2011 marked the 40th running of the KAC Cross-country Classic (known for many years as the Martini).
On 10 August 2011, more than 200 skiers set off from Perisher Valley to make the trip to Charlotte Pass, with the classical skiers ahead of the freestyle skiers. Although snow conditions were marginal, with wet thin snow barely covering some parts of the course, the weather was kinder than usual, with little wind and good visibility, and the track was quite fast.
Line honours went to the classical skiers, with Warren McCourt (37:18), Camille Melvey and David Hislop coming in ahead of the first freestyle skiers, Ben Sim (25:35) and Anthony Evans.
The Geoff Nott Trophy (overall handicap winner) went to master waxer Bob Cranage and the Carl Bongers Shield (new entrant handicap winner) was won by Doris Trueman, a former Olympic skier from Great Britain, now living in Tasmania. KAC took out the Club Trophy for the most finalists, with 24 finishers.
For three skiers, Ross Martin, Ian Meakin and Ken Baxter, this was to have been their 40th race, and KAC commissioned commemorative bibs to celebrate their feat. Unfortunately, Ross, who had proposed the running of this race to the club in 1972, was unable to compete. He had, however, put in his entry before the cycling accident that led to his death just weeks before the race. The race is still organised along the lines he suggested in 1972 and his name will always be associated with this popular event.
Congratulations to Ian Meakin and Ken Baxter, who both notched up their 40th race. Sweep Robin Gibb of the Wangaratta Ski Club, who was suitably kitted out in antique style for this historic event, had great difficulty maintaining his designated position at the rear of the field. In fact he had plenty of time to stop and chat and pose for photographs along the way, as shown below.