Mark Waechter is the owner and operator of Nordic UltraTune, a full service stone-grinding shop in Winthrop, WA. He is working ski service with the Slovenian National Team at the World Cup races in Canmore, ALB. He will be posting additional updates at www.ultratune.net.
Tuesday was the Pursuit race for women and men. We were in the team wax
room by 6:05 Tuesday morning, and we were going non-stop for 12 hours.
The races went well; we had one woman and one man racing and had a 10th
place (Petra Majdic) and an 11th place (Martin Bajcicek). Both said they
had really good skis; the classic ski selection and grip wax were the most
critical items for skiers.
Cold weather again, but not super-cold. About -9C (16F) during the
races. I was assigned to be on the course with poles and spare skis, so
I had a good view of the racing, and gave a yell for the American skiers
to cheer them on, too. Then back into the waxroom to wax skis for several
hours after the races finished. Breakfast and lunch today were eaten
Brian Gregg popped into the waxroom in the afternoon and demonstrated a
more expansive command of Slovenian than I'm able to exhibit. Good to
see Brian – he's a “homeboy” from Winthrop, WA.
I did a count of skis at the end of the day today, and if I include the
test skis there are over 90 pairs of skis (4 athletes). I'd guess that
more than 20 pairs are test skis, and these are the ones that are getting
the repeated waxings and are making days long.
The course here is challenging and there are some really fast descents.
Waxing was straightforward, but the easy mistake is to wax a little cold
and then run out of grip mid-race.
Some comments on our wax crew. Stefan speaks only a few words of english
(yesterday i taught him 'scraper', 'brush', and 'groover'). On the other
hand he can sing a variety of pop songs in english with almost no accent
(he seems to favor songs by Queen – that's scary). Both Gianluca and
Stefan are very experienced and are great to work with, in spite of
language shortcomings on my part.
Tomorrow is classic sprints and we've got 3 women racing (Vesna, Katja,
and Petra). Two of them are red group sprinters. We're back to the wax
room at 6:00 sharp.