Well it has been a busy couple weeks but first of all there are a few people I'd like to thank. Firstly, XTM Performance who supply the team with really good gloves and ski socks. They arrived just in time as the day before I cracked up the knuckles of my old pair! One Square Meal for the box of OSM bars. And I want to say a huge thanks to Dave Stewart for kitting me out with a new ONE Studio race suit! I absolutely love it and am proud to wear a kiwi-made suit! Lucky for me the suit arrived in time for my first race at Cardrona. This GS was quite different to what we train as it was flat and soft but I skied pretty well and managed to secure 2nd place which was a good way to kick off racing this season!
Between the Cardy race and the series at Coronet Peak, my team mate, Nick Prebble, and I visited Queenstown Primary school as part of the Winter Games schools engagement program. We got to talk to them a bit about the Winter Games, what its like to be a ski racer etc. The Year 2's were a fantastic bunch of kids. They had some good questions and were all up for a game Nick and I threw together that involved a bit of slalom. It was awesome to see such enthusiasm. Check out more pics of it in Gallery under 'the wonderful world of people'.
We were met with an encompassing fog for the National GS champs at Coronet Peak on Sunday. It looked as though it would clear and it did... only after the first half of the girls had battled down the course. The fog is manageable, it is the ice in it that causes problems. It attaches onto your goggles making it neigh on impossible to see. Despite the visibility I skied into 3rd after the first run. Lo and behold the cloud drifted off as the boys raced their first run, then reinstalled as a snowy cloud for our second run. On the bright side the snowflakes were far easier to see through. I was determined to make the most of this opportunity and skied really well until the second to last gate which I took too straight, giving myself an interesting line which ended up in me crashing through the last gate... An unfortunate and gut-wrenching end but nevertheless there was another GS the following day. The weather picked itself up and was stunning for this, the Coronet Cup GS. First run I had some solid skiing, again placing 3rd after the first run. Second run was technically sound but lacked charge and I dropped back to 4th. This brought us into the Slalom section of the race series. Despite making several mistakes I managed to sneak in as the 3rd New Zealander for the SL National champs race. The last day of racing showed some improvements from the previous day which is good and amongst a tough field I placed a solid 9th. I've got some really positive things to take out of this series. Especially that what I'm doing in training is, for the most part, also being brought into races.
Although my National Champs experience was a bit of a roller coaster my team mates absolutely nailed it. Nick and Willis battling it out for the title in the GS with Adam not far behind. Willis smashed in an amazing second run to beat Nick to the National GS title and scoring PB points. He also won the second day of GS scoring another PB which takes his World ranking from 190 to 105 which is the best NZ male world ranking in 20 years! He also managed to pip Adam in the Slalom after another tight battle to take the National Slalom title as well! All three placing on the podium for both SL and GS national champ races. For more info on all that and to keep up with the team check out Ski Racing NZ's Facebook page.
A huge thanks to Coronet Peak for setting up a sweet race series. We now have a weeks training before heading over to Australia for the Perisher ANC's. I'm super excited for these as the last time I was in Aussie I was 2 so I haven't skied there before! Here's to a sweet rest of the season.