NZOLA..........Naseby Ice Luge

New Zealand Olympic Luge Association, Ice Track: Naseby

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The boys are back in town!

Posted by lugenz on February 10, 2011 at 11:43 AM Comments comments (2)

Andrew Scott, Josh Steele, Matheson Hill and Tyler Cathro-Carson, along with manager Jock Scott are home from their two weeks of training in Whistler/Canada. Coach Guntis Rekis has flown on to Lake Placid/USA to spend two weeks with the Australian Team. Our team had 8 days of sliding and 50 runs each. They spent the first part of their time starting from curve 11 on the 16 curve, 1,374 metre long track and then progressed up to curve 6, around 950 meters up the track. For the record, and to give you an idea of the successful step up the boys made from the Naseby Track and its top speed of around 60kph, the boys each attained maximum speeds of: Tyler 124kph, Matheson 121.5kph, Josh 118.5kph and Andrew 112.6kph. Guntis says they all luged really well, testament to both themselves and the Naseby Track. The trip was made possible because of huge support from the International Luge Federation, families and friends (an amazing job of fund raising!), Luge Canada, the team at the Whistler Sliding Centre, Uvex, Adidas and Latvia Luge. Thanks also to Jock (Manager) and Guntis (Coach) for taking such good care of the boys while they were away. On behalf of NZ Olympic Luge and the team, thanks to everyone who has contributed to this wonderful experience.


Whistler Balckcomb Gondola

Posted by lugenz on February 4, 2011 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Spanning the distance between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, the new world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is a breathtaking, 4.4-kilometre journey to infinite possibilities. Redefining the Whistler experience by creating limitless new ways to get up-close-and-personal with the mountains, this engineering marvel breaks three world records. 

  • Longest unsupported span of 3.024 kilometres
  • Highest lift of its kind at 436 metres above the valley floor
  • Completes the longest continuous lift system on the globe


Week 2 - we go higher and faster

Posted by lugenz on February 4, 2011 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

For this week’s training the boys have moved up from the Maple Leaf start (curve 11) to the Novice start (curve 6). It is a big step up with a significant speed increase which is trying them out but it is another wonderful opportunity for them.


Some quotes from the boys:


"I am starting to re-gain my confidence on the track. I was just getting the hang of going from Maple Leaf when we moved up to the Novice start but now I am a lot happier because the ice is slower so I don’t have to think about the speed I am going and I can start to think about getting the corners sorted."


"The track is a lot faster from novice. While I find it harder to take the corners it is still a lot of fun. It’s a pain that our time here has gone so fast so I hope I have got the corners better tomorrow and I hope that I can go from Novice without braking as it is quite a bit quicker."


"Hello from Canada. We’re now going from the Novice start and hitting 120kph but I still want to go faster. Tomorrow I hope to be pulling hard and paddling. I think this style of luge, with more speed, is just amazing. I’ve loved every second of this experience and I hope I can have a chance to take this further."


Two days off and sightseeing

Posted by lugenz on February 4, 2011 at 3:19 PM Comments comments (0)

The Whistler track is closed on Monday and Tuesdays so the team enjoyed 2 days of sightseeing and relaxing in Vancouver (Monday) and Whistler (Tuesday). In Whistler they took an incredible Gondola trip up the Whistler ski area and across the Peak 2 Peak Gondola to the Blackcomb ski area and beck down. It was an awesome day for all and probably the best day of weather. Although it started with a -15 frost it was brilliantly sunny all day. The boys experienced the tube park at Whistler and thought tubes might do well in Naseby.


From Coach

Posted by lugenz on February 2, 2011 at 3:33 AM Comments comments (0)

Guntis reports he is very glad that boys have made good progress. He is very content with the past week's training and Sunday night’s competition results. He said after one week together it is more easy working, because the boys are getting to know each other, and everyone understands that there is actually a lot of team work in luge. The boys are feeling more comfortable with what is expected of them and are starting to understand the regime of an athlete.


Guntis said says "Yesterday was competition and I saw that boys was happy about their results. Week was so long, but result was very, very good. We’ll see what will be next, because we have plan go more up and start sliding from 6 corner (now from 11). Now we have two days holiday and I hope that this will give more energy, then after can start again sliding session and learn much more.”


The team have been enjoying their two days off sightseeing in Vancouver and Whistler.

Latest Photos from Canada as well

Posted by lugenz on January 31, 2011 at 2:18 PM Comments comments (0)




More from the lads in Whistler

Posted by lugenz on January 31, 2011 at 2:11 PM Comments comments (0)

Following is a compilation of reports and quotes from the team over the last few days.


