Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another great result...and bungy tick off the checklist!

After a busy weekend of racing in Mt Hotham, the Australian National Ski Cross Team flew out to Queenstown, New Zealand, the very morning after the race.

Every two years the New Zealand Winter Games are held in Queenstown. The recently established global event takes place every two years, and attracts a large number of competitors from around the world in all winter sports. Unfortunately the ski cross was cancelled two years ago due to poor weather, so this was the very first year ski cross was held.

The ski cross was held at Cardrona, with training on Thursday and qualifications and finals both on Friday.

In the qualifications, I layed down the fastest time of the day by almost half a second, in front of World Cup racers Fanny Smith from Switzerland and Michelle Greig from New Zealand. A great start to the race and a definite boost to my confidence! I won my semi final heat, and went straight to the big final, where I was up against Smith, Greig and another young Australian girl. The start was neck and neck between Fanny and I, however she managed to just get in front of me coming into the first turn. From then I stuck on her tails the whole way down the one-minute track, however couldn’t manage to make a successful pass. Although I had to settle for the silver medal, I was very happy with my performance that day.

(The World Cup SX girls; myself, Fanny Smith and Michelle Greig at Cardrona)

(The Aussie girls before qualifications)

 (Michelle Greig, Fanny Smith and myself at the awards ceremony in Wanaka)

(New young gun SX racer Leigh Gardener and myself after Friday's race)

To end what was a short yet successful 4-day trip to New Zealand, I managed to persuade one of the American Ski Cross racers to come and bungy jump with me on our way to the airport this morning. After all, you only live once! A quick bungy jump only seemed like a logical and necessary stop on the way to Queenstown. We jumped off the Kawarau Bridge in Kawarau canyon, a 43-metre fall to the turquoise flowing river below. Being my fourth bungy jump, I am actually starting to feel reasonably comfortable with launching myself off huge things! The adrenaline rush was amazing… a similar feeling to what I get racing ski cross.

(US ski racer Joe Svenson and I getting ready to bungy)

(Bungy site at Kawarau Bridge) 

For those who enjoy watching my video blogs, I’ve got a short highlights video on its way from the past few weeks of training, racing, travelling and bungying…


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Big Win at the Australian National SX Championships

The Australian National Championships / Australia New Zealand Cup Ski Cross event was held at Mt Hotham last weekend. Like in the past, the event attracted a number of international competitors to Australia for the race. Included in the field this year were athletes from Japan, America, Switzerland, Finland, New Zealand, and of course Australia.

My major competitor this year was World Cup racer Fanny Smith from Switzerland, who had a World Cup victory last season and is currently ranked number three in the world.

A few days before the race we battled extreme weather conditions, with torrential rain almost wiping out the entire course before the races even started. Fog and high wind also prevented us from training on the course, so instead we just trained in the start gate. Luckily by Saturday the storm had passed and we finally saw the sun, giving Hotham a chance to build what turned out to be a fast and technical race course with plenty of big rollers, jumps and banked turns.

Being the first race of the southern winter season and the only ski cross event in Australia, I was very excited to be racing again on home turf. It’s always great to come home from a 4-month World Cup season in Europe / North America, and test out your skills on Australian snow.

On day one I qualified in second position, two tenths of a second behind Smith. I made my way through the quarter and semi finals, finding myself in the final head-to-head with Smith, a Japanese competitor and another Aussie. With a fast start, I managed to take the lead at the top of the course and maintained it all the way to the finish line, feeling Smith on the tail of my skis the whole way down. I crossed the line in first, and as you can imagine, I was very excited to have beaten such a highly ranked world-class competitor. A very proud moment for me!

On day two, I had another great day of racing however couldn’t manage to beat Smith to the finish line in the final, and finished in second place.

Overall, a very successful and enjoyable weekend of racing in the sunshine. I finished with a first and a second at the Australian National Championships…not a bad start to the season! It feels great to take the National title again, making me Australian National SX Champion two years in a row.

I am now on my way to New Zealand where I will be competing in the New Zealand Winter Games. This event is held every two years, and attracts a large number of international competitors. The ski cross will be held in Cardrona, which is renowned for being a world cup standard course. Looking at the way the snow season is shaping up in NZ, I might even get a few powder runs in while I’m here!

Will keep you posted with the results after Friday.

Day 1- 1st place in the 2011 Australian National Championships / ANC Ski Cross, Mt Hotham

Celebrating the win with Michael Kennedy, CEO of Ski and Snowboard Australia

Fanny Smith and I enjoying the sun at the top of the race course

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Support Josh and Carmen- WE CAN RUN

Great friends of mine, Josh and Carmen, have set themselves an enourmous goal. They have decided to run the Melbourne Marathon in October this year. Not only will they have made a massive personal achievement, they are also running for a great cause; raising money for cancer research.

Being an ambassador for ISFT (I Ski For Tommy), a foundation aimed at raising awareness of skin melanoma, I am completely supportive of their cause.

To support Josh and Carmen, please donate at

They have also put together some hilarious video blog episodes that follow their training in the lead up to the marathon.

Watch episode 1 below....

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer Training Video

Its now August and we're well into the Australian winter training season.

I thought I'd put together a video blog which shows all the different ways we've been training over the "summer" (European / North American summer).
This season we're really trying to mix up the types of training we're doing. Hopefully this will give us an edge when coming into the 2011/12 World Cup Ski Cross season.
Training has consisted of short track speed skating, ice hockey, water jumping, backyard starts training, even cliff jumping.... (well that was for my own enjoyment....)!
Check out the video below!


Ski Cross Summer Training 2011- Katya Crema from Katya Crema on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A bit of inspiration....

Check out this video of World Champion track cyclists Shane Perkins, whom I train beside at the VIS. An inspiring video. Best quote.... "I'm going to kick your arse, man."

Building the Perfect Athlete