2010/2011 Comic Reports 6 & 7

Worldloppet season final – Birkebeinerrennet

Fjellet i sol. Photo courtesy Birkebeinerrennet

A fairly excellent day for the 74th Birkebeinerrenet with great snow conditions, a clear blue sky, and a bit of a breeze in the mountains. Some 25000 skiers took part in the events of race week, with 14858 skiers starting in the main race with an incredible 14609 finishing, a testimony to the weather and the excellent tracks. Continue reading

Engadine Ski Marathon – 13 March

Big weekend in the Engadine Valley starting off on Friday with the night sprints in Sils.  After a sixth place in the 21km Frauenlauf last weekend, Esther Bottomley finished just off the podium in Sils with fourth place.  Laurien Van der Graaff (SUI) won the women’s sprint ahead of Celia Bourgeois (FRA) and Karin Camenisch (SUI).  The men’s sprint was won by Eligius Tambornino (SUI) with Martin Koukal (CZE) and Dietmar Nockler (ITA) taking the minor places.

On Sunday for the main race, track conditions were good with light snow falling at the start of the 43rd Engadine Ski Marathon.  Remo Fischer (SUI) dominated the event, winning by almost two and a half minutes from Italians Fabio Santus and Bruno Carrara.  Italian Antonella Confortola was first woman to cross the finish line, with Celia Bourgeois (FRA) second and Swiss Seraina Bopner third.  Esther Bottomley was the best Australian, finishing in fourteenth place in the women’s results.

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Bottomley 14th in Engadin Ski Marathon; 4th in Night Sprint

On Sunday March 13 Esther Bottomley took 14th place in the 42km Freestyle Engadin Ski Marathon, Switzerland’s Worldloppet event. The Engadin Ski Marathon is the biggest of the world’s freestyle ski marathons, with around 12,000 skiers taking part annually. This was Bottomley’s first attempt at the Engadin. Katie Calder’s 10th place in 2008 is Australia’s best female place in the Engadin, while Ben Sim’s 11th place in 2010 is the best overall placing. Bottomley also picked up some pocket money on March 11, winning 4th place in the invitational Engadin Night Sprints.

The start of the Engadin Night Sprint finals

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Big Worldloppet Weekend – Vasaloppet, Bieg Piastow and Frauenlauf

The Frauenlauf is a 21km event for ladies that marks the opening of a week of activities leading up to the Switzerland’s Engadin Ski Marathon. Esther Bottomley finished 6th in a field of just over 800 skiers. The podium was an all Swiss affair with Karin Camenisch the winner followed by Julia Philipona and Rahel Imoberdorf.  Meanwhile up in Sweden 14 735 skiers started in the 90km Vasaloppet, the culmination of a week of ski events involving over 50 000 skiers  Continue reading

Oslo 2011: Update #7 – 50km

50km Report

Fifty kilometre races at World Cup and World Championship level are always tough. When you have slow skis, they’re even tougher. Unfortunately the boys didn’t have great skis today. Ben Sim finished 63rd, Callum Watson 66th, and Chris Darlington and Ewan Watson were 72nd and 73rd when they were pulled from the race due to the overlapping rule. It has to be said, this was the worst case of unnecessary use of the overlapping rule ever applied to Australian athletes. Continue reading

Oslo 2011: A couple of videos from Wally Wombat


Oslo 2011: Update #6 – Team Sprint

Ben Sim and Callum Watson combined in the Team Sprint yesterday to finish 19th out of 25 teams. The guys were 10th in their semi-final and about 8 seconds faster than 10th placed New Zealand in the other semi. Both Simbo and Callum felt a lot better than they did in the 15km Classic the previous day, Simbo in particular racing very well and posting the fastest time on the third leg. Continue reading

Oslo 2011: Update #5 – 15km Classic

It was another full day for the  service team today with four men racing the 15km Classic. Waxing was a bit tricky and the general consensus was that the Aussie crew did… okay. The results were a bit lower than we hoped for. Three out of four guys had good grip (with the exception of Callum), though the skis were a tad on the slow side. It could have been worse – a few of the top favourites were waxed out of contention, including a big blowout from the Swedish team. The race was won by Matti Heikkinen of Finland, which seems to be the nation who has really jagged the wax this last couple of days. Continue reading

Oslo 2011: Images from 15km Classic