America's Cup teams are not alone in requiring urgent exemptions to enter New Zealand, with champion Kiwi skier Alice Robinson desperate for her US-based coaches to join her in Queenstown next month to help her prepare for the FIS Alpine World Cup season.
The 18-year-old, who won two of the six completed Giant Slalom races in a season cut short by Covid-19, is committed to spending the next few months on the South Island slopes, but may have to train without the assistance of her specialist coaches.
Usually Robinson would have had training camps in Europe on the glaciers last month, but due to travel restrictions and quarantine procedures in New Zealand, that's not practical.
So, Robinson's preparation when the ski fields open will be critical, but she faces the prospect of spending most of the winter without her two coaches – Italian-based Kiwi Chris Knight and American Jeff Fergus.
Knight is hoping to get to Queenstown for a month in September, but Fergus and fellow American Pepi Culver, who services Robinson's skis, can't get into the country due to the border closure.
"We have been working with Snow Sports NZ, but it sounds like at the moment there is nothing we can do because we don't bring some economic value to New Zealand, so they won't really budge on it," Fergus lamented.
"It's super frustrating for us because obviously we want to be with Alice and start preparing for the upcoming season. Our whole plan was to move her into some downhill and some Super G training but without Chris or myself being there it's pushing her speed development back into the season and maybe possibly even into next season."
Robinson's coaches believe Super G and downhill could well become the Kiwi sensation's strongest disciplines, but those plans to get her up to speed literally will have to be scaled back.
Most of Robinson's European rivals will be spending their summer high in the Alps training on glaciers, with access to their coaches, and Fergus feels that would give them an advantage.
Getting Robinson up to Europe for training was ruled out quickly.
"The issue of getting Alice up there is that currently she has to do the Government-mandated 14-day quarantine 14 when she returns back to New Zealand. What 18-year-old wants to go and stay in a hotel up in Auckland by themselves for two weeks?"
For now, Fergus and Knight are resorting to video calls with Robinson with the aim to get her in the best physical shape possible for what they think will be a condensed Alpine Skiing World Cup season.
"Last year Alice was able to take a few breaks to keep the batteries charged and fresh and now we're expecting that's not going to be the case this upcoming season, so it's important she's in tremendous physical condition so she can go the whole season without a break if need be," Fergus said.
Despite facing the prospect of having limited time with Robinson in the build-up to the FIS World Cup season, Fergus is confident the young Kiwi will be a strong contender to for the Giant Slalom World Cup crown.
"I think with Alice - how good of a skier she is and how she raced last year - that if we could get a solid four weeks of training before Solden (the season opening event in Austria) I feel pretty comfortable that we can get up to speed.
"The problem is we won't be able to get her Super G and downhill going which is going to push things back a little bit. We weren't going to be jamming it down her throat, she's still a GS skier first and it's just gradually going to push things back.
"But she's not 28 years old - being 18 she has a lot of time on her side."