Saturday, August 27, 2011

Another great result...and bungy tick off the checklist!

After a busy weekend of racing in Mt Hotham, the Australian National Ski Cross Team flew out to Queenstown, New Zealand, the very morning after the race.

Every two years the New Zealand Winter Games are held in Queenstown. The recently established global event takes place every two years, and attracts a large number of competitors from around the world in all winter sports. Unfortunately the ski cross was cancelled two years ago due to poor weather, so this was the very first year ski cross was held.

The ski cross was held at Cardrona, with training on Thursday and qualifications and finals both on Friday.

In the qualifications, I layed down the fastest time of the day by almost half a second, in front of World Cup racers Fanny Smith from Switzerland and Michelle Greig from New Zealand. A great start to the race and a definite boost to my confidence! I won my semi final heat, and went straight to the big final, where I was up against Smith, Greig and another young Australian girl. The start was neck and neck between Fanny and I, however she managed to just get in front of me coming into the first turn. From then I stuck on her tails the whole way down the one-minute track, however couldn’t manage to make a successful pass. Although I had to settle for the silver medal, I was very happy with my performance that day.

(The World Cup SX girls; myself, Fanny Smith and Michelle Greig at Cardrona)

(The Aussie girls before qualifications)

 (Michelle Greig, Fanny Smith and myself at the awards ceremony in Wanaka)

(New young gun SX racer Leigh Gardener and myself after Friday's race)

To end what was a short yet successful 4-day trip to New Zealand, I managed to persuade one of the American Ski Cross racers to come and bungy jump with me on our way to the airport this morning. After all, you only live once! A quick bungy jump only seemed like a logical and necessary stop on the way to Queenstown. We jumped off the Kawarau Bridge in Kawarau canyon, a 43-metre fall to the turquoise flowing river below. Being my fourth bungy jump, I am actually starting to feel reasonably comfortable with launching myself off huge things! The adrenaline rush was amazing… a similar feeling to what I get racing ski cross.

(US ski racer Joe Svenson and I getting ready to bungy)

(Bungy site at Kawarau Bridge) 

For those who enjoy watching my video blogs, I’ve got a short highlights video on its way from the past few weeks of training, racing, travelling and bungying…