Meet the CAST coaches! Our experienced ski race coaches come from all over the world to teach race at Cardrona, from the juniors all the way through to FIS level competitive athletes.
Adi Bernasconi – Head Coach & Programme Director
Adi is a Certified Ski Race Coach in Switzerland, with a total of 50 back-to-back winters in both Switzerland & New Zealand. Adi has spent many years on the Junior World Champs circuit coaching the best of New Zealand’s younger athletes, attending a variety of Regional & International events. He was also an Olympic coach in Salt Lake City (2002).
As Head Coach of the Cardrona Race Team, Adi has a unique ability to create team cohesion within a range of abilities & ages, & above all athletes & parents alike warm to his nature. The success of our team last season is a direct reflection of our coaching team & under Adi’s guidance both coaches & athletes are constantly learning new skills, discipline & of course instilling a passion for their sport.
Jonny Rice – FIS Lead Coach
Jonny calls Wanaka home but spends most his time on the road with his race athletes. He is stoked when his athletes succeed & achieve their goals. Jonny’s dream ski destination is St Anton, Austria. His memorable mountain moments are from the recent 2015 Northern season when he had athletes achieving amazing goals including winning National titles & Nor-Ams, making World Cup debuts & finishing top 30 in World Champs.
Jonny has a Bachelor degree in sport science & has previously been a competitive FIS ski racing athlete himself. He has vast amounts of coaching experience, including the Great Britain Women’s World Cup coach, 4 times World Championship coach & 8 times World Junior Championship Team Captain. Jonny loves the challenge that goes with coaching ski racing & he believes that physical, mental & technical preparation are the most important elements for an athlete’s development.
Thanks to: POW gloves, Rossignol
Dave Peer – FIS Coach
Dave calls Samnaun, Switzerland home & he is stoked on all things skiing! His dream ski destinations are Samnaun & Whistler. Arno del Curto (Swiss ice hockey coach) inspires Dave because he’s only happy if his team plays 100%. His most memorable mountain moment is beating Tim Wallace at the Dual-GS.
Daves educational background is Schneesportlehrer BBT from Switzerland. He loves coaching because he gets to help athletes progress & help them successfully achieve their goals. Dave thinks hard work & the right attitude are the most important elements for an athlete’s development.
Thanks to: HEAD, Reusch
Kerr McWilliam – U16/14
Kerr is from Aviemore in the central Highlands of Scotland. He likes single malt Scottish whiskey & nice cheese! Kerr likes to start his day off with some left & right on the groomers which makes him feel good on his skis. He loves bluebird days training GS on Gin & Rasberry & watching the kids skiing well makes for a rad day.
When Kerr is not on his race skis, he loves nothing more than to get into the park & getting on the jumps. Skiers that Kerr looks up to are the Aviemore locals Alain & Noel Baxter as they are both solid, technical skiers, & Didier Cuche for the length of time he spent racing at the top of the sport & in particular his 5 victories on the notorious Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbühel. Jon Olsson for his ability as not only a park skier, but as an alpine racer. Candide Thovex because he is a total boss skiing everything well from the park to big mountain & everything in between.
Kerr believes that to be a successful skier/athlete you have to be able to ski everything well, particularly during your younger years as a developing skier. Equally important is the off-snow activities; for Kerr he loves to skate, surf, ride his mountain bike, play squash, badminton & anything else he can get a shot at. At the end of the day, he believes you’ve gotta fall in love with skiing, the people & the lifestyle & always, always have fun.
Shout outs: Mum & Dad for their continued support, my siblings & friends, Faction skis, Cairngorm Ski Club, Cairngorm Mountain & SLA. Save the Snowbadger!
Huw Phillips – U12/10/8 Lead Coach
Huw was born in Cardiff, Wales & emigrated to Nelson, NZ in 2004 & became a NZ citizen in July 2008. After completing high school at Nelson College in 2011, Huw went to Courchevel & completed the BASI 1 & 2 qualifications as well as the French Test Technique Slalom Race. From there, he carried on progressing through the BASI system whilst teaching & training, completing his final module at BASI level 4, receiving the ISIA stamp, the Euro Mountain Security, UKCP 2 Alpine Race Coach & Eurotest. Huw has worked at Mt Baw Baw in Australia, Courchevel/Meribel in France & of course Cardrona Alpine Resort, NZ.
Alex Watson – U8
Alex is a teacher with Mt Aspiring College & previously was the Race Coordinator for Mt Hutt, where she grew up skiing. Her past 19 winters have been spent in the USA, Japan & Canada. Currently Alex has her NZSIA Level 3 Teach Instructors certification & NZSIA race, adaptive & freestyle certifications.
Sophie Bissett – U16/14 Lead Coach
Sophie is a passionate skier from NZ, having grown up on skis & travelling the world as an instructor & race coach. She is fluent in French & Spanish & is working to complete her final Level 4 certification as well as her ISIA stamp. Sophie comes from a strong racing background, having grown up training with Le Club Des Sports de Courchevel, & racing on an international level for both France & Scotland. She currently coaches for the Scottish race club ATC & for the International Schools race teams in Switzerland.
Jamie McWilliam – U12
Jamie is Scottish UKCP level 2 & BASI Level 2 skier with seven years of experience working with the Cairngorm Ski Club. He is currently the Head Coach for the club, running a year round club programme. He has raced until FIS level where he competed in both the Scottish & British national circuits. Jamie has recently completed a degree in Sport & Exercise Science & is now continuing on to do an Honours year.
Shout outs to Cairngorm Ski Club, SLA Scotland, Bank of Scotland Credit Services.
Sami Corne – U10
Sami was born in Sydney & comes from a strong skiing background. She was first put on skis at age 2 & has skied every year since. Currently based in Switzerland, Sami is going into her 14th winter season & has been working as a ski instructor all over the globe. Having grown up skiing with the Thredbo Race Club, she has now taken her ski career across the world, calling places such as Japan & the majority of Western Europe home. She is an avid skier who is dedicated to the development of others who share this passion & is looking forward to working another Southern Hemisphere winter.
Luca Valsecchi – U16/14
Luca has been skiing all of his life & it is his biggest passion. He grew up in Lenzerheide, one of Switzerland’s top ski resorts. Growing up, Luca was one of the top athletes in the local ski club – Lenzerheide Valbella. When he was 16yrs old Luca started skiing for the National Ski Team East Switzerland where he skied for 4 years. Luca now works for the local ski club where he has been coaching for 5 years now & has taken the position of technical leader last year. Luca dabbles in ski guiding & competing when not coaching for the local club.
Riccardo Simonet – U16/14
Riccardo started skiing when he was 3yrs old & at about 6yrs old he went into the local Alpine Skiing Cub in Lenzerheide. While studying at university, Riccardo found the time to start training as a ski instructor for the Swiss Snowsports School of Savognin where he worked for 3 seasons & also skied as part of the local Demo Team. Riccardo currently works for Lenzerheide & coaches athletes while skiing as part of the Rossignol Teaching Team.
Genevieve Montreuil – U10/U8
Genevieve has been skiing since the age of 3, & at the age of 8 she joined the Stoneham Competitive Ski Club until the age of 17. Following that Genevieve coached for 5 years & during those years gained a Level 2 Certified Coach with the Canadian Ski Coach Federation. As a coach in a competitive ski club she has a large amount of experience in course setting & she has her Level 2 as a race official with Alpine Canada. Genevieve also works as a freelance graphic designer & helps our Cardrona Marketing team!