Monday, 26 December 2011

The final 4 days in Canada

On December19th I did not finish my second run of the GS race. The snow conditions were very soft following the previous days snowfall, and on approximately the fifth gate I was in the back seat and lost control over my skis, there was not much I could do to recover and so that was the end of that day. I had my final GS race on the 20th and skied averagely; my FIS points will lower as a result but not significantly.

The following two days we competed in slalom, the part of the trip I had been most looking forward to. There was a very strong field with the best-pointed girl sub 20 (my current points are 101). I started bib 31 both days and on the 21st I had a relaxed first run failing to make the top 30 flip which was a disappointment. I was extremely determined to ski better and more aggressively on my second run which would have paid off, however I made a huge error and stayed in by the skin of my teeth – I'd say I lost about 3-4 seconds. It was very frustrating and in hindsight a second run similar to my first would have lead to a point score for me.  On the 22nd I straddled a vertically towards the end of the pitch on my first run and headed to the airport upset, exhausted and more than ready to come home. Overall I have to say the trip was an extremely fun experience despite little time to really explore Canada! It also taught me that in the lead up to events, I need to take longer breaks as I was truly tired out both physically and mentally. I also established that the pressure of races tends to lead to a poor first run and better second run and this is something I need to address.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Days 2-5

On December 14th & 15th we trained slalom. I was fairly happy with my skiing making me more eager for the upcoming races towards the end of this week. Below is a photo from thursdays training; it is evident that I can get tighter on the gates, taking a more direct line which is currently my main objective. After training we drove about one hour to Banff for some christmas shopping!
 On the 16th we trained an extremely turny GS course which I have to say was difficult but I was pleased that I managed to train consistently and maintain my form despite the course deteriorating and rutting up. The following day I drew bib 14 for the first of these 6 races in Nakiska. Unfortunately I skied passively on the first run and over turned the top section - leading to a poor time approximately 5 seconds off the leader. I started my second run 5th and skied much better. I was more dynamic and aggressive and it showed as I was 2 seconds behind the winning time. However due to my bad first run I finished 20th overall which I'm not thrilled about. I took the experience of the second run through to Sunday 18th but the race was cancelled due to too much snow. We slipped the course about 6 times and the snow was simply too thick creating a danger hazard so they decided not to run the race. Instead I enjoyed a morning of powder skiing and an afternoon of hockey in the icy carpark! Tomorrow is yet another GS race and I am determined to score. 
Above Evie Jojo and I at the top of the race course

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Canada Day 1

On sunday December 11th, I travelled with Fred from his house near Albertville, to Geneva. I stayed the night with Celine and ate at an incredible Italian Restaurant 'Luigia'. The next morning we flew to London Heathrow where we connected onto our flight to Calgary. The journey was fairly long but we eventually arrived at the Delta Lodge in Kananaskis by 11pm local time. Today we slept until nine o'clock before heading to the slopes to train Slalom. The snow conditions are great and the scenery is incredible!! We didn't train gates but instead worked on technical drills and just generally became familiar with the mountain and race runs. This afternoon we hit the gym to work on leg strength and core along with some cardio. I've had an awesome day and look forward to training a slalom course tomorrow! 


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Being the third day of December it makes me realise just how quickly time has passed. Firstly Christmas is only 22 days away, and this morning I ate the third chocolate from the advent calendar my mum posted out to me.

On Thursday and Friday I competed in two FIS GS races in Tignes. Being the first of the season I was mentally unprepared and unnecessarily nervous. This poor mental attitude coupled with icy conditions lead to a significant underperformance on my part. On the first day beginning 57th I completed my first run with much disappointment; I went on to ski my second run and I simply gave up four gates onto the pitch and DNF’d. I’m sure with a more fighting spirit I could have completed but I was just not in the right mindset. However I came back determined on Friday with bib no 46, yet still I skied far to statically with lacking outside edge pressure. The foggy and windy conditions didn’t help much and overall I have to say that this result does not reflect my current training standard and is therefore very frustrating for me! Obviously I know I can ski much better and I will not let this result deter any further progress, which I know I am more than capable of.

This week I am resting and living with my coach Fred down near Albertville. It’s nice to take my mind off skiing and give my body some recuperation time, along with necessary fitness training. On Sunday 11th I am travelling to Geneva for the night before departing the following day to Canada. Myself, Jojo Carew, Evie Kock, Celine Przedborski and our coaches Christoph and Fred will be flying into Calgary and skiing at Nakiska. Here we will compete in four GS’s and two slaloms following four days training.  It is a great opportunity in terms of both skiing and also from a cultural viewpoint!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

On the 20th-23rd of November I trained two days of Slalom and two days of Giant Slalom with Matthew, on the Champagny run. Despite a lot of constructive criticism and little positive feedback I have started to experience new feelings in Giant Slalom, which is something I am very excited about! 

Athletes from Proctor Academy (New Hampshire, US) have been staying in the same hotel as me this week and kindly invited me to train with them. As I have a four day break I decided to take the opportunity and skied my first day with them today! We trained GS on 3500, a little steeper gradient than Champagny. It was a great day and really interesting to work with different coaches and contrast their feedback with my current objectives. This lunchtime we stopped at Aspen CafĂ© for lunch and I greedily chose a waffle with nutella and whipped cream as I felt I deserved a treat! For the next couple of days we will be training slalom and I can’t wait!

