The Speed Ski Course at Vars, France
Update from Tracie Max Sachs from the Speed Ski World Cup
I just wanted to let you know how things have been going in Switzerland. I've been training like crazy and I feel really strong. My knee is solid and I've been hitting some amazing off piste trails here in Verbier.
Two weeks ago was the first World Cup event in Adorra. This was not in my plan for the season as I know the track doesn't fit my style or budget for racing. There is a jump, a compression and a tight turn in the run out. For me this was a combination of things that I just didn't want to handle for my first race. I did however attend the event as a coach for the Swiss team and a wax tech for Philippe May. My waxing skills proved to be working as Philippe May placed second!
March 15 to 18 is the next World Cup event which I've been training for all winter. I'm so excited to race in Vars France again. This is one of the fastest tracks in the world. It is steep and has amazing acceleration and I always race well there.
This year there seems to be only one problem. Lack of snow! As you can see from the pictures taken by a friend last week, there is no snow at the top of the track. The race organizers still think they can have a successful event but it will be at lower speeds, probably about 120mph. Unfortunately the weather forecast is warm for the rest of this week with bright sun. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the snow will last on the track until the weekend.
I'm hoping that they will be able to groom the piste. The access will be difficult and dangerous. They have already closed off the normal access trail near the top of the mountain because it is too dangerous for 75 racers to slide into the piste on the edge of a cliff with no protection. They are planning to bring us up half way by groomer and then we will hike up the rest of the way. This will be a difficult task to say the least while we carry our own 8 foot long skis wearing our slick rubber suits and fairings that practically touch the ground when we walk. Despite the potential hazards, I'm still looking forward to racing this weekend because I feel really great.
In light of the recent death of the Canadian racer Nick Zoricic in the most recent Skier Cross World Cup event, I plan to keep in mind that safety comes first. If I sense that the track is not groomed properly, or the snow is too slushy in the arrival area, I may decide to pull out of the race. I love my sport and I have given the last 12 years of my life to it, but I don't want that to be a permanent thing. I will race wisely and with ambition strength and experience. I hope to represent you all in a positive light and I hope to have good news for you next week.
Take care and stay fast,
Tracie Max Sachs