Report by Jeannette Hamilton
(Australian Cross Country News, Autumn 1999)
The 19th Masters World Cup in Cross Country Skiing was held in Grindelwald, Switzerland 1st to 6th March, 1999.
On arrival at Zurich Railway on Feb. 20 we were informed Grindelwald was closed, only access was by helicopter. Grindewald was cut off by an avalanche with no access by road or rail the first time in living memory. The best snow in 50 years may cause the Masters to be cancelled. We continued our journey and arrived as planned that day by helicopter from Interlaken. Due to the tragic avalanches in nearby Austraia The Governor of the Canton of Berne refused the transportation of any Masters skiers by helicopter from Interlaken from the Monday 22nd and so many of the 1200 expected competitors accumulated at Interlaken, including Stan and Janette McDonald.
Finally, after Dieter Heckmann, the WMA President met with the Governor, Masters competitors started arriving on the Thursday by helicopter including Stan and Janette together with Andrew and DelMarie Horsley. However many entrants cancelled and the event was postponed 2 days to give competitors time to arrive. The rail and road were closed for 9 days.
The course was reduced to 10km for everyone as it was felt unsafe to proceed into the forest at the foot of the Eiger. All events proceeded as programmed in 5 days instead of the usual 7 days. Skiing conditions were excellent with the snow temperature averaging -1º and the air temperature +3º to +5º. For the final event the 50k and 30k (older competitors) the original planned course was extended into the forest for a 15k loop and this provided the challenges that had been planned for the whole Championships.
The Masters World Cup is open to all Cross Country skiers over the age of 30 years with the choice of racing in classical or freestyle in 3 individual races in distances ranging from 10km to 50km, depending on the age. The cost is $US150 and during the week events include an Opening Ceremony when all 18 Nations march through the main street to a welcome party, awards ceremony every night and Banquet and Closing Ceremony. The Masters is planned 3 years ahead and rotates between Europe, Scandinavia and Northern America.
Future Masters Locations and Dates:
2000 Kiruna, Sweden. March 18 - 25; Kiruna celebrates 100 years in the year 2000, World Masters Cross Country Ski Association celebrates 20 years in the year 2000.
Kiruna is above the Arctic Circle; 90 mins. by plane from Stockholm; 500m. above sea level; dry air, humidity is low, March warming sun; temperatures from -5º to -10º. The ski Stadium is 2km from the city; ski tracks within walking distance of the city. Internet: www.lappland.se or www.kiruna.se.
The Vasaloppet is scheduled for March 5th and the Birkebeiner for March 18. The Womens 15k and older competitors commences on Sunday March 19. The men 30 59 is on March 20
2001 - Mariazelle, Austria. In the area of Styria. February 28 to March 9. Nearest Airports Vienna, Graz, Linz; Internet: www.mariazell.at ; E-Mail: email@example.com
2002 - Quebec, Canada. Probably Feb. 24 to March 3, if dates do not conflict with Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics. Competition site is "Centre Myriam-Bedard". Located on the Canadian Forces Base at Valcartier at an elevation of 160 metres above sea level. Average temperature is -4º for February. Internet: http://www.quebec-region.cuq.qc.ca
Results from Grindewald: http://www.grindewald.ch/events/default.htm
Results from Grindewald: http://www.grindelwald.ch/events/default.htm
Age Group Name Time Place % behind
M45 49 yrs. Andrew Horsley 1.12.20 34/34 66.20%
M65 69 yrs. Bill Hamilton 1.03.21 24/31 26.34%
M60 65 yrs. Stan McDonald 1.04.32 32/34 38.70%
M65 69 yrs. Bill Hamilton 38.30 30/38 27.48%
M60 65 yrs. Stan McDonald 37.13 25/28 32.50%
M65 69 yrs. Bill Hamilton 2.14.260 27/37 31.76%
M60 65 yrs. Stan McDonald 2.13.029 27/29 49.43%
National Director - World Masters
13 Minnamurra Road, Northbridge NSW 2063
ph 02 9958 7574
fax 02 9232 6166
XC is the official website of the Skiing Australia Cross Country Committee. It is produced with the assistance of the Australian Sports Commission and the Kangaroo Hoppet. The editor can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.