Sled dog Kazak tows cross-country skier Larry Nichvolodov
along John Wilson Ocean Dr. Ski Dogs New Zealand wants the
DCC to prevent any vehicular access to the road, so it can
use it as a dry-land training spot for sled-dog
Sled dogs and skiers could become a regular feature of
John Wilson Ocean Dr in Dunedin if one submitter to the Dunedin
City Council's annual plan/long-term planning process gets his
Larry Nichvolodov, from Ski Dogs New Zealand, told
councillors the closed section of the drive was ideal for
dry-land training for Nordic-style cross-country sled-dog
In fact, the 1.3km section of road was used for dry-land
cross-country ski training in preparation for the 2011 IFSS
World Championships held in Norway last March, he said.
Nordic style skiers around the world did dry-land training,
as well as snow training. Even in Nordic countries skiers
struggled to find long flat areas for dry-training.
Ski Dogs NZ would be happy to pay up to $10,000 to seal a
1.5m-wide 600m section of the roughest parts of the road
using a "slurry seal" if the council would agree to allow it
to be used for practice.
It would be a sports training facility unique in New Zealand
and would be used by several Dunedin-based cross-country
skiers, other New Zealand skiers, and international skiers
coming to train in the northern hemisphere off-season.
For use as a practice venue, vehicles would have to be kept
off John Wilson Ocean Dr.
Council staff said the council had agreed to restricted
vehicle access along the road once resurfacing was completed
and new markings were set out to provide a separate
pedestrian/cycle lane on the road's seaward side.
That was in the long-term plan, to be completed in 2012-13,
but was to be confirmed against other priorities through the
present budget review process.
Council staff would contact Mr Nichvolodov to see if any
agreements could be reached for using the road for restricted
periods for continued practice use, and discuss the
resurfacing funding offer.