Monday, August 8, 2011

TEAMBerg Juniors Excel In 2011 At Thredbo Junior Interclubsb

I've never before seen such enthusiasm as a team from our junior club members as I did this past July school holidays - totally bonded and determined to represent the club, no quarter given, no backing out.

The day before the event Thredbo was on its biggest wind-hold for decades, the weather just atrocious. I went around the club confirming starters and scoured my email returns to collate the TEAMBerg Juniors entry list as we were all tucked up inside due to the conditions outside - even the "magic carpet" on Friday Flat was on hold! Despite this, the mood was exuberant, all were keen to race and not one junior had any second thoughts no matter what was in store for tomorrows big day. I tallied 23 racers for TEAMBerg which presented a potential problem for the race organising committee to deal with - max 20 in a team after a blow-out in numbers in previous years. I spoke briefly on the fact tomorrows weather was not going to be guaranteed a pleasant day but no-one budged; so be it!

Sure enough the organisers contacted me with a request to cull out gun team but I stood my ground explaining there was no way any of us were not going to race. They relented, I told the team so and they just went off!
With that, the newly renovated ski repair room became a thriving hub of activity, metal filings amounting steadily on the two main ski benches and the waxing irons smoking hot with our junior mentors Ben Reader and Harry Price working at fever pace to prepare our TEAMBerg Junior racers' equipment. It really was the place to be that afternoon and evening, the sound system all wired up and standing room only - a great sight at the club.

We calculated we had the most racers of any club represented in the event this year,
certainly in the 11 years and under category
with Georgia Reader, Brooke Hiscock, Thomas, Saskia and Will Ferster, Tilly and Max Parker, Niahm and Caitlyn O'Sullivan, Hugo Manka, Max Lillyman, Brodi Clifford and Sophie Shuttleworth making up 13 of the total 42 racers in this category.

In the 12 years to 14 years category, Ben Reader, Allegra Parker, Bradley and Mitchell Hiscock, Finn O'Sullivan and Campbell Clifford presented another strong front with our Junior Interclub stalwarts Harry Price, Holly Shuttleworth and Hugh Lillyman making up the three TEAMBerg representatives in the 15 years to 18 years category.

Overnight the wind abated and by morning the weather welcomed us with a cold but sunny day - a great day for the Thredbo Junior Interclubs. Not only were the junior racers abuzz with excitement, so too were the TEAMBerg Juniors parents as they fueled their charges with the help of our fantastic pit crew Susan and Toby, ensuring they had everything they needed to do their best for the mighty BERG!

One of the more intriguing aspects to the day was just how would Harry make the start. We needed a third runner in the 15-18yrs category to score any point. The scenario was Harry was flying in from a sailing regatta in Perth overnight, ricocheting through Sydney to Cooma then the mummobile to Thredbo with ski gear in the back, aiming for arrival at Valley Terminal and Snowgums Chair for two runs through the course before it would be packed up for the day.
The organisers and said parent admired his tenacity and enthusiasm but by all accounts it was a long shot at best. Nonetheless he made it by 1pm, straight onto the lift from the car, ran to the start from Bunnywalk Station, did 1st run, skidooed to start again for 2nd run then upon completion off to bed for a sleep. True Berg Grit!

TEAMBerg, a non-racer based team put in a fantastic effort as they had planned. Although there were a couple of mishaps - skis leaving the scene of.... from Max Lillyman and Finn O'Sullivan the team showed tremendous enthusiasm and skill leaving us all wondering just where we would be placed in the 27th Thredbo Junior Interclubs. We all looked solid in amongst the other teams work on the day, Georgia earning 3rd fastest girl 11yrs and under and a 9th fastest boy for Hugo's first appearance and our best boy in this age group. Allegra earned a 4th place in the 12-14yr age group girls and Ben Reader was our best placed boy with a 2nd closely followed by Campbell in 4th. Holly was back in form with a 3rd girl in the 15-18yr age group with Harry and Hugh 9th and 10th respectively in the boys.

In the Fastest Team 11 and Under, Georgia, Brooke and Brodi scored a magnificent 2nd place behind SCA. So too in the Fastest Team 12-14yrs age group with Ben Reader, Campbell Clifford and Allegra Parker just behing SCA once again. Our eldest team still scored a worth finish aggregate and placed 5th behind SCA in 4th place.

Scoring points in all three divisions enabled us to beat Southern Alps SC for a brilliant 2nd place overall behind the 2011 Thredbo Junior Interclub champions Ski Club of Australia.

