Fischer Sports CEO Franz Föttinger und Reinfreid Herbst (AUT) in Sochi


He has been using the equipment from the Austrian family-owned company Fischer Sports now for two seasons. And he has just extended the contract with his equipment sponsor. In this interview, Reinfried Herbst shares with us his goals for the next season and talks about how he as a "seasoned racer" aims to stand the pace with his younger counterparts on the ski circuit:
You have been a member of the Fischer racing family since the 2012/2013 season and have just signed a new two-year contract with the Austrian family-owned company.What motivated you to do this?
Equipment plays a huge role these days on the ski circuit and seeing as I feel as if the service and support I get from Fischer is the best, there was no reason for me to even consider a change in this respect. I also feel extremely well looked after by Siegfried Voglreiter and my service man Manfred Brunner.
You recently clinched your second Austrian championship title which was a great way to end the season.How happy are you with the 13/14 season?
This season really stretched me to the limit and beyond. In terms of how I skied I'm actually quite happy with how the season went. But in terms of results I didn't even come anywhere close to my expectations. There were a number of reasons for this: there were times when I really pushed myself too much, like at the Olympic Games in Sochi, for example, or the Night Race in Schladming, where I took too many risks in the last gates. And then there were times when luck certainly wasn't on my side. I was within reach of achieving top results, but the saying "Once it works, it works," applied in reverse to me. The Austrian championship title did make up for things though. All in all I have to say that top 13 in seven out of nine World Cup races and 14th place in the Slalom World Cup – which means the world's top 15 and third best Austrian – despite my results not being those I was hoping for, is encouraging for the future.
Alpine skiing fans can look forward to Ski World Championships again in the upcoming season in Vail/Beaver Creek (USA).What are your goals for 14/15?
That's quite clear. To start off with a positive and successful run and turn my ability into results. If that happens then it can also be an awesome season for me with podiums.
You recently moved into your new house in Salzburg – how important is time off for you and, above all, time spent with your family?
My home environment and my family give me a huge amount of support. Especially when things are not running smoothly, it helps a lot to come to terms with a poor result.
At 35 years old you rank among the more "experienced" Slalom racers. How do you manage to keep up with the young ones?
You do of course notice from time to time that training sessions and races take more of a toll on your bones than they used to. But this is where my experience comes in and I can plan the training sessions better so that I can give everything on race day. My therapists and alternative practitioners play an important role here, too, of course.
When one season ends, another begins.What are your plans for the coming months?
I'll be putting my Fischer skis away for now until I take them out again in July. After this season it will be important for me to take my mind off skiing for a while so I'm hungry again for the training in summer and then on the snow. I'll try to put a decent plan together in April so I am well prepared for the season.
Fischer Sports celebrates its 90th anniversary this year.Is there anything you would like to say to your ski company?
First of all I would like to congratulate the Fischer family on having made the company what it is today and over such a long period. I wish for the Fischer company that it can realise its goals in the future and, for this, I hope of course that there will be a really good winter with plenty of snow. Then people will buy new equipment again and Fischer skis and boots will simply be a must.