Homeward-bound and I am absolutely buzzing! The last four days have been an absolute whirlwind. The new Ambition kit arrived four days ago, looking very white and pristine! We decided it had a very St Moritz-y look about it so armed with this new look we headed over there for a GS and a Slalom race, to find the summer plague has engulfed a huge amount of Europe. The lack of snow further emphasised by the abundance of the stuff in photos we saw from the same day last year... Anyway, we kicked off this trip with the GS race down a long, turny, roll-filled piste. The amount of terrain changes made for an exciting race and the snow held up well for the girls but became rather choppy part way through the boys race. Apart from a few small mistakes in the rhythm-less course I had a pretty good day, charging down the pitch into 8th place, scoring a 42.61 . Because of the snow conditions they decided to put on a second GS rather than run the slalom. I was more than happy with this decision. I knew I could improve on my skiing from the day before and was glad of an opportunity to prove it. More of the rolls hid gates but I managed to charge down into 3rd only 0.44 behind the lead after the first run. The second course was deceptively straight in several sections. Even with Tom's warning ringing in my ears, I came into one seriously straight section, thinking I had pinned the line, but was actually quite far off the gate... following this mistake I hammered the bottom of the course in an attempt to make up for the time I thought I'd lost. Turns out I actually won the run by enough to pull me up into 2nd place and secure my best ever GS result of 32.70! Needless to say I was beyond ecstatic! Instead of medals, we were awarded with gifts. I laughed when I was given a bottle of wine and an icebreaker jersey, all the way from little old New Zealand! After this we drove the 4 and 1/2 hours back to Leogang, ready for two CIT GS races starting the next day. I had a pretty decent first run at Leogang, only 0.6 off the pace on yet another really long GS course! Second run I nailed the pitch and carried heat onto the flats but lost it all to silly mistakes at the bottom of the course. Yesterday's race was sung from the same song book. I placed 7th and 6th respectably.
This first half of the Northern season has been absolutely jam-packed with training and races. I'm incredibly happy with how everything is going at the moment. Surrounded by a great team, I'm making improvements in both Slalom and GS. I leave Europe today on a great note, ready for a wee summer break at home to refresh and recharge so I can come back and smash some more races next year! I'm sad to stop skiing for a couple weeks but I am so excited to head home for Christmas and I know a couple weeks off will do me a world of good! It has been a great year and I want to say a huge thanks to everyone who has helped make it this good! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!