Teenage skiing sensation Dean Travers is officially the fastest in the world in Downhill and Super G, the first time anyone in the Caribbean has reached this pinnacle.
Very strong late season finishes in senior races at Telluride, Park City and Vail and two excellent runs in the Downhill and Super G at Mount Bachelor in Oregon in April catapulted Travers to the top of the International Ski Federation rankings for his age group in Downhill and Super G two of the four Alpine disciplines.
His mother MaryAnne Travers speaking from Dean’s winter training headquarters in Aspen, Colorado said: ”Everyone here is just amazed by these results. Dean has been the fastest 15-year-old in the US in Super G but he has now reached an entirely new level.”
The results are all the more remarkable because Dean – younger brother of Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics rep Dow Travers – had to recover from a bad injury early season which kept him out for six weeks. As a result when it was time to race he had no start points.
” We decided to ignore the junior races favoured by the European junior skiers and entered Dean in the late season senior races just to gain experience,” said Mrs Travers. “This was a big challenge for him because he had start positions in the 90s, inevitably on rutted and soft courses.
“It also meant he had to race adults including the senior European racers at US colleges. But he started to surprise everyone with some tremendous finishes in the top 20 and then just got faster and faster.”
In some races the youngster closed to within just a second or two of the winner which meant meaningful points on the FIS system and he is now ranked ahead of the Austrian and Swiss racers of his age as well as the North Americans.
In one sensational Giant Slalom run in Park City Travers beat the entire senior field. As a result of the Mt Bachelor Downhills he moved from being ranked as the 240th in his age group in Downhill to first, to add to his No.1 world ranking in Super G.
Fearless Travers has been clocked at over 70mph in the Downhill. He attributes his success to his coach, former World Cup and Olympic racer Jake Zamansky and to his strength coach Ray Cook.
“Thanks to my coach and trainer I am very happy with the way the season ended,” he said. “I am pleased that I have been able to build on my gold medal in the Super G at Whistler Cup last season and the Downhill ranking the best. It doesn’t matter to me how steep or icy the course is, in fact the steeper the better. I like to accelerate on the steeps.”
Coach Zamansky won’t change the approach. “Next season we will continue to race Dean against the seniors. He has certainly surprised a lot of more experienced competitors already. These FIS rankings in these two disciplines are a great indication of potential so we are very encouraged. This could turn out to be something special.”
Travers always races in Cayman colours and his custom stingray and turtle helmet. He added: “Next season I should rank with the top seeds in Downhill and Super G. This means I will start on clean, harder courses which should be a second or two faster.
“Some of these late season courses in soft snow have been very difficult. For now though after I catch up on my homework. I’m looking forward to a rest on the beach at Rum Point before I head to New Zealand for more training in July.”