Race Wax (Grip): 2/3 layers of Holmenkol Cosmickick Yellow, covered by 1 layer Holmenkol Fluor 0
Date: January 26, 2002
Site: Mont-Orford, QC
Race: Continental Cup Final, 15k/10k Mass Start
Snow Temp: -10
This was the last race of the Continental Cup series, and also the last race of the Canadian National team selection races for the World Championships and World Under-23 Championships. It was a pretty important race, and it was to be a fun one, too. Mass start races are always more fun than individual start races, after the first harrowing kilometer of trying to avoid broken poles or mass pile-ups.
Our coaches, Pavol and John, had been playing with the wax since early in the morning. It was a funny for ski waxing conditions, one of those days where everyone is waxing warmer than the temperatures. There had been a few centimetres of light snow the night before, making everything fairly soft. The track was not completely set and hard, and there were many spots where it was pretty mushy. The snow was still fairly dry, but the air was humid, which often means that the snow is wetter or contains more humidity than it feels like. All of which, soft snow, new snow, and humidity, means waxing stickier than usual.
We never know what wax we ski on until after the race is over. We don't need to know. I was sent out on a pair of warm up skis which felt really nice, but could have used a touch more grip. I raced on softer skis. The grip was excellent, definitely the best grip I have had in a race all season. The rest of the team thought so as well. It didn't grab at all on the downhills, which was nice, and it let us stride up steeper uphills than most of the other guys. Karl and myself rode the Holmenkol wax to 21st and 22nd places, respectively.
In the end, we skiied on two (three for Karl - the lightweight) layers of Holmenkol Yellow, which as a suggested range of around 0. This was covered with one layer of Holmenkol Fluor 0, to try and keep the snow from grabbing and icing. It worked very well. Both of these waxes, however, seem to wax two degrees colder than they say: so subtract two degrees from the temperature to see if you should use the wax.
I'll remember this combination and suggest it for further use in similar race conditions.