Sunday, March 2, 2008

Masters World Cup 2008, Race Report 1

From Clay:
...uh, what happened out there? I was just glad the guy with the cane didn't pull me off the race course. Denny said he was pretty sure he heard a gong telling him it was over...somehow they showed pity on us and let us finish.

Ugh, I've never had such a bad day with waxing. It was a literal nightmare. Forecasts had called for a mix of rain/snow at above freezing temps, but it was just a very wet, heavy snow at about 34 degrees. No one knew what to do...except the really elite skiers (most foreigners and some US elites). We started with ironed-in hard waxes going from VR-55 to VR-60, then tested it and it didn't work at all. We went to the VR-70...nothing -- like banana peels. OK, last one in the kit: the VR-75, which is the consistency of crystalized honey, and just as messy. I felt some kick, but if I stepped out of a track into the new soft snow, I was iced up and walking on stilts. What the heck?

Just before my start, I had such a ball of ice on the bottom of my skis and had to run over to the Toko tent for a scraper. The wax guy there (turns out to be THE main guy at Toko, and former US Olympian, Ian Harvey) looks at my skis and says, "'re in for a long hard day with that, man. How long 'til your start?"

I didn't know what he was getting at, but it turns out that they were abrading people's skis into what is called "hairies." Yeah, just get rid of all kick wax and sandpaper the crap out of your kick zone into "hair." It just looked to destructive and was too new and weird to go with 5 minutes before my start...BIG MISTAKE!!!

Well, I'll leave the rest of it for later, but Denny, Paul, and I had a really rough day. Others did too, it appears. I also got pointed off course and did an extra 2km about adding insult to injury. The last time I had to stop and scrape the ball of icy snow off my base, I just had to laugh. It was just to comical. I'm not really laughing so much at the moment, but it will make for some funny stories someday later.

It was warm yesterday...very warm. Today was snowing for the morning, but now the sun is out and it's warming up fast. What a mess, but they have a lot of snow. The place where we ski has the biggest Ponderosa trees in the world. They're huge!

That's all for now. Sorry we don't have better tales of conquest.

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