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The season so far

Well that’s the start of March and I have finally managed to get this interactive blog on line. It has been an exiting season so far and I have written a summary below.

February

The big event was the World Championships in Val d’Isere. We arrived at night and could see the race piste under floodlights. Wow it was narrow and very shiny!! You could see the moon reflected in the ice. The first day we had “hill skiing” where all the racers get about half an hour free skiing on the race hill. Its not a lot of time and everyone wants to get as many runs in as possible on the hill…Carnage! Everyone sets off at once and goes hell for leather down the steep icy race hill!
The super G was very difficult with some nasty crashes from the early guys making me a bit nervous and Im sure my mum too! My run didn’t feel great as I rattled down the ice but I finished in 28th place.
The downhill was a very big day-lots of crashes. Despite this I went at the course very aggressively and skied it pretty well, though a bit ragged. I was very pleased with 21st despite some errors. I know I can go faster…( I will try to get it onto UTube). That’s the best GBR men’s speed result in the World Champs since 2005. I feel much more confident – I am getting there –another step in the right direction.
After the World Champs we did some more Europa Cup speed events in Italy– made it. I have now made the Olympic Qualification standard. Vancouver bound. That has been a major target for the season. I am delighted.

January

The big excitement was going to my first world cup race –The Lauberhorn at Wengen – the longest, fastest downhill of them all! What a great experience! It was amazing to be inspecting the course along side all the world cup stars that I’ve looked up to for years. And going up to the start past the thousands of spectators was pretty exciting!
As there was only one place we agreed that I would do the Super Combi and Ed the Downhill.
Race day was awesome –thousands of spectators (including Dad and my brother Mike so at least I had two supporters).
I had a hairy moment in the downhill (It’s on UTube -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w8qiZe_yxw) but held it together for the rest of the run. After a solid slalom I finished 39th. I was pretty pleased. Best men’s GBR result in world Cup since 2007. (Ed was 55th in the downhill the next day)
After Wengen I went on for some FIS races in Austria, then to Les Orres in France for Europa cup downhills. Les Orres was crazily bumpy with huge amounts of new snow falling in the days before we arrived. Despite this I managed to break into the top 30 from quite a late start number for my first Europa cups points. A nice confidence boost before the World Champs!

December

Main focus for the season is achieving Olympic Qualification for Vancouver 2010 as well as keeping improving my world ranking and getting experience on tougher hills.
We all went Canada for some Nor Am Cup races. Wow it was cold but I was pretty pleased with my skiing- 3 top 10 results –and not just in speed my GS results were good too, I halved my world ranking. My technical changes appear to be paying off. Sadly these results don’t count towards the Olympics – I need a top 20 in Europa Cup, World Champs or top 30 in World Cup AND to be within 3% of the winner. It is pretty tough but I hope……

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