use of this great photo)

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BBQ Reminder, Community Sport Awards & Snow Australia

End of season BBQ

  • When:    Saturday 16th November 2019
  • Where:   In the picnic area by the lake in Mount Beauty
  • Time:     From 5:00 pm

What to bring

We will provide the meat (and veggie 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 Elaine Thomas (social secretary) by Thursday 14th November

Email: <elainemt66@yahoo.com.au> or Mobile: 0429 380 408 (text)

As a courtesy, please let me know you will be coming and if you need vegetarian food (or else BYO meat!).  If you don’t reply, we’ll 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!

Thank you,

Elaine (social secretary)


2019 Ski & Snowboard Australia Community Sport Awards

The winners of the Community Sports Awards were announced at the Awards Ceremony – held at QT Canberra on Thursday, November 7. Click [HERE] to view the Award Winners especially the cross country ones.


SSA announces name change to Snow Australia

Logo Components Explained. Click [HERE].


Falls Creek Earlybird Entry Passes

It’s never too early to get your season sorted. After an amazing 2019 snow season get ready to load up for 2020 with the BEST deal for Resort Entry on offer for next snow season!

Vehicle access for the entire 2020 snow season for $375 ($325 for over 65’s)

A Resort Entry Season Pass gives access for your vehicle and anybody inside to Falls Creek and all of the services provided once you’re here. At the cut-rate price of $375, this works out to be great value if you plan to visit for 7 days or more in season 2020.

Only one pass is needed per vehicle and you can bring anybody you like along for the ride. Take the easy option with express access past the ticket box meaning more time on snow and less time sorting out your access.$375 – BUY NOW WITH A $99 DEPOSIT 

You don’t have to pay for everything up front, you can access this great deal for just $99 up front and the remainder will be charged to your credit card on the 18th of March, 2020. This is the CHEAPEST deal that will be offered for Resort Entry Vehicle access in season 2020 so don’t miss out.

This offer is available until 5:00 pm January 15 at the Early Bird price of $375 ($325 for over 65’s).


Looking Back …

Nordic Bowl – 1961

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Working Bee – Falls Creek Sat 30th Nov ’19

In consultation with Falls Creek Resort Management (FCRM) & Parks Victoria (PV), we have arrived at a date for our first 2019/20 summer working bee: Saturday 30th November 2019.

This will be a one-day affair unless there are enthusiastic participants who wish to push through on the Sunday with any unfinished tasks or even new ones. Among the jobs slated to do are:

  • Realign snow pole line in ‘The Park’. (Continued improvement for grooming operations in marginal snow levels.) Geoff from FCRM will have a bobcat on-site to make light work of the digging.
  • Remove a small number of temporary snow fences in the Alpine NP. (Many fences to remain in strategic location icons)
  • Construct shelving in Horse Yard Hut (Hoppet Hut) to accommodate orange Hoppet barrier bunting. Keen amateur carpenters amongst the membership are encouraged to get involved.
  • Make alterations to orange conduits to improve ease of instalment on XC ski trail alignments.
  • Make any repairs to the Clubhouse that Pete Smith requires. Repairs/ alterations to the Race Hut as stated by the race committee or Brian Keeble.
  • A small amount of targeted vegetation management on problem areas if there are qualified chainsaw operators &/or fit brush cutters.

Please feel free to add any items that you, or other members, feel should be included on the ‘to do’ list. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and Geoff, please also add extras as you see fit.

FCRM & PV will provide all tools and personal protective equipment necessary. Volunteers must provide their own UV protection, adequate clothing, gloves, footwear, snacks and hydration.

Meeting Time & Place — Clubhouse at 9:30 am.

This ‘Green Season’, the Birke General Committee has given the approval to add a subsidised dinner on a Saturday night at a yet to be determined Mount Beauty eatery. A BBQ lunch will, of course, be provided free of charge as usual.

Members can communicate directly with me on my contacts listed below with further enquires and to confirm their commitment. Please also remind everyone of the great social aspect in an environment that many only see on skis with access to areas on ‘Management Vehicles Only’ summer tracks.

RSVP to Blair by Wednesday 27th November 2019Mob: 0427 817 262 or Email <blair.hume@parks.vic.gov.au>

Regards
Blair Hume (co-ordinator)


End of Season BBQ 

Sat 16th Nov. RSVP by Thur 14th Nov to Elaine Thomas  Email <elainemt66@yahoo.com.au> or Mobile: 0429 380 408 (text). Click[HERE]for details Posted 2nd October.



2019 Ski & Snowboard Australia Community Sport Awards

The winners of the Community Sports Awards will be announced at the Awards Ceremony – to be held at QT Canberra on Thursday, November 7. Click [HERE] to view the nominations especially the cross country ones.


Blackwell Skis into World Championship Team

Young Mount Beauty Cross Country Skier Nick Blackwell is heading to Europe in early December to pursue his cross country racing ambitions. Click [HERE] to read Nick’s profile and trip itinerary.

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Phil Bellingham – 1st Birkie to complete ‘The Crossing’

In late 2018 our own Phil Bellingham and his national team member mate Mark Pollock (Wangaratta SC) completed the Mt Bogong to Hotham Winter Crossing in a time of 8 hrs 30 min. Congratulations!

This ‘Crossing’ has been completed by seven others since the tragic death of Charlie Derrick in 1964. They are listed in Phil’s report. Click [HERE] to view. Also, included at this location are details about Charlie Derrick’s attempt and the 1985 crossing in which the record was set by Audun Enderstad – a USA Olympian who completed the crossing in 5 hrs 53 min.


