Cross-Country ski racing will begin this weekend in Australia with excellent snow conditions heralding the beginning of what could be an exciting season of racing. In the last two weeks over a metre of snow has fallen on Australian XC trails, leaving mid-winter like conditions for the beginning of the season!
Down south at Falls Creek, the home of the Kangaroo Hoppet, it will be slap on the stick wax or klister for the Birkebeiner Classic. This event has a number of races within it ranging from 2.5km for juniors to hot senior racing in the 10km event. This season should see a renewal of rivalries within the elite racing circle. Falls Creek local Ben Derrick, fresh from a few podium finishes in World Loppet events in Europe, will try to use his experience against Cooma teenager Ben Sim who is returning from training with the Khazakhstan XC Ski team. Things should be just as interesting in the womens with Melbourne based Clare-Louise Brumley renewing hostilities with Canberra skier Katherine Calder. All these skiers have already qualified for the World Championships in Obertsdorf next year.
And over the Tasman Sea in New Zealand there are reporting great ski conditions with all trails open at the international standard Waiorau Snow Farm. So let the racing begin!