Full results

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


7th Aug THREDBO Rossi Race Course

Fresh (haha) from their stoush with Silver Brumby the day before, the mighty (read dusty) 2010 Team BERG woke after another successful hosting of the Friday Night Welcome Party with SCA at Berg, this year the theme being political in nature. The Julia and Tony show produced some questionable renditions at the club, I'm sure scarring some people for life!

Nonetheless, what happens on tour stays on tour (and the internet nowadays) and the shame was still to continue out on the hill the following day. Notably, for reference sake - the schnapps flask was dry!!!!!

One good thing going for all the sore heads (read TeamBERG routine race preparation) was that the day was to be an absolute stunner. Picture no wind and a fresh crisp morning to elicit the finest to the top of Rossi 1 for the 2010 Thredbo Interclub Race, this year producing another record number of old wood mixed with almost half the past 2 decades of the WC circuit!! The weigh-for-age competition seems only to be getting more popular with over 220 competitors of all shapes and sizes (condition not relevant) out to do battle once again in beautiful Thredbo.

Our rising stars (see previous blog) Ben Reader and Harry Price were on hand to open up the proceedings with yet another "throwing down of the Gauntlet" and opened the race with some sizzling foreruns, leaving their Dad's searching for the Deep Heat rub - for clearing the sinuses and hangovers more than for peak-performance muscle usage.

TeamBERG 2010 fielded 16 fine specimens this year, proudly led by our recently retired two-timer Olympian Jono Brauer who was working with the TSRC on the other side of the hill but managed to drop by for a couple of runs, all decked out with heavy parkers, vhf radios and other training paraphernalia. The rest of the team comprised a number of TIC stalwarts: Judy Lenne, Brucie Wallis, Nick Reader, Michael Horton, Drew Blomfield,
Paul Manka, John Shuttleworth, Greggie Hutton, Merran Wallis, Steve Brady, David Keith, a welcome back Julie Zwarteveen, Kristiane Price, newbie Ella Darveniza and myself against better judgment and doctors advice ha! What an awesome bunch - it had the "totally ignorant" shaking in their boots.

Anyway - back to the action. Harry Price nailed a first run time of 21.07sec followed by Ben Reader's 21.67sec blinder which really set the chatter amongst the "well wishers" back at the top. Cries of "this will be good", "how much did we have riding in this" etc. etc. etc......... rang out around the two ex-ski team fathers Nick and myself as we prepared for inevitable failure to succeed their performances. It was quite confronting that the day had finally arrived where the old majestic, once respected racers were to hand over the reigns, be humiliated and ridiculed by all their "so called" friends, and exiled from the relevant of TeamBERG. But, it will happen to them too one day!

I assumed the position so to speak and trottled out of the start hutte in customary virtual slowmotion perhaps for the last time wondering if either or both knees would be destroyed whilst doing this very stupid but I supposed necessary feat to allow for the changing of the guard to have some worth (not to me I might add). Thanks to modern science, the paramedics and some cunning, I managed to survive a time of 21.48. Of course, I was elated that things didn't end up messy and off to the clinic to see my old mate Steve once again. But the elation was very smartly doused by - "beat you again Dad" from the other side of the finishing area. Hmmmmm......

All I had working in my favour was that Nick still had to come down and suffer the same degrading ignominy , at least that's where my thinking had now skewed.

Judy was up next in the TeamBERG lineup and again held up the FFOG honour well and then came Jono! Well, all I can say is that "I taught him everything I know" and "thank G*d he is on our side"! Carrying the radios and all the other non-race friendly garb, he flicked a casual 18.08sec on the finish clock before continuing unstopped past the finish area and straight back to work.

It wasn't long before young (still sub 50) Brucie Wallis, ex-team racer stepped up to the plate. Had Brucie peaked too early - did Bruce understand the word "peak"? Being a choker from way back, and a prominent target of derision and jibe from the gallery, pressure was a plenty in the start hutte once again. With loud hails of mixed good fortune, Brucie took off and settled to finish with a proud 21.08sec time, just being pipped by Harry who now had a sly grin evident on his mug. Truly, our ex-team past days of glory were fast disappearing.

Well it was all up to Nick now to hold up the flag; poor poor Nick. Nick's stomach butterflies looked more like moths when he faced the starters wand, many a thought cascading through his mind as he was about to approach the first gate - did I put on clean underware, will many people come to my wake............ After a big cheer from the crowd in the know, Nick tenaciously forged his way through the gates on the way to the reception committee awaiting his arrival at the finish. And yes - he joined the vanquished albeit still not bad for a FFOG. Ben had that same sly smirk across his face too.

