I've been incredibly slack on the blog updates this season... Everything flew by much quicker than I expected, especially with so many new experiences lined up. So here's just a quick glimpse at the highlights of my northern season: I had a great start to the northern season, arriving in Europe in early November. The main focus had been on training and consolidating the changes I've been making to my skiing. This meant that the majority of November was spent at Pass Thurn, hammering through courses, while December held more of the races we were attending. Most races I brought improvements onto the slope, some in more sections than others. On the first day of GS at Dienten I skied enough good sections to secure 3rd place. A good way to round off the first half of the season as I headed back to New Zealand for a fleeting two weeks of summer. The time at home flew by between family, friends, hiking, swimming and some beloved water skiing.
Upon returning to Europe I aimed to hit the ground running and did just that, squeezing a day of super g training in before competing in two FIS GS races in Maria Alm, both on the same day! January was a mix of racing and training leading up to my first ever major event. I competed in the GS at this years World Ski Championships held in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Being ranked 75th overall on the start list, I needed to qualify for the main event (only the top 50 automatically qualify). To do this, I needed to finish in the top 25 of the qualifying race, held down the road at Zuos. I started the race on the cusp, with bib 25 and skied some of my best GS, ending up with the 3rd best time second run and placing 7th overall! This well and truly qualified me for the main event and to top it all off I scored a PB of 29.84 points! Main event was a world unto itself. The atmosphere was incredible and I knew I had my work cut out for me as I would need to ski well in order to qualify for second run (only top 60 get a second run) yet, I felt no nerves... Not until I'd watched the top 20 girls race and it suddenly dawned on me that I too would be skiing the same course I'd just seen on TV. Nevertheless I was ecstatic to make it into the second run and finish up in the top 50 from bib 73! It was an exhilarating experience I won't soon forget.
The weekend following World Champs I competed in the Dutch National Champs GS, claiming 2nd and my new favorite medal, the clog! More training and racing saw me heading into the beginning of March, where I raced in Andalo, Italy. I was pleased with how I skied in both GS' there, despite making some tactical errors the first day that cost me time. I managed two solid runs the second day, placing 4th and scoring a new PB of 28.51! And two days later I was in Åre, Sweden, getting ready for the Junior World Ski Championships! This will be the same location for the 2019 World Ski Champs so it was nice to get a feel for the place. Unfortunately the skiing didn't go to plan but it was another wonderful experience.
A couple weeks later you could find us in Tignes, France for the British National Champs. This week of racing kicked of with two Super G's, a National Champs (NC) and a National Junior Champs (NJC). I knew it had been a while since I'd raced super g but it wasn't until after the race I realised it had been over 6 1/2 months between my last super g race and this one! I was pleased with how I skied, finishing 6th overall in the NC race and 3rd overall in the NJC which also placed me 1st U21! Not too shabby for a part-time speed skier. Later on in the week I also managed to claim 3rd U21 in the NJC GS race.
It's been a whirlwind of a season, with amply opportunity to gain knowledge and experience. A huge thanks to Daniel Dejori, for stepping in last minute to help me out at St. Moritz, I truly couldn't have done it without you. As always thank you to my sponsors and parents for all the support. There's already some snow accumulating on the mountains here in NZ so it shan't be long till the southern season is underway!