First week completed and what an experience it has been. Boys have put in a big week between training (running and gym work) and sliding down the track. All have made big improvements in technique under Guntis’ expert guidance and have become much more confident on a world class course. “These boys are just so lucky to have this opportunity the people here are so passionate about luge and their facilities, it makes it so much easier” says Jock Scott.


The boys also have opportunity to compete in a local club competition tonight (Sunday night). Each competitor takes two runs down the track the the slider with the two most similar times wins.

The next two days are non luging. A trip into Vancouver and sight-seeing about Whistler are on the cards. The week has been full of snow and down to minus 13. A brilliant week of clear weather lies ahead.


Josh Steele “Going good we all having a good time learning heaps each day starting to take the corners better, not as worried as was at the beginning.”


Tyler Cathro-Carson “Today we all broke the 100kph mark. We are really enjoying our time here. It’s such a beautiful place that we sometimes get distracted from why we here which is too learn. We have learned so much, the fear of speed and dying is gone we are now very comfortable and eager.”


Andrew Scott “It was a big step up using no brakes (i.e. not slowing the sled by dragging our feet) and you can definitely feel the difference in speed by the amount of pressure that pushes you onto the sled but the rush that you get from turning the corners and how fast you go is awesome. But all together I’m very excited about each day and the chance to break 100kph.”


Matheson Hill “Canada has been awesome and the track is a bit of a step up from the Naseby track going 80+ kph on our first run. No one has crashed yet and we have all learnt heaps. So far it has been a great experience.”


Ben Sanford & Katharine Eustace shows us it can be done!

Posted by lugenz on January 29, 2011 at 6:01 PM Comments comments (0)



Earlier this week New Zealand winter Olympian Ben Sandford secured New Zealand's first podium finish in a World Cup skeleton event. Sandford was third in the latest World Cup skeleton bob race held in St Moritz, Switzerland. He finished 0.8 seconds behind world champion and Olympic silver medallist Martin Dukurs of Latvia. Ben’s performance is the first podium finish by a New Zealand winter sportsperson in an Olympic quality field since slalom skier Claudia Riegler finished third in a World Cup event in 2002. Not unsurprisingly Sandford said he was “over the moon” at his performance. 


But wait there's more!


In the womans event in St Moritz, Wanka based skelton rider Katharine Eustace came in 6th! In skeleton that's a poduim performance.




Inspirational performances guys.


Footnote: Katharines web site is

Up-Date from Whistler

Posted by lugenz on January 27, 2011 at 4:42 PM Comments comments (0)

Our intrepid travellers are safely in settled into Whistler having left the heat of Central Otago for the Great White North (a.k.a Canada) where it's chilly and there's about a metre of snow on the ground. After a couple of days of settling in which included walking the track and fitting their new or 2nd hand sleds, training suits, helmets and booties the boys had their first two training sessions yesterday. All was good with the boys going from the Maple Leaf start above curve 11 (named Shiver) which is the lowest of the 5 luge starts on the 16 curve 1,374 metre track. Reports were that "its awsome, the track is a bit of a step up from the naseby track going 80+ km on our first run, no one has crashed yet and we have all learnt heaps.[Up-Dated: Thursday 27th January] 




NZ Luge Team off to Canada

Posted by lugenz on January 27, 2011 at 4:22 PM Comments comments (0)

Four “graduates” from the Naseby Luge Track have been selected to travel to Canada leaving on 23 January for two weeks of training on the Whistler Luge Track, site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The four are Tyler Cathro-Carson, age 17 of Timaru, Matheson Hill, age 15 of Dunedin, Andrew Scott, age 14 of Kyeburn, Maniototo and Josh Steele, age 14 also of Kyeburn, Maniototo. They will be accompanied by Guntis and Jock Scott (mental aged 21, liver age 85)  The athletes have been selected for this trip based on a number of criteria, including their performance in competitions held at Naseby during the winter of 2010 and the prospects of them being able to compete in international competitions within the next couple of years. Training on the Whistler Track will give them the opportunity to take their luge to the next level and learn techniques they can bring back to Naseby. This also shows other athletes that exciting opportunities exist to progress from what is becoming a well established local sport in Central Otago. This trip is as important for the development of the Naseby luge programme as it is for the athletes involved and we hope to repeat it next year. The athletes are receiving some support from the FIL and have, together with their families and friends, done an amazing job of fund raising for the trip. This has included selling raffles and firewood, securing grants and sponsorships etc. Thanks to all those who have supported them.