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.
Note: Coaches for each programme are subject to change.
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 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
Luca Valsecchi – FIS Coach
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.
Sophie Bissett – U16/14 Lead Coach
Sophie is a passionate skier from Scotland, 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.
Linus Mettler – U16
Linus grew up in a small village in the Swiss Alps. He's been skiing since he was little & it's his biggest passion! Linus was selected for the regional ski racing squad at age 14, training & competing successfully for three years. He then joined the National Ski Team East Switzerland & got to race in FIS events. After his raving career, he did an apprenticeship as a forestry worker, while also training to be a ski instructor. He's been working & training as a ski instructor for two years, is forerunning FIS ski races & has now decided to head to Cardrona, NZ. Linus can't wait to work with Kiwi ski race athletes!
Martina Müller – U14
Martina has been skiing since the age of 3. At around 8 years old she joined the local alpine skiing club in Engelberg. When she was 16 years old, Martina started skiing for the national ski team, Central Switzerland, which she did for 2 years. At the age of 18 she changed to freestyle skiing. During this time, she joined the ski gymnasium in Engelberg. Martina now works for the local ski club where she has been coaching (off & on snow) for 3 years now. In 2017 she started training as a ski coach.
Adam Piper – U14
Adam is from Scotland & has had a passion for skiing since the age of 3. He has raced for the British children ski team & also the Scottish national team all over the world. He is currently working towards his final level 4 certification as well as his ISIA. He is an experienced coach working with a number of race clubs over the years, holding his UKCP 2. He currently works for alpine training centre (ATC) in Scotland & has also been boot fitting with Alain Baxter for a number of years.
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.
Cyrill Cédric Widmer – U12
Cyrill grew up in the beautiful Swiss Alps, in the Berner Oberland Region. He's been skiing since before he could walk! He took part in his first ski race at just 4 years old.
He skied in FIS ski races for 4 years. After his ski career he started training as a ski coach. He works weekends in the Northern Hemisphere season with the regional ski team, & works as a salesman in one of the biggest sports shops in Switzerland during the week. Cyrill is vice president of the Schwanden Ski Club. He also enjoys mountain biking, hiking & traveling.
Klaus Egger – U10
Klaus started ski racing at the age of 5, & raced until he was 19 years old. In 2015, he completed his ski instructor training. Klaus worked as an assistant ski instructor in the Ulten Valley for three years, then progressed to an instructor, teaching kids & adults, looking after racing groups once a week. He worked in a sport shop in Kaprum, Austria this past winter as well as instruction. Klaus speaks German, Italian & English, & enjoys football, hiking, traveling, movies & catching up with friends.
Martina Wyss – U8
Martina was born in the Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland. Ski racing is her absolute passion! She was a professional ski racer for many years, racing= in the National Swiss Ski Team (NLZ Mitte). For the last two years, Martina has worked as a race coach for the regional junior team & is about to finishing her BBT licence on alpine & telemark skis (Swiss snow sport instructor).
Martina has an apprenticeship in commercial, hotel reception & ski school office work. She loves a lot of outdoor activities, like paragliding, climbing & surfing.
Kaisa Puttonen – U8
Kaisa comes from the winter wonderland of Finland where she put skis on for the first time at age of eight. Since then she's been wearing them almost all the time! She was ski racing actively at FIS level until the end of high school when she found a passion for teaching & coaching. She pursued her enthusiasm for sports by studying for a Bachelors degree in Sports & Science from Lapland University in 2013.
Kaisa has been coaching kids from eight to FIS age racers for the past nine years. During Northern Hemisphere seasons, she works for local ski club, GrIFK Alpine, as a Ski School Manager & a coach for U14 youngsters.
"Do things with passion or not at all & always smile on your face" :)
Thanks to Oakley for the support.
Tim grew up in Wellington, started skiing at the age of 3, & started racing at the age of 11. He did 7 back-to-back winters as an athlete for Cardrona Alpine Ski Team & World Ski Connection in Switzerland. He raced at FIS level until the end of secondary school. Tim is currently in his third year of a commerce degree at Otago University in Dunedin, studying Tourism & Marketing Management. He is now returning to Cardrona for his third season of race coaching.
Sam started ski racing at Mammoth Mountain when he was 6. From there he & his family moved back to New Zealand, & Sam continued ski racing at Cardrona until 2016. During his time at Cardrona he was training in NZ summers in Switzerland & across Europe with World Ski Connection, representing New Zealand in a number of international children's events including Topolino, Abetone, Scofia Loka, Val D'isere & Swiss National point races.
After starting FIS racing he had some encouraging results in New Zealand & Europe, placing 2nd in Under 21 & 5th in Open Men's Nationals at Coronet Peak. Unfortunately Sam had a severe spinal injury that put him out for the best part of two years. From there he has decided to focus on his university studies – he's now working towards a Bachelor of Commerce. Sam is really looking forward to being able to give back to the sport with CAST.