Ladies Ski Club Update: December, January and a Europa Cup!

The last time I wrote an update for the Ladies Ski Club was after my first races of the season in Val Thorens. Seeing as January is now coming to an end, I thought it would be good to write another one, and why not post it on my blog? Enjoy!

December, January and a Europa Cup!

Since my first podium of the season in the CIT race in Val Thorens, I have been busy! My results so far this season have been consistent (in terms of FIS points) in both GS and SL, which is promising. My hard work is paying off!

On 11th and 12th December, I competed in two slalom FIS Races in Isola 2000, where I came 2nd and 3rd scoring 48 and 42 FIS points– my first podiums in a FIS Race! On the first day I won the 1st run by 0.8 seconds, ahead of Loraine Tissier from France (22 FIS points). Following Isola 2000, I took part in a GS race in Auron where I didn’t ski well, but managed a second best result, bringing my GS points down to 59.

A few days later  on 20th December, I competed in a FIS race in La Plagne against some tough competition; including the French WC/EC girls and a few Swiss EC girls. Wearing bib 25 I had a solid 1st run coming 16th, which was good considering the visibility deteriorated by the time I went down. On the 2nd run, I really went for it and came 5th on the run, only 0.7s behind the winner, Sandrine Aubert! I scored my PB of 35 FIS points, making my new points only 0.42 off the qualifying criteria for the World Junior Champs. I then competed in two SG and SC races held in Tignes. It was my first time skiing on the new 45m radius SG skis and I unfortunately DNFed – I don’t think I’ve quite got the hang of them yet!

My first races of 2014 were on 4th and 5th January: GS and an SL in Val D’Isere.  I DNFed the GS and didn’t ski well in the slalom at all, compared to La Plagne, but still scored 42 FIS points. The following day, I competed in the Scottish FIS night SL in Chamonix where I skied a good 1st run (with some minor acrobatics going on…) and a good 2nd run in tough conditions, coming 5th, scoring 42 points (despite skiing better than in Val D’Isere by miles).

On 11th and 12th of January, I took part in the first races of the University Europa Cup circuit. I straddled in the 1st run of the slalom, which was a shame because it’s not much fun coming out on the 1st run in races as you have a lot of waiting around to do. In the GS, I put in a good 1st and 2ndrun (except where I messed up near the end when the course went from 31m to 26m!), and I ended up coming 4th

I then headed down south to Orcieres and Chaillol for two slalom races on 14th and 15th January. Orcieres wasn’t great as I DNFed the 1st run again, so the next day in Chaillol I decided to ski safe and solid to get down the 1st run, which I did. I knew this would cost me time on the clock but I also had faith in my ability to pull off fast 2nd run. I really went for it on the 2nd run and looked for speed wherever possible, including the last 6 gates. Instead of skiing smoothly through them, I ended up showing off my ski acrobatics again and lost a lot of time. I am still pleased because I scored 46 points despite my mistakes.

My last race in January was my first ever Europa Cup on 29th in Sestriere, Italy. Due to recent consistent form in slalom, my coach and I decided it would be a good experience for me. My intentions behind going to the Europa Cup were solely for gaining experience. It enabled me to learn what the conditions, level and atmosphere of the ECs are like; and serves as preparation for when I hopefully get to the stage where I can compete at EC level frequently.

It was very tough! I had bib 65 out of 71 and seeing as I am still wearing  ‘L’ plates when it comes to skiing on injected snow, I was definitely one of the least experienced racers. In La Plagne, I had similar times to Taina Barioz and Rahel Kopp (who came 11th and 12th today) on the 2nd run. The differences between them and me at a Europa Cup are their level of experience (particularly on injected snow) and their start numbers! When I went down, I felt like Bambi on ice – all wobbly and unstable! Before I next compete at a Europa Cup, I will definitely need to have some training sessions on injected snow…lots of training sessions! My lack of experience caused me to straddle, lose my ski and hip slide down the steep section, whilst being filmed on Italian TV! After today, FIS and CIT races will seem like a piece of cake (at least whilst Sestriere is fresh in my mind). My goals for the 2nd half of the season are to keep chipping away at my FIS points so that next time I do an EC, I’ll hopefully have a better start number!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSh1eLrxiqs – Bambi on Ice


Skiing the gates prior to my straddle…



…after I fell

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