Vail: ‘The Kaiser’ takes Australia?
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” Monday was Australia Day, celebrated strongly by Aussies all over the world. The Vail Snowsports School put on a giant slalom race, railslide and barbeque in honor of its Australian instructors and to give all involved the chance to blow some cobwebs out of their turns and stunts.
More than 50 instructors showed up to compete under falling snow and flat light conditions with many more choosing to cheer from the relative safety of the barbeque area. The race consisted of the combined times from two runs down a longer and faster giant slalom course which brought out the speed suits.
Speed suits, hmm …
Bodies revealed by the speed suits like these don’t happen by accident and definitely not through the use of steroids. It takes a few meals to fill out a skin suit this well.
Being a proud lot, no instructors, except those participating in the fancy dress
competition ” you know who you are ” chose to ski the brush fun course set up next to the real one.
Instead all opted for the chance to slam hard plastic with softer body parts and despite a few spills everyone made it to the food in one piece thanks to a fast but safe course set by Adam Beaulieu.
On the men’s side, “The Kaiser” aka Franz Fuchsberger again demolished the field in part thanks to Gunnar Moberg “going for it” and DQ’ing on his second run. On the women’s side, the fastest combined time belonged to former PSIA National Team member Carol Levine who held off all the younger pups to show that you can get faster every year.
At the base the railslide throw-down lost amplitude but gained finesse from the lack of a keg at the post party ” it is safety month, after all.
As part of the Commonwealth, Aussies must have been heartened to see Englishman Philip Throupe win this. LHCSS manager Taylor Ogilivie scored the best crash with Stan Wu running away with an untouchable best work-comp recovery maneuver. Meanwhile, Francis Doh, the lone skier, didn’t exactly session.
He did embrace the concept behind rail riding by biffing a bunch.
The Snowsports School managers added to their daily repertoire of taking care of our needs by feeding us ” with our boss Dee Byrne tending the grill. Thanks to all their hard work, the feast went on till the firework display lit up Vail Mountain.
Advance Australia Fair
At this point, true Aussies needed to celebrate their culture and find some beer. Aussie Day without beer is like Thanksgiving without a turkey so a gradual exodus to Bob’s Place ensued to either catch up with their friends ” or laugh at them.
The Ski School Pro series starts to take advantage of the longer evenings with a Groundhog Day slalom race camp and race on Feb. 2 and the start of the freeride-half of the series with a log chute bump-off ” traditional fall line style ” on Feb 5.