To the left is a photo of myself and Mary Denning - She moved from England to Proctor a couple of years ago and its been great catching up with her!

Friday, 18 November 2011

So I have two days off now and i'm going to spend the time prepping all my skis and working out in the gym - possibly involving a lot of yoga as my muscles seem fairly tight. On Sunday I start training again with Matthew for four more days! Despite some frustrating training I do seem to be progressing well with the current set up and so I saw no point in swapping coaches to train with Stefan. Furthermore I have really enjoyed training with CJ, Lewis and Elliot (the other brits).

My first set of races were to be held in Val Thorens on the 26th and 27th of November however due to poor snow conditions these have been postponed until December 3rd and 4th - this will mean 5 consecutive days of racing from November 30th-December 4th which could get pretty tiring but i'm still really excited. The weather has been sunny for the past week or so, however there is some much needed snow forecast over the next few days - so fingers crossed those races will go ahead.

Monday, 7 November 2011

I moved into the Hotel Diva a week ago and it sure has passed slowly plenty of rain, wind, fog and not much else! There has been a change of plan; Stefan is not coming to the resort for at least another week and so it has been organised for me to train with Frederic Covili from tomorrow onwards. He was the Giant Slalom World Cup Champion in 2002, so I know there is an awful lot I can learn from him. Hopefully some good weather will come and visibility won't be a problem.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Above is a picture of me and CJ - I joined her group for slalom training on Monday and Tuesday coached by JB Fourrat and Matthew. I now have a five day break until I start training again. I intend to hit the gym and work on my upper body strength and agility - two of my weakest areas! However I have to admit the next few days will also involve a lot of Gossip Girl, reading, learning French and skiing around the mountain with my Ipod. From Monday 7th onwards I will be training with a new coach named Stefan; I will be solely focussing on Giant Slalom as its important for my skiing and I cannot wait! 

Sunday, 30 October 2011


I arrived in Tignes on Wednesday October 19th to train with SPSRC – It’s been great to get back on snow! I trained 5 days of slalom in fairly sunny conditions followed by a further 5 days of GS separated by a bad weather day on the 25th. I'm currently staying at The Hotel Vanoise, the managers are great and one of them plays his guitar and sings for us! During these ten days I also had my boots worked on by Jules Mills who has twenty years experience, six of these on the World Cup. I now have much more comfort and greater precision, with my bone-spurs no longer rubbing and further canting

Thursday, 13 October 2011


This summer I endured the 24+ hour journey to New Zealand in order to train with the prestigious Treblecone Race Academy (TCRA) from July 17th to September 5th. This was my third season in the southern hemisphere with TCRA – the set up as always was extremely professional with highly regarded coaches, dryland trainers, a sports psychologist and physiotherapist.

I stayed in lodges 15 minutes drive outside of the beautiful town of Wanaka! The first three weeks (FIS ENL camp) consisted of both early and late starts, training GS and slalom at Treblecone and Snow Park – both exceptional venues

Below Left, Snowpark; a more gradual incline, perfect conditions for technical development and confidence building – training here was awesome as it’s a small resort allowing a quick turn around between runs and consistent focus. We were also able to watch free skiers whilst riding up the chairlift which was fun. Right, the view from the top of Treblecone; a more challenging set up down both Main Street and Big Skyte – ideal for early morning starts where the ski patrol opened up the mountain for our use only!

Skiing was followed by daily visits to the ProActive gym for spinning, yoga, circuit training and progressive muscle relaxation. Additionally much video analysis took place in the evenings, aided by Sprongo whom sponsor TCRA. The training block was followed by the Wanaka Tech Series, which was held in the first week of August. I competed in two GS races and two slalom races at Treblecone and Cardrona.

Above ‘Team E’ (short for Estrogen) at the top of Mt Iron on one of our days off.

On August 6th after the races I celebrated my 18th birthday followed by two days off – perfect timing! Throughout the following week we experienced many athlete departures and new arrivals for the significant beginning of the FIS Elite Camp. The remaining ‘Team E girls’ trained six intensive days of slalom at Snow Park with our coaches Nate Fisher and Jessie Neuner. I particularly enjoyed this week, as it was extremely focused and technically progressive, working through drills, stubbies, and combination courses. Additionally I was grateful to be training alongside the Austrian WC Ladies Tech Team – an unforgettable experience and great privilege.

I also met the US skier Julia Mancuso up at Treblecone

August 19th was another significant date for me, I received my A-Level exam results – fortunately I attained the required grades and accepted a place to study Geography and Business Management at Newcastle University 2012.

A highlight of my trip was the NZ Winter Games at Coronet Peak. I was interviewed with two other British skiers Charlotte Jesse and Florence Bell – little did I know it would end up on NZ national TV!

In addition the photograph below of myself competing in the New Zealand Winter Games Giant Slalom appeared on the respected US gossip website Jezebel

Overall the summer training was a success – I scored my first sub 100 in slalom, which is a promising start to the 2011/2012 season. Towards the end of the FIS elite camp I did not compete as well as hoped in any of the races at Coronet Peak, however I feel this was due to physical tiredness and a poor mental attitude – I was ready to come home and slightly phased by the high standard of competition and injected snow conditions.  Once again I set off on the lengthy journey home having thoroughly enjoyed my time in New Zealand – A huge thank you to my coaches and especially the Head coach Guenther Birgmann.