And so the day played out in poetic fashion, the generational transitions evident and experienced in all teams, the fellowship and camaraderie second to none.

TeamBERG 2010 and the FFOG Squad had once again shown we have a big ticker, still in the money and walking away with:
  • Christiania Cup - Best Overall Racer - 1st Jono Brauer
  • Crackenback Cup - Best Race Results on Handicap - 5th Bruce Wallis
  • Sir Herbert Schlink Cup - Fastest Team of 5 - 3rd Brauer/Wallis/Price/Shuttleworth/Reader
  • Silver Brumby Cup - Fastest Team of 5 Handicap - 3rd Wallis/Brauer/Price Lenne/Shuttleworth
  • Berghutte Ski Club Trophy - Fastest Min. Team - 3rd (see above Fastest Team of 5) & Manka/Lenne
  • KAC Cup - Fastest Min. Team Handicap - 2nd (see FTof 5 Hcp) & Reader/Horton
  • Allsop Cup - Fastest Club U400 Members
  • Nekvapil Shield - Thredbo Interclub Race - 3rd
The 2010 Thredbo Interclub Race this year resulted in a tie for 1st place with Ski Club of Australia and Southern Alps SC sharing the spoils.

Results & Photos can be viewed via our new website Media Hub menu

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2010 Berghutte v Silver Brumby Challenge

6th AUG - The FFOG's - Fast Fat Old Guys or Fit Fast Old Girls as they prefer to be called managed to assemble 13 seniors members for the Challenge this year. TeamBERG today comprised: newbie Ella Darveniza, Pricey, Nick Reader, Julie Zwarteveen, Gregie Hutton, Dave Keith, Michael Horton, Judy Lenne, Steve Brady, Drew Blomfield, Paul Manka, Merran and Brucey Wallis. There were a number of late scratchings from the Berg line-up due to runny noses or just plain softness but our core group of FFOGs nonetheless fronted up to the start at Rossi 1 by 1pm to take on the 35 Silver Brumby stalwarts for yet another face-off.

On this occasion the weather and snow condition were just ideal - plenty of snow and brilliant sunshine to boot. Due to a lack of match fitness amongst the FFOGs, what with their runny noses and all, there were surprisingly few hangovers, and coupled with the clear fresh conditions up the mountain, we didn't look all that bad - at least a little better than on some occasions in the past. We even managed to arrive on time for the start, most of us before the SB team had even gathered, also an infrequent situation from our mob.

Two of our original Junior TeamBERGers Ben Reader 13yrs and Harry Price 14yrs were on hand to forerun the event, having come down with their dads Nick and myself to take up the Rising Star Award benefits of a training session with the Thredbo Ski Race Club over the weekend. This of course instigated a betting frenzy amongst the other dads in the FFOGs, $100s on the tote AGAINST the two old national ski team dads being able to shut the young'ins out which produced a wry smile on the boys faces as they entered the starting huts just ahead.

There were plenty of oohs and ahhs as the 50 odd adult racers watched as the two boys tore up the course, obviously benefiting from elevated hype from the crowds behind them. With no stuff-ups from the boys, the pressure was on. I looked at the awkwardly flat start and decided I was in big trouble, not to mention Nick who was starting just a few behind me.

After what I thought was a respectable run down the race track with a 21.87secs, I turned to see a smug smile on my little bloke's face as he had finally vanquished his old man on his home turf for the first time with his 21.31secs! I secretly knew that bringing him down for senior's race week was not a good idea; I had managed to avoid a showdown effectively for the past two years but the day had finally come. Well, with the scene now resembling an Animal Kingdom TV episode from the 70's with the old dominant males being displaced by the young.

It was left up to Nick to stamp his dominance on young Ben if he could, despite the fact that these first two runs of the Challenge were based upon getting the least differential in time between them, so it was ordinarily not required to go all out. BUT - the pressure was on, and his long-held reputation was being challenged nonetheless! On this occasion, young Ben would have to await his right of passage, with Nick rising to the moment, playing way above his weight in his first run of 23.14secs to stave off the inevitable for another day.

The rest of TeamBERG got on with the job and completed the two runs for the Berg v S/Brumby Challenge in fine form, no mess-ups and things looked all hunky dory for a shot at retaining the trophy for another year.

