Last weekend I competed in my first race of the season, and my first ever race in Canada with the British Ski Academy on their Artemis Ski Camp. I have been training in Panorama, Canada for the past 4 weeks, and on the 5th and 6th December was finally able to compete. The races were at Mount Norquay, which is a short two hour drive from Panorama.
The races started bright and early on the Saturday and I was so nervous! I have always found the first race of the season to be to most nerve racking, but also the most exciting, and this race was no exception. The Norquay race piste was also the steepest slope I had ever skied. So as I stood at the start, looking down on the course below, I was scared, but full of adrenaline. I pushed out the start with the full intention of being as fast as I possibly could! It started well until about 7 gates down the course where I made a huge mistake. I was certain I was going to ski out but somehow I managed to push off of my hand and pull myself around the gate, and as I went to push back into the course, I suddenly realised that I had dropped my pole! However, I was determined to finish my first race of the season and cross blocked every gate with my palm!
The second run was much better, I went from 15th after the first run to 7th after the second. So at the end of the day I finished 9th and scored 79.2 FIS points, which although was not the result I had wanted, it was encouraging to see what I could do! I went into the next day full of positivity and a huge sense of determination!
Day 2 started just as day 1 had. I was going down Bib 14 (which was a terrible draw out of the random top 15) and was ready for another day of slalom! My first run despite some mistakes was one of the fastest runs, putting me into 7th. But I knew I could do more! As I pushed out of the start gate on run 2 I had one word in my head. “Charge”. Looking back at the video, it is one of the scrappiest runs I have ever done in my life, but I stuck it out and didn’t give in and finished with the 4th fastest run time and a personal best result in slalom with 56.20 FIS points.
I didn’t realise that I was the U18 female winner until after my run. I couldn’t believe it. One of my dream goals whilst out in Canada was to return home with a medal, but I didn’t think it would happen! As I went up onto the podium I couldn’t stop smiling as I could never have imagined to have such a great season opener.
A huge thank you to Artemis for making this camp a possibility, Ski Bitz for making sure I always have the best ski tuning kit, and Salomon Racing UK for helping supply me with my new sandwich ski construction! I absolutely love it and proudly took it on the podium with me! And I now return to training in preparation for my next Canadian races, I am so hopeful and inspired for the upcoming season!
|Thank you to Artemis for helping fund this camp!|