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Racer Of The Fortnight – USA Skier Katelin Wendt

American F1 Ladies Ski Racer Katelin Wendt aged 24yrs from Huntington Beach California is preparing for two major events in 2011 Catalina & the World Championships. We put Katelin in the hot seat for this edition of Ski Racer Of The Fortnight.

At what age did you start to ski

  I learned to ski at the age of 7 on Lake Arrowhead at the McKenzie water ski school. Justin Frank was my instructor for years. I did my first race on double skis when I was 8, with Justin skiing next to me, my dad driving. Justin taught me how to ski on a single ski shortly after that, and I did my first race on a single ski up at Arrowhead with my dad driving and Justin observing. I was hooked from then on.

What class do you compete in?

My dad Scott Wendt is and always has been my driver. He Also drives for my younger brother Trevor in juniors. I love having my dad drive, and I think Trevor and I are both very priviledged to be able to have him drive us in the races.

My dad is the most strategic and awesome driver I have ever skied behind. He knows trevor and I so well and really enjoys pulling us I think mostly because he cant stand having us ski behind anyone else! I just recently got a new observer, Jared Cooper. Jared has been a great observer , although it could have been a bad decision on my part as he stalks my facebook to make sure im not at the bar, and I have a feeling he might put a stop to my pre-race day beer drinking. haha!

How you prepare for each race?

Its hard in the winter to prepare for races as we dont do much skiing. But I try to get to the gym 4-6 times a week.  I do A lot of stairs, a lot of lunges and jumping squats. I feel like those really target the right muscles that we use in ski racing. During the summer we go to lake Arrowhead and that allows us to ski a lot. and the water gets really rough up there on weekends, so its great training. plus the altitude really gets your cardio working. My favorite and most intense training is on this set of stairs that is across from my house in Arrowhead. the stairs are about a half mile away, so I like to run to the stairs, and then I try and run the stairs 10-20 times depending on how good of shape I am in. it doesnt sound like much, but the stairs go on FOREVER.
when it comes to race day, I really like to keep things mellow. I prefer to socialize, keep my mind off things and just have a good time so I don’t psych myself out. I was tell World Champion Kim Lumley that I think someday my theory of carb loading/hydrating before a race with a couple beers is going to catch on soon! She did not agree. haha.

 Tell us about your achievements so far and what you plan in the future

In 2003 I won the world championships in the junior girls category. that was huge for me. Last year in belgium I was second place in womens open, which was pretty awesome as those were 5 (yes, the women had to race 5 times) of the most difficult races I have ever skied.
probably one of my favorite moments was in 2009  when I finished 8th place overall in the catalina ski race. I am the third fastest woman to every ski it, and one of four to ever break the hour. of course Kim Lumley had to burst my bubble and smash the record by 5 minutes love ya kim 🙂 but I was really happy about it.
This year I am really focusing on Catalina and the Worlds. I have skied catalina 9 times so it would be great to be able to park on that victory dock one of these days! that race has always been a huge challenge for me, but i think one of these days ill get it right. its funny how you can ski a thousand practice runs and everything goes great, and then race day arrives and its a whole different experience. I dont think i ever get really nervous for a race except for that one. As for the worlds this year, i think my observer will have whipped my butt into pretty good shape by then so hopefully we can get 4 great days of racing and see what we can do.

Who are the biggest influences in your skiing career

There have been a lot of influences in my life when it comes to ski racing.  My uncle Craig Wendt broke the water ski speed record at 128.6 MPH IN 1979 so that is always something that has made me strive to be better. If it weren’t for Lori Dunsmore I wouldnt ever been able to win the Junior World Champion title in 2003. She taught me so much about training and that if you work hard, you get to party later. I was always motivational to walk into her house after a hill climb, a bike ride, and 3 hours of skiing on trick skis (her yelling as us all the while) and seeing her 6 checkered flags from winning the catalina ski race. She really is a legend in the sport.

Published By Karen Brooks

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