With the Challenge now out of the way, this left the 3rd run for all the guns to set a "fastest time" against each other for the individual scratch event.

In the girls, Judy showed her true colours by conquering the field as the fastest female racer with a 23.88 secs ahead of Daniela Powell from S/Brumby on 24.11secs and our newbie Ella making a top 5 placing at 5th with 25.59secs, a very popular result amongst the FFOGs.

Within the mens dept., this is where traditionally Brucie peaks too early so all eyes were on him, now becoming accustomed to his newly aquired "JONO RACE SKIS" he had scored at Jono's Olympic auction late 2009.

Brucie squashed all his critics with a blinder of a 3rd run and 20.97secs, albeit not very tidy. I had decided that my next "racing runs" would be in tomorrow's Thredbo Interclubs as I had developed a seering pain in the right knee trying to out-shoot young Harry, so it was left for our remaining FFOGs to try and out do the likes of Damien Powell and SS off the stick. Almost but not quite, Brucie has just fallen short of Damien's usual gauntlet who ran a 20.90secs, 7 hundreds in arrears but a commendable effort and a show of promise for the following day.

Overall, Berg best splits from Ella, Julie, Steve, Bruce and Drew placed second in the Challenge with a splits aggregate of only 0.61secs against Silver Brumby's aggregate of a fantastic 0.17secs. NB - S/B field 35 runners to our 13 so they have an advantage over us.

The presentation was again in the private dining room of Bernti's where both clubs mingled, ate and drank whilst Bob, SS and I presented the winners of the Challenge and also the Berghutte Club Trophies - the Joe Manka Memorial to our best male and female challenger and the Berg Cup fro the fastest male and female skier from Berg in the 3rd run. This year, Jen Wilson of Berg fame was our hostess at Bernti's where she has taken up the role of manager since moving on from Berg after 10 years. It was very comfy with Jen at the helm.

Our winners of the Joe Manka Memorial Trophy in 2010 were Ella and Steve. Ella managed to ski her first two runs 26.97/27.02 split of 0.05secs and Steve with 25.41/25.52 split of 0.11secs.

Our winners of the Berg Cup for 2010 were Judy and Bruce of course, who together make the FFOG look somewhat respectable haha.

Well done TeamBERG FFOGs.


Full results

Saturday, July 31, 2010

TEAMBerg Assembles For 2010 Attack

News in Brief

2010-07-31 TEAMBerg 2010 is assembling as we speak!

This year marks the return of the Berg Gun and multi-Olympian Jono Brauer to the battlefield after a layoff due to his Olympic campaign. Jono now regards this event as big if not bigger than any Olympic event and will be firing on all pegs on Saturday 7th August just a little after 10am.

The course will have been expertly opened a few minutes before by our Junior TEAMBerg racers Ben Reader and Harry Price - both down for the weekend by express invitation to train with the Thredbo Ski Racing Club after these two National Team offspring won the NSW Interschool's Award of Excellence - the Rising Star Award, Ben this year and Harry in 2009 and 2007.

Then will come the ace in the pack with Judy dosed up extra-tight on pain killers and anti-inflamatories to put two in for the team yet again, trailed somewhat loosly by an assortment of FFOGS and others in a triumphant bid to fend off the Evil Empire in the quest for the Holy Nekvapil Grail!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ben Reader Wins 'Rising Star' Award For 2010

2010-07-20 NSW INTERSCHOOL'S - TeamBerg Junior - Ben Reader Wins 'Rising Star' Award For 2010

Congratulations to our TeamBerg Junior Ben Reader after his exceptional performances during the 2010 NSW Interschool's Sydney Regional Championships held at Perisher Valley this July school holidays.

Ben has been named the NSW Snowsports "Rising Star" and will be presented this Award of Excellence for 2010 Sydney Region at the next stage of the NSW Snowsports Interschool State Championships in late August. The prize is awarded to talented Interschools racers without previous race club experience. The Rising Star Awards offer the successful racers:

- a weekend of free race training with the Perisher or Thredbo race clubs on 7th and 8th August

- free entry into the Blue Cow Cup Children's Race in August

- race club assistance at the Blue Cow Cup on race day

The purpose of the NSWACT Alpine Rising Stars Awards is to encourage talented Interschools racers to experience the next level of alpine skiing and racing.

Successful racers are notified of their selection after the Regional events. Last year's winners are not eligible to win the award again this year.

Ben competed for Shore in the Syd Div 3 Skier X and Alpine disciplines where he placed 2nd in each event behind dedicated full-time racer Max Hough from Scots.