End of Season BBQ – Sat 16th Nov. RSVP by Thur 14th Nov to Elaine Thomas  Email <elainemt66@yahoo.com.au> or Mobile: 0429 380 408 (text). Click [HERE] for details.


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Spring News

End of season BBQ

  • When:    Saturday 16th November 2019
  • Where:   In the picnic area by the lake in Mount Beauty
  • Time:     From 5:00 pm

What to bring

We will provide the meat (and veggie 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 Elaine Thomas (social secretary) by Thursday 14th November

Emailelainemt66@yahoo.com.au or Mobile: 0429 380 408 (text)

As a courtesy, please let me know you will be coming and if you need vegetarian food (or else BYO meat!).  If you don’t reply, we’ll 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!

Thank you,

Elaine (social secretary)


National XC Provisional Teams


Alpine Shire Youth Awards

The annual awards are an opportunity for the Alpine Shire community to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of young people across a range of categories (10).

Two local Birkebeiner members and very keen racers won the Youth Award 12 – 16 Years. They were Tommi Silvester (15 years) and Ash Forrer (16 years) who in April 2019 were the youngest people to complete the total 660 km Australian Alps Walking Track from Walhalla (Vic) to Tharwa near Canberra. It took them 27 days and involved 12 months of planning and preparation. A fantastic effort!

From Left: Ewan Silvester, Johanna Pihkanen, Tommi Silvester, Ash Forrer, Michelle Forrer & Conrad Forrer

Kangaroo Hoppet Race Committee Vacancy

The Kangaroo Hoppet is a wonderful community event held annually on the 4th Saturday of August in Falls Creek. The Race Office/Shop is based in Mt. Beauty and is the first point of call for skiers. This role is a great opportunity for a volunteer to contribute positively to this event. It is a rewarding and interesting time where you meet competitors from overseas, interstate and from our local community.

After 11 years of co-ordinating the Kangaroo Hoppet Race Office and Shop, Trish Cross and John Baileyhave tendered their wish to retire from this role. A job description is available for anyone interested, and a digital file and hard copies of every event is available. This includes merchandise orders, clothing sizes, numbers, plus volunteer lists and contact details.

The Co-ordinators have a regular core of wonderful volunteers who help out during the lead up to the Event and are supported by the Kangaroo Hoppet Race Committee.

If this valuable role is something you would be interested in, please contact Trish trishacross@bigpond.com to discuss it further.


2019 Kangaroo Hoppet Race Office & ShopThank you

The Hoppet Shop could not operate without the wonderful  volunteer efforts of Mt. Beauty community members and volunteers from the Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club.  

The co-ordinators would like to acknowledge and thank Gael Little, Ann Bellingham, Eileen Clark, Sandi Coleman, Elaine Thomas, Mick Keenan, Meg Crebbin, Luise Mock, Jeanie Farrington, Rhonda Gargan, Bruce Wharrie, Marg Hayes, Liz Harvey, Virginie Bernard, Helen Howley, Natalie Flay, Sarah Gardiner, Faye Moreland, Mary Pike, Judy Ranton, Marion Sharman, Paul Sharman, Jim Crebbin, Beth Smith, Ian Smith, Tony Valente, Sue Tilley, Sonja Smith, Gill Harrowfield, Ian Harrowfield, Bettina Kayler and Bron Gray.

Your contribution is a vital part of the Hoppet event and we hope you enjoyed it. Hope you are able to help again in 202030thAnniversary Kangaroo Hoppet.


Archive of Kangaroo Hoppet T-shirts

Thanks to BNSC members and KH skiers who have responded to the call out for historical samples of the Kangaroo Hoppet souvenir T-shirts. We are still looking for samples from the following years: 1991, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2014 and 2016.  

If you still have a T-shirt from one of these years and are willing to donate it to the Archive, we would love to hear from you. Contact Trish on trishacross@bigpond.com  who will organize for it to be added to the Archive.


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Birkebeiner Bulletin – August 2019

Image 2016-07-31 at 8.42.40 PMSun, 31 Jul 16
for August 2019 is now available for viewing as a pdf file.

To view the latest Birkie Bulletin click the link below and the pdf file will open in your web browser.

Birkebeiner Bulletin – August 2019


Facebook

Join the club facebook page called Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club. Click [HERE] to join.


National Junior Race Results from the Weekend

• Sprint (C) Saturday 31st AugustClick [HERE] to view.

Distance (F) Sunday 1st SeptemberClick [HERE] to view.

Thank you Michal Trnka & his team for timing the National Junior Championships and also the BIG ONE last Saturday the Kangaroo Hoppet.

Mini-Series #4 (F)

Last event for the season — Sat. 7th Sept 11: 00 am, Falls Creek Nordic Bowl.


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Australian Junior XC Ski Champs – Entries open

The Australian Junior XC Ski Championships are being held at Falls Creek on the weekend of Sat 31st Aug (Sprint – C) & Sun 1st Sept (Distance – F). It is being organised by the club on behalf of Ski & Snowboard Australia.

Volunteers needed for this major twoday club event. Email Ann Bellingham race (secretary) if you can assist <racesecretary@birkebeiner.org.au>

All information about the weekend can be viewed when you click on the link below.

Online entry is available up to midnight Tuesday 27th August.
Click [HERE] to enter.


Kangaroo Hoppet this Saturday 24th August starting at 9:30 am in the Falls Creek Nordic Bowl. Weather looks very good for both Friday and Saturday so get that entry in. Click [HERE] to enter.


Looking Back – Spring 1996


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