Mahurangi skier eyes national titles

Mahurangi skier eyes national titles

A time-lapse sequence shows Joseph Farnsworth as he prepares to face fierce competition as a 16 year old in the open grade.
Ben Donaldson

Despite the lack of snow in Warkworth, Mahurangi College student Joseph Farnsworth managed three podium finishes in skiing competitions last year.

Now aged 16, Joseph has been out on the snow since he was four, taking lessons from his father Adrian who is an ex-Olympic ski coach.

Joseph’s competitive skiing life began at Kings Prep School, where he joined the B team in Year 7, which came third in the intermediate schools competition that year.

During his two years at Kings, Joseph trained with the team once a week at Snow Planet. He later moved to Auckland Grammar and competed in their B team.

Joseph now lives with his mother in Warkworth and attends Mahurangi College where there is no ski team, but he continues to train weekly with the Northern Snow Circus Club, where his Dad is a coach.

This winter, Joseph will train at Mount Ruapehu every weekend, as well as taking part in week-long ski trips to places such as Mount Hutt during school holidays.

In 2014, he entered five races in the nationals at Coronet Peak but crashed in three of them.

“I lost a lot of confidence, but Dad always kept me driven,” he says.

Last year proved a far more successful season for Joseph, who won the North Island Champs and came second in two national races in the U18 age category.

In one national race, he crossed the line first but was disqualified due to technicalities.

This winter he is looking to hit the slopes again in the U18 North Island Champs, as well as competing in the Tech Series open age races.

The rush from going really fast is what Joseph loves about skiing.

“You’re always trying to beat your previous time,” he says.

Adrian says that Joseph needs to improve his fitness level moving forward to the open grade but is competing well considering he doesn’t travel overseas during the off-season.

“It’s not a sport dominated by youth either,” Adrian says. “Most skiers peak during their late twenties.”

Adrian says that as Joseph progresses he may need to look at going overseas.

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