Berg is very fortunate to have such talent amongst its junior skiers. Through our junior Team Berg racers such as Ben (Div 3 male) and his Berg team mate Harry Price (Div 2 male) who also won this award in 2007 and 2009, the extraordinary depth of our young ski racers is again presenting itself to the wider skiing community as they follow in the footsteps of their fathers Nick Reader and David Price both previous National Ski Team members and FFOGs (Fast Fat Old Guys) and of course our immediate past dual Olympian Jono Brauer - Berg Legend.

Berg's tradition of producing and supporting our skiing champions is well and truely alive and it all points to a very bright future for our club representation in the Interclub and Interschool competitions to come.

For a view of the full NSW Snowsports Interschool Results, click here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Junior Team Berg 2010 Junior Thredbo Interclubs

Another mighty Junior Team Berg assembled for the defence of the coveted Lloyd Hughes Trophy, the Holy Grail of Thredbo’s 2010 Junior Interclub event held on Monday 12th July.

Although the season was awaiting a natural fall of snow greater than 10cm, Thredbo’s investment in one of the world’s best snowmaking facilities had paid huge dividends with a superb Rossi Race Course #1, sunny weather but very cold conditions creating one of the best pistes the event could possibly hope for.

The eleven clubs entered this year fielded over 150 keen skiers all focussed on racing their hearts out for their respective clubs, ranging from 5 years old to the senior racers of 18, many of these also representing Australia in various Skiing Australia teams around the world.

The defending champions Junior Team Berg 2010 represented the club with 18 entries this year, 8 skiers in the 11yrs and Under category, 6 skiers in the 12-14 age and 4 senior Juniors in the 15-18 age group.

Returning from 2009 were Bradley and Brooke Hiscock, William and Saskia Ferster, Geogia Reader, Max Lillyman and newbies Finn O’Sullivan and Brodi Clifford in the 11yrs and Under, Harry Price, Sam Payne, Ben Reader, Campbell Clifford and Mitchell Hiscock defending the middle ground 12-14yr group, the frontal attack in the 15-18yr group being lead by Alex McFadyen, Nick Payne together with newbies Georgia and Jack Welsman.

Our U11s performed exceptionally well achieving second place in their division behind Ski Club of Australia’s team, with Southern Alps SC (the “Evil Empire”) a very close third place, followed by Silver Brumby and Roslyn clubs comprising the top 5.

We had some outstanding performances in the Fastest Girl 11yrs and Under with Georgie Reader 5th, Brooke 6th, Saskia 9th and Brodi’s debut in 10th place. We also had a top ten placing in the Fastest Boys 11 Years and Under with Bradley 9th, debut Berg racer Finn just behind in 12th, William 16th and Max 23rd in a field of 34 racers, all very pleased with their results.

In the 12-14 year division, our sole representative Allegra pulled a top 10 with 9th place in the Fastest Girl 12-14 Years, Sam Payne holding up the flag for Berg with a 4th place in the Fastest Boy 12-14 Years. While unlucky Harry and Ben had a few issues at great pace during their campaign for Berg with 13th and 18th places respectively, our newbie racer Campbell represented a fine result coming home with a credible 17th place on his debut in a field of 32.

Stalwart Junior Team Bergers Nick and Alex were joined this year by newbies Georgia and Jack Welsman forming a strong spearhead for Junior Team Berg 2010..Nick converting some years ago from alpine racing to free-rider competition showed his true depth of talent when called upon for Berg bringing home the bacon to snatch 3rd placings in the Fastest Boy 15-18 Years and Fastest Skier 18 and Under. Young Alex had his share of woes this year in both runs and was disqualified for missing the last gates of the course in his first run, notably after a very impressive show to this point; his second run highlighted by a fantastic recovery mid-way down the course. Both Georgia and Jack demonstrated they were certainly made of the right stuff, sussing out the race course in their first runs and then nailing their second runs in a course slower than the first one, Georgia shaving 7secs from her first run and Jack also knocking off almost a second from his first run too.

So tallying up our points from 2nd place in the Fastest Team 11 and Under, 5th in the Fastest Team 12-14 Years and 6th Fastest Team 15-18 Years, we scored 6 points to be ranked 5th place overall in the 2010 Thredbo Junior Interclubs, one point behind Brindabella in 4th, another point behind Pindari taking the bronze, SASC getting the silver with 11 points and the SCA scoring 17points to take the gold.

View Gallery
Jnr Team Berg 2010

View Slideshow