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Field reports from the Rossland, Canada SuperTour Races

Thu, Dec  18, 2014 - By Patrick O'Brien

Patrick O'Brien is Head Coach for SMS T2. SMS T2 is MS T2 is an elite Nordic ski team based out of Stratton Mountain, Vermont that consists of 8 athletes (Ben Saxton, Sini Hamilton, Sophie Caldwell, Jesse Diggins, Annie Hard, Andy Newell, Annie Pokorny, and Erika Flowers) plus Patrick O'Brien as coach.

Conditions starting out on Thursday and Friday were warm with lots of rain falling and temperatures above freezing. The course was closed on thursday and opened for inspection on friday. Temperatures were projected to fall a bit overnight but never dropped super low due to cloud cover. I went ahead picking warmish klister skis for the athletes. I hardened the base with Toko DLC (LF Black) to deal with some dirty old snow. I picked Toko HF yellow as an under layer and went ahead and powdered with Toko JetStream 2.0 yellow the night before. I ironed in a thin binder the night before in case conditions did freeze up and the snow migrated back towards abrasive.

SMS T2 nordic ski team

Conditions on Saturday night froze up lightly but were obviously going to let loose for the guys race at 11:30 with the sun coming out. For the girls race I went ahead with a mix of a universal klister and a bit of red klister. I went with a similar mix for the guys race with a higher amount of red klister mixed in as they only started 30 minutes after the girls. This combo kicked well and very little wax pulled off or moved during the girls 7k and the guys 11k race. Some athletes went ahead on lower klister skis where I mixed a warmer stickier klister in being sure to not build too much thickness causing the ski to drag. This seemed to work well for Kris Freeman, picking up a big 50 second win in the guys field.

The next day, the temperatures dropped a bit and conditions remained firm overnight. The TD's decided to not re-groom the course which was a prudent call given the low snow conditions. After hot scraping race skis I went ahead and put down another layer of Toko DLC (LF Black), but bumped down to HF Red under layer with JetStream Red 2.0  powder. Both days I went ahead and finished with a rub on block but went with JetStream 2.0 Yellow on Saturday and Red on Sunday. I got a layer of base binder down early in the afternoon and again ironed in klister on top to ensure good durability in abrasive conditions. Klister remained pretty similar the following day but with more red klister mixed in for the girls who started later in the day. Again figuring out thickness and building the kicking klister on top of a solid binder kept the skis kicking well during a longer race in more abrasive conditions. Kris picked up another win on a relatively mild klister ski without much wax pulling off in 15k of racing and Annie Pokorny finished 6th in the open women's category.

I think we are all looking forward to some colder conditions and putting the klister torches away for a bit! Thanks to the organizers for pulling of some high quality racing despite challenging weather and snow.

Patrick O'Brien, Head Coach, SMS T2