Richard's Report - Saturday, 8 August 2015 5:07:24 PM

Far From The Racing Crowds

What spectacular weather we have been getting since all the snow fell this past week. Today was a cloudless, windless, special kind of day, more in keeping with Spring than Winter.

The cover both in and out of the resort is most satisfactory and surprisingly deep off from the T-bars on Central Spur compared to my earlier return to Thredbo.

It now feels that the snow season has finally got under way, albeit a month late. With luck the season will extend by that same month lost.

With the Top 2 Bottom race crowd and the inter-club races and the first blue-sky weekend in a while, my choice was to get out of the resort today and get some quality freshies :-)

What a day for the Top 2 Bottom race
What a day for the Top 2 Bottom race

Charlie was so far ahead of the other 59 racers in the Veteran Division<BR>there's no others showing in these photos
Charlie was so far ahead of the other 59 racers in the Veteran Division
there's no others showing in these photos

The rest of the Men's Veteran pack coming down Little Merritts
The rest of the Men's Veteran pack coming down Little Merritts

A peek at a peak - through a hole in the rocks
A peek at a peak - through a hole in the rocks

Fantastic soft dry snow below the tree line awaited our tracks
Fantastic soft dry snow below the tree line awaited our tracks

Marion forging up the slope
Marion forging up the slope

Marion skiing back down towards the tree line
Marion skiing back down towards the tree line

So much fun dropping tracks down through the trees far from the resort
So much fun dropping tracks down through the trees far from the resort

Snow farming below Antons T-bar - the big jumps have not yet been built
Snow farming below Antons T-bar - the big jumps have not yet been built

And that view, this time from just below the bridge
And that view, this time from just below the bridge

There's more snow coming this week but first a little grump to get me warmed up before I continue with the Squatters Run saga.

It is my opinion that over the years the Thredbo Top 2 Bottom Race has been somewhat degraded from the original iconic Thredbo race. Why?

1. The race is no longer run from the "top". I'm told this is for economic reasons. I was fortunate enough to have competed in several races where it began from the top of Karels T-bar when weather permitted. It's hardly fair now calling it "Top To Bottom" any more.

2. On top of this the race has been slowed down by the introduction of several new gates below Bunny Walk station after a particularly nasty crash one year. Liability and Nanny-State thinking has done away with that fantastic sensation of turning right onto Supertrail at Bunny Walk and then straight-lining it to Ski-in Ski-out and having your goggles pressing on your eye balls and your jacket being sucked off your back whilst attaining terminal velocity - this was my favourite part of the race.

3. And another fairly recent change was limiting competitors to just one course inspection rather than the 30 minutes we used to get. I'm told this is to stop the course from being dug up but I loved the fact that I used to get 2 or even 3 runs before the race. Like most, I kept away from the racing line during my multiple runs.

4. And this year, so I'm told, once you have won a race in the Veteran Men's division you cannot compete again in the veterans but have to compete in the "Pro" division. I think this sucks. I was never going to win or even get close to the podium but I think the new rule is unjust. Firstly it doesn't give a winner the chance to defend his title and so when someone else wins this year they will never know if they were better than the previous winner. Last years winner of the veterans division has told me he won't compete in the "Pro" division and so the race loses one more of Thredbo's characters that make the event so interesting. Would Charlie (this year's winner and last year's runner-up) have beaten Duncan? We will never know. The new rule is not fair to either of them.

5. T-shirts are no longer being given to the competitors. That's a real shame. I'm proud to wear mine and the entry fee is not cheap.

A long running competitor, in fact he may be the only racer to have competed every year since its inauguration (except for the year it was cancelled), says he agrees with my opinion on all points.

It is a real shame to see this iconic race be continually down graded. Some may call it progress, I call it decay. If only the young people of today knew what it was once like.
From this old guy ;-)

Disclaimer: 
The views and opinions expressed on this page are my own personal observations and in no way represent the views or opinions of the resort or any other person.

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