Thursday, 2 March: SAS Racing duo Stian Schjetlein and Emma-Nellie Ortendahl kick-started their season last month with some intensive training sessions and testing on Lake Havesu in Arizona.


Newly crowned world champion Ortendahl put a great deal of her success in 2016 down to an improved fitness regime [aside from her machine] so it is no surprise that the duo were laying the foundations for the season ahead with more of the same “I was in the USA for 10 days, mainly to take advantage for a training camp in a warmer and friendlier climate, but also to help Emma-Nellie with some testing on her new bike,” said Schjetlein. “Emma-Nellie arrived in the USA a few days before me but did not stay as long and I also invited Ulrik Berntsen. We had a great week with lots of testing on all kinds of different bikes, including the brand new Kawasaki SX-R 1500F. All in all we had a great trip with a lot of good training that we could not have pulled off from home.


“Before that I went to Spain with the Norwegian National Team for a purely physical training camp without jetskis. I was with Daniel Andersen and Ulrik [Berntsen]. It was brutal, a week with over 26 training sessions.”


Schjetlein enjoyed his best season on the tour last year finishing fourth overall, taking his first pole position, finishing on the podium in Spain and enjoying five top-three finishes, but is still looking for that first win since his brief debut in 2014.


He revealed that Emma-Nellie is planning to challenge her male peers in the European Championship by competing in both men and ladies Ski GP1 and that she may well have a new and hopefully faster ski to compete against them. The pair is also planning to have a back-up ski on the world tour this year to avoid the issues they faced in Liuzhou. “As for my ride, it will remain the same as last year. I will hopefully be able to improve a little on the engine performance and will be bringing a new mechanic on to the team.”


(Photo: Stian and Emma-Nellie – Ken Gallagher)