Changing and improving skiing can be an incredibly tedious affair until it just clicks. With my GS skiing I'm currently in the frustrating transition period. Some runs I can keep the clean ski and therefore the speed while being aggressive and other runs I'm charging so much that I forget the technique and end up scuffing the top of my turn. These past couple weeks of solid GS training and racing have been great for me as I've consolidated the feeling I'm aiming for and can now achieve the correct technique in more and more of the run. The first set of races in Pozza di Fassa, Italy held some good skiing on the second day (the first day was cancelled due to the wet snow-fall) with the challenging steep section of the course. This lead straight into the mixed bag that was the Leogang races at our base village in Austria. The first day had me skiing the best I have in Europe this season while the second day held a few too many mistakes for the flatter piste. After a travel day we landed up in Bormio, Italy for some NJR races at the near by Santa Caterina. I skied reasonably well the first day and came into 2nd scoring my first European FIS podium! We gained 7 good pointed skiers the second day which was good for points but unfortunately in my first run I had fewer good turns. The final day of these races consisted of two Super G's. After 10 racers they decided that heading off a roll in the direction of a pylon and some B-netting wasn't all that safe so reset and started again. I could definitely have been more confident for the super g's but considering I haven't trained it since the beginning of October it turned out alright.
We arrived back in Leogang for a weeks training before a four day break. We were lucky enough to pop over and watch the Men's 2nd run of the Kitzbuhel World Cup Slalom on our day off. It was an epic race and awesome to see Mattias Hargin finally win his first World Cup! He smashed that race and deserved to take the gold.
For the first time this season, we were training in Zell am See. Its a great piste and we got a couple solid days of GS followed by two days of Slalom. Before our last day of training we were invited to compete in the local Zell am See night race. A fun wee race that started on a 3 metre ramp and shot down onto the snow-covered street. It lasted all of 12 seconds and was all about how well you could skate through the 16 gate course. The atmosphere for this little race was more intense than any race I've ever competed in. People were taking photos of us and going crazy when a new skier took the lead. I even had a Father ask me if he could take a photo of me with his two wee children! You needed to be top 5 to qualify for second run and I managed to achieve that out of the tough field of eight girls. I ended up fourth behind team-mate Alice who was 2nd equal. My coach, Marc, cruised into the qualifying round and crushed the next run, taking home the gold trophy. It was a fun and surprisingly festive night to round things up before our break. We'll be back into training on the 3rd of Febuary for a few days before heading to some more races.