International teams are back

Welcome back: Coronet Peak ski area manager Nigel Kerr is pumped for the return of international ski racing teams

For the first time in three years, international ski racing teams are inbound to Queenstown.

Coronet Peak ski area manager Nigel Kerr says the United States’ women’s development
team will arrive in the resort next week — they’ll be the first of 11 international teams training here over the next two months.

Kerr says the Coronet crew’s been busy preparing the slopes for some top-level training.

‘‘There’s a lot of snowmaking effort that goes in there, and a lot of grooming follow-up.

‘‘It’s not, ‘let’s just get it ready this week’, it’s sort of something you start at the very start of the season and work towards preparing,’’ he says.

‘‘Without a doubt we’ve got a really good race training hill over there at Rocky Gully, to an international level, and hosting them — well, it’s good business for Heidi’s [Hut], it’s good business for the skifield, and it certainly adds to the vibe that we get over there.”

And, the teams’ arrivals benefit young, local ski racers as well.

‘‘Up-and-coming kids are racing against top-calibre world athletes, that helps them reduce
their points, puts them in a better place to then go overseas and continue their season, and they can improve their start positions in international ski racing, and this is really important.’’

The US women will start training this coming Monday — team’s training areas on the hill
will be restricted to the public, mostly from early morning till about 11am.

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