fredag 30 april 2010

HAVARD - winner of the derby at RVM-Nortern Light 2010!

Havard battled with RODO for first place in the Derby at Bjorkliden 17 april. The derby was not technically challenging but very, very fast. You had to trust your 6th sense for highspeed decision on this one.
The first 500 meters were interesting, as some of us followed a track made by the pist machine that had gone up to the top just before the start of the race. Fantastic to have newly prepared surface at the top….only problem was that some of us found ourselvess 50 meters outside the pist …the pist machine had taken a shortcut over moguls and stones…so the start was really scary!
In the end Havard Derby was first to cross the finishing line!

The price cermony was held together with the Swedish Alpine Championship, and Havard got a standing ovation (and Anja Pärsson was in the crowd!)

Real life experience tips to enhance your derby experience:
  1. Never trust a prepared path recently done by a pist machine, it is VERY possible that the pist machine has taken a shortcut from outside the pist to get to the top, and when you follow the nice prepared path you will suddenly find yourself OUTSIDE the pist going way to fast for rocks and moguls…
  2. If you see someone falling in front of you, do NOT change you initial path too soon. If you react too quickly to the things in front of you it is a good chance that skiiers BEHIND you (they may not have seen the reason for you turning) will ski right into your back/head
  3. Always wear helmet AND backprotection!
  4. If you slide and fall, try to fall on different sides avery time…it is the getting up from lying down that kills your muscles and puts a lot of strain on the upper body rotation muscles connected to your ribs.
  5. Do not forget to breath….and only concentrate to breath OUT…the breathing in will come naturally. When it is going really fast …breath out like crazy! It will limit the tension in the body and you will not hold your breath or hyperventilate…
  6. The more afraid you are, the more you try to stop the speed by turning and breaking, but this gets you tired real quickly. A paradox again: the more you relax and the more speed you’ve got (up to a certain limit of control), the easier it is on the legs!
  7. If there are icy spots on the way down: if you are afraid, you tend to raise your body “away from the ground”, and what happen of course is that you take away all power of gripping into the ice, and you are in real trouble! When it is icy, the best thing to do is to just race straight forward, looking for a spot far away where you can eventually make a slowing-down-turn of some sort.
  8. Do not forget to enjoy the ride…laugh and smile!

Monoski Derby…from the highest top to the valley…as fast as possible!
A derby, or a “Chinese downhill”, is a race in which everybody starts at the same time from the highest possible place, and then race down to the lowest possible place in the valley!
The first derby was held in 1985 in Vars in the Southern Alps. Everybody
raced down off-piste simultaneously. The Chamonix derby at Grands Montets became mythical for its extreme off-pist area and moguls, with a total height difference top-bottom of more than 2000 meters!

The famous derby in Chamonix
The derby-format in Chamonix was that 3 riders formed a team. In a team, the members naturally pushed each other to go faster than ever, and the crashes were awesome. During the competion the medics and the security controlled and monitored the dangers, but many did practice-runs outside of the competitions and the full-speed-no-turning-mentality eventually caused the death of an innocent skier in the slopes. The Chamonix derby was banned after the tragic accident.
Alain Revel formed a Monoski-team that made everybody hold their breath. Couloir Philippe, at the mid-station at Grands Montets was a famous extreme skiers test run, in which have fallen and broken their necks. Team Revel took Couloir Philippe in just a few turns, leaving the other teams long behind in the ordinary pist. The time from to bottom for Team Alain Revel, is one of the fastest ever!

Derby in France, Sweden and Norway
Today there is an ongoing derby circuit in France, and at every monoski meeting the main event is the derby. Either you can have a free-route Derby, in which you are free to take any pist, off-pist or mogul way to get down, or you have a predefined derby route that you must follow. The pre-set route is off-course the safest, because the responsible behind the competition can estimate the speed and the problems the mono-riders will have to affront, and usually you do not want to lead the group into a tough stretch of moguls in the end of the derby when there is no power left in the legs, only iron will and determination to fulfill the course!