Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another Nice Bump From Rolex


Dr. Michael Huber, Secretary General of the KSC and author of the book Chronicle of a Myth detailing the complete history of the Hahnenkammrennen, declared the 2009 HKR "one of the best in history".

As you can see from the above article, I played a part in that, as did the other 5 guys on my team, and I am mighty proud. Mighty proud. I'm beat up, and I know the other guys are too, but this technological tour de force was three years in the making, and what we accomplished was simply unprecedented. That the official press summary talks about our technology just as much as the racing is really something extraordinary, especially considering the racing was absolutely ferocious.

The HKR is The Super Bowl, and we made it better for the fans and for TV. We have raised the bar. Thanks to Cowper, Miguel, JimmyBob, Andryroo-san, and of course Ted, as well as Hermann, Manu, & Hans from KSC and Roman, Martin, and Albert from Alge for their logistical support.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Nice Bump from Rolex

A nice bump for us in the press today from Rolex. They really are great to work with, and we're certainly giving them their money's worth.

I've been living on DayQuil and Ibuprofin. Check out the enormous bags under my eyes in this photo. I've been hacking, limping, gimping, and wheezing my way through the week. I actually only feel a little bit crappy, but I look like I'm seconds from keeling over:

Link To Photo

Also notice, somewhat embarrassingly, that one of the most prominent features of the photograph is the enormous $70 Timex watch I'm wearing on my right wrist. Oooooops. But I don't own a Rolex and they haven't offered one, so that's the way it goes, sports fans.

Another cool pikkie in the Hahnenkamm News

And here's the article from the Hahnenkamm News:

Idle Hands Are The Devils's Workshop (Part 2)

My good friend JimmyBobJohnnyBoy Karnes is the hardware equivalent of me. Give him a soldering iron, some design software, and a few days, and he comes up with something like this brilliant (literally and figuratively) omnidirectional startflash.

He brought it to Kitzbühel in stealth mode. Dropped it on the desk and said "hey, give this a try".

Along with the RADAR speedometer on the video wall (see part 1), the Karnes startflashes have been the sensation of the 2009 Hahnenkamm.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Idle Hands Are The Devils's Workshop (Part 1)

Give a guy like me an AKI GS2 Graphics machine, a 70 sq meter video wall, and some time on my hands, and this is what I come up with. The fans are digging it, the KSC are digging it, even the athletes are digging it. Michael Walchhofer of the Austrian team even mentioned it in an interview yesterday, which I thought was cool.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Another Reason to Love the Kitzbüheler Ski Club

Gawd, these KSC guys are cool. Over the years, I've been involved behind the scenes at some of the biggest events in sport, but I've never seen anything quite like the KSC's avant garde approach to new ideas combined with their deep respect for their sport, their 100+ years of tradition, and their personal touch.

For decades, the much-hated FIS marketing geniuses have been tucking the athletes away behind increasing intrusive start facades. KSC and Audi have dramatically rejected that idea, throwing it back in FIS's face in jaw-dropping style.

As always, FIS will no doubt be unhappy about any change and will no doubt do their best to scuttle this. Last year, referee Guenther Hujara totally blew the call on moving the mens DH start 20 minutes before TV time. His reasons were "weather", but given his sad and contentious history with Kitzbühel going back to the early 90's (when he refused to set the course for a celebratory womens' race, thus scuttling the event), I suspect nefarious reasons. As with anything involving FIS, I automatically suspect corruption, incompetence, or bad faith in anything they do, but hey, that's just my opinion.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another Sighting of the Rare Alpine Skunk

@Steinkogel, 2290m, Mittersill, Austria.

Thanks to Hermann, Hansgeorg, and Sepp for an epic bluebird powder alpentour, a day which neither Andy, Ted, nor myself will ever forget. We climbed 4000 feet, signed the book, then carved up the powder all the way down to an alpine restaurant called Steineralm. Steineralm is only accessible via skins or snowshoes. We had beer, schnitzel, and Almdudler. Can you get any more Austrian than that? Then we climbed back up into Mittersill with full bellies, which was a challenge all its own.

Andrew and Ted really surprised me by how fit they are, Ted actually set the pace most of the way to the top. Hermann, age 63, kicked all of our asses once again. Hansgeorg is 67 and kept up every step of the way.

On the down side, I saw Michael H today outside the Rennbureau, and he looked sick about the weather forecast. Looks like either rain or snow through all three days of downhill training.

We watched the Wengen DH today on ORF at lunch. It was a beautiful day and an entertaining race to watch. Swiss Timing's TV graphics were hilariously bad. Their attempt to match our RADAR speedometer was so lame, the people in the bar were laughing at it. They put two speed traps in the S-Turns, one at the entrance and one at the exit. THAT's their technological leap forward.

My friend Steve N. took a nasty fall at S-Turns, taking out the gate with his face and shattering both poles. Lost both his skis and slid down into the finish area, face down. I felt a bit sick watching it. He seemed to be OK, but ORF cut away really fast, so I'm not sure he's not hurt. Ouch. I also felt bad for his Mom, who is a real sweetheart, as I know she was there and saw it on the video wall.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Tracking the Rare Alpine Skunk

These are the tracks of the rare Alpine Skunk, species Rodentius Alpinus LePew. These tracks were captured on film in the backcountry near Snowbasin, Utah, in January of '09.

If you come across this rarely seen, exotic creature in the wild, be careful....they are reclusive, indigenous to Hawai'i & Florida, rarely seen in public, and normally friendly but known on occasion to be hostile to humans.

They are known to exist on a diet of PowerBar Protein Plus bars and Propel Fitness Water. They are known to accept food from humans on occasion.