While most of us are enjoying the sun, the Cross-Country competition season in the southern hemisphere is starting in superb winter conditions. From 2nd to 5th August, the Australia/New Zealand Cup (ANC) will begin at Snow Farm (NZE) with several races in both skiing techniques. The series will then continue with races in Australia in Falls Creek (11th -12th August) and Perisher Valley (18th – 19th August), before returning to Falls Creek for the series final at the Kangaroo Hoppet (25th August).
Traditionally the ANC is a very important opportunity for young athletes from Down Under to prove themselves and gather competition experience. The winner of the series will also ensure the right to start in the Viessmann FIS World Cup Cross-Country, provided they fulfil the World Cup qualification rules. Click here for an overview of last season’s ANC Cup standing.
“The ANC is a great series for our athletes to get in shape for the northern hemisphere winter season. The US Ski Team usually provides some good competition in the races at the Snow Farm, and we are expecting some Japanese skiers this year as well,” says Finn Marsland, Coach of the Australian Ski Team. “A handful of European skiers are also already entered for the races in Australia.”
Regardless of the ANC, the Kangaroo Hoppet is a highlight of the Cross-Country schedule Down Under in its own right. The Kangaroo Hoppet belongs to the prestigious Worldloppet series of long distance races, and attracts over 1000 competitors annually including over 150 from the northern hemisphere.
[With a base of 90cm of well packed snow in the Hoppet finish area by July 11th, and cover around the course ranging from 25cm in the exposed areas at the Dam Wall and Langfords Gap to well over a metre in sheltered areas, more than 30 km of the 42km Hoppet course is being groomed regularly.]