Monday, March 18, 2013

Great end to the season

I am happy to say that I have finished off my World Cup season strongly (and in one piece), with a 15th and 8th place finish in Åre, Sweden. With three top 8s this season, my results put me into 16th place in the overall World Cup rankings, making it my best season finish to date. 

This weekend in Åre was a double event, making it a long intense four days of competition. Before things got started though, we made the most of the Audi ice driving experience available to World Cup athletes. Driving fast on ice is almost as fun as skiing fast on ice!

On Friday I qualified in 14th place, with only the top 16 women going through to finals. In my first heat  I was in third place and attempted a pass into second which didn't end well. I got caught on Simmerling's skis beside me and crashed in the turn. A little disappointing but happy that I'm feeling confident to take some risks and put it on the line. After all, that's what this sport is all about!

In yesterday's race I had the twelth fastest qualifying run and was only 0.25 of a second behind fourth place. 9 girls within a quarter of a second; the times were extremely close! In my first heat I completely missed the start and was in fourth position coming into the first turn. I was not giving up that easily though! I made a pass into third place through the first bank turn, and then another risky pass on the negative turn, forcing myself in second place. I made it through to the semi finals; my second time for the season. In the semis, this time I had a great start but managed to catch an edge before the first turn, forcing me to miss the gate. Extremely frustrating! I finished fourth in the small final after making a big mistake in the mid-section of the course. Again, disappointing but happy with my 8th place result none-the-less.

All in all, it's been a fantastic season. I have made some major improvements with my skiing, particularly when it comes to head-to-head racing. I performed well in the two major events of the season; 8th at the World Championships and 11th at the Olympic Games test event in Sochi. I also had a personal best result of 6th on World Cup, and a personal best overall World Cup ranking of 16th. Unfortunately I couldn't bring home a medal this year, but I'm expecting good things to come for next season!

A big thanks to my teammates for being great training partners this season. Also to my coach, Matt Lyons; our guru ski technician Marcos Ruiz; the physios who joined us this winter, Anthony, Claire, Nick and Markus; John Marsden who got me incredibly fit and strong for this season and who joined us for a few weeks on tour in January; and importantly to my family and friends at home for being so supportive day-in, day-out throughout the whole year. I couldn't do this without you!

Start section.

 Proud to be representing ISFT.

Through to the semi-finals.

An attempt to get rid of my goggle mark in the afternoon sun....
Test driving some fast Audis on the lake.

Training with Sami Kennedy Sim (Photo by Yannick Enting). 

Northern lights. This photo doesn't do it justice!