Now it’s Joe’s Cafe?

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France-bound Queenstown ski ace Tim Cafe is aiming for a top-30 spot at next February’s world championships.

Cafe, 21, is buoyant after “by far my best year in skiing yet”.

So what’s the secret to your success? “I feel like I am a lot more level-headed on race day now.”

In January he notched two top-20 finishes in NorAm races in the US. He then picked up two titles at the national champs at Queenstown’s Coronet Peak and won the overall title at the Australia-New Zealand Cup series at Canterbury’s Mt Hutt – that means he can start 31st in any Europa Cup, NorAm Cup or World Cup event this northern season.

“It’s pretty sweet – in the Europa Cup on my points [otherwise] I might be starting in the 90s or even 100 out of 140 racers out of the blocks – the course just deteriorates for every person.”

He’ll be based this northern winter in France, training with national champions from Luxem­bourg and Monaco, racing Europa Cup and probably his first World Cup event, and maybe finishing his four and a half months abroad in the United States.

He’ll also be attending his first world champs, which are in France close to his training base: “It’s going to be almost a home race.”

“I’d love to be able to shoot for a top-30 at world champs in giant slalom, and I think it’s realistic.”

The champs are also a major stepping stone for his ambition to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, Canada.

For the first time since 2005 Cafe won’t be travelling as a national team member after funding from Ski Racing NZ’s largest source, Dunedin pokie trust Caversham Foundation, didn’t come through in time.

That funding’s now been received, which means the national team will reconvene next May.

There will be a send-off function for Cafe at Queenstown’s Joe’s Garage tonight.

Joe’s will have a specific item on their menu for the next two years that will contribute cash to assist Cafe’s Winter Olympics build-up.