Slopes prepared for US team

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

Coronet Peak ski area manager Nigel Kerr said the United States women’s development team would arrive in the resort next week.

It will be the first of 11 international teams training in the resort over the next two months.

Mr Kerr said Coronet staff had been busy preparing the slopes for 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."

The teams’ presence also benefitted 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 on Monday.



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