Excited to start the New Zealand season on some new gear, joining the Volkl, Marker and Dalbello Family! Many thanks to Eric Wolf, Racing Management for time spent getting such a good fit with the new Dalbello Boots.
After the initial back on snow basics at the Remarkables and then more strength and conditioning, it was full on training mode at Rocky Gully, Coronet Peak. It has been interesting working on the new test Volkl skis trialing a few different models to see which ones work best for me. Getting there but still need a bit more testing in some better snow conditions.
Coronet Cup Slalom
Racing seemed to start quickly as still in training mode. Weather and snow conditions weren’t the best so the first giant slalom series at Cardrona were postponed and the fog and tricky snow conditions on new gear for the slalom were a challenge. A little more training and it was straight into the National Championship races at Coronet Peak this week. Second day of giant slalom for the Coronet Cup I got a better feel for the conditions and put down the 3rd fastest second run.The first three days were pretty mixed with poor visibility in cloud/fog and soft snow that was quite sugary and not a lot of it in places. For the final day of slalom we saw blue sky for the first time in days and the snow held up really well after a good freeze the previous night.
Coronet Cup Giant Slalom
At the end of the day I was pleased to have retained the National Slalom title and also to have picked up the Giant Slalom title. Many thanks to all my sponsors for your continued support and belief in my progress.
Damp slalom day
Early morning sunrise
Coaches corner, almost sunny
What an amazing experience it has been to race at my first Olympics. From my arrival in Sochi through to the closing ceremony, I have enjoyed the full experience. Many thanks to all those on the team who supported me – Ginny Rutledge for the physio, Chris Mosaed for ski prep and support, and all the staff involved behind the scenes making life run smoothly for all of the athletes.
The slalom was my final event and consisted of a night race on the 22nd February. First run started 4.45pm but it took a bit of time to my start with bib 63 out of a field of 117. Moved up a few spots to 50 for the second run which was quite late with my run around 9.00pm. The 2nd course set was by Croatian Ante Kostelic and had a very high attrition rate from many of the top guys through to the last. I had a plan but ended up just surviving and was very pleased to place 25th at the end of the night.
The giant slalom race was on the 19th with 109 competitors from all over the world and I finished in 44th position. By the time my run started the conditions were quite rough and the course was very long. I was happy with my second run and in general with the course – stoked to have finished where I did in this Olympics. My body felt pretty sore by evening from the bumpy ride and the long day.
Another new experience was the volume of interviews that had to be done.
Now back in Austria and will be getting back into a busy race schedule over this next week.
I arrived in Panorama, Canada 25th November with a mere 25 ºC drop in temperature from leaving home in New Zealand to my new, very cool home base in the Mountain Village – minus all my skis which didn’t make the plane in Auckland. Took a few days to finally get them here but in the meantime, new team mate James Morrison very kindly lent me some skis. I’m staying in a cool little apartment one minute walk to the chairlift and there’s some good training to be had which has led to a sweet start to the season. Very handy having the mountain available to just ski racers until mid December and it looks like the race hill should be a lot of fun!