Italian national qualifier

Last weekend was the Italian Sci Alpino National Qualifiers in Padola and Passo Monte Croce. The racing was 3 days long, starting on Thursday and ending on Saturday. There was also a training day on Wednesday for the Super G which was on Wednesday, making the whole week really long. The trip from Cortina to Padola and Passo Monte Croce is 1 hour each way.

To be able to race in these Qualifiers you had to place in the top 10 of our greater region of Alta Belluno which has about 70 U14 boys racing in it.  I made it in on my points even though I didn’t do all the races as I was away racing in the internationals.  There were 60 boys in these qualifiers.

We had only been home for 2 days from a week at Topolino racing when I had to go and do these races.

On Wednesday we had a training day on the course where we got to race with bibs but no timing – just like in the World Cup.

On Thursday it was a Super G. The weather was fine that day. I had Guilia with me because she had the day off from coaching. The course was long but still the same as the last time I raced there 2 or 3 weeks ago. I did ok, but not as good as I wanted to – but still ok. I think I got somewhere between 20th to 30th. I know I could have done better as I’ve gotten into the top 10 before.

Friday was slalom over at Passo Monte Croce witch is another 45 min drive from Cortina. In the slalom I did much better. I still had a late bib – from the 3rd draw but managed to get to 16th – 1 place away from the flip but on the second run I managed to pull up to 15th place so I got in the top 15 in the end, and I was the only ‘3rd bib draw’ athlete to make it into the top 20.

Saturday was GS –  I had a better bib number than the other few days and I still managed to get 16th. It is only a one run race.  The course was down the same slope as the Super G but a few gates less. My coaches said I skied well on the steep and technical sections but need to hold my edge longer as I go round the turn.

I didn’t make it to the National Finals – I was close, but I have made huge improvements over the last two years and with lots of hard work,  next year I’ll be even better

Pokal Loka – My First International

A month ago, in early February, and on a Saturday and Sunday, I had my first 2 international ski youth alpine ski races for New Zealand. While the race is called Pokal Loka, it is normally held in Stari Vrh – Slovenia, but because of the lack of snow at the time, the race was moved to  Kranjska Gora which is a world cup location in Slovenia too. On Saturday it was due to be a GS and on Sunday, a Slalom, but they changed it to two Slalom races because of the conditions. It snowed the whole weekend!

Day 1 race course
Day 1 race course

On Friday mum and I went to the slope that the race was on and skied it to get a feel of the terrain. At this race I didn’t have a coach so I did everything with my parents.  Saturday arrived and it was race day. On Saturday the weather was great – it was hot, sunny and the new snow was perfect. The race started at 10 and inspection was a 8:30 so we had to get up early, as the hotel that we were staying in was an hour drive away in the old historical town of Škofja Loka. The night before the race mum and dad had to go to a coaches meeting to get my bib, and find out about the race start time and other information. Dad did my skis after warm up, and mum was in the start zone with me.

My bib number was 12 on the first day which is a great number.  I came 16th which is ok because it was my first international race and it was a really hard field with lots of athletes from Eastern Europe as well as all of the big skiing nations like Austria, Norway, Germany and France. The second day was different (but still the same time and everything), just it was snowing and my bib was number 4. The course was on the same slope as the day before but with all the new snow it made it a tiny bit different. Not harder and not easier – just different.  My first run was ok – I skied into the top 20, but I didn’t do very well on the second run as I crashed about 4 gates from the finish. On both of the days it was 2 runs. I had lots of fun there and I want to go back next year.

Day 2 start
Day 2 start

Topolino 

Last weekend was Topolino. Topolino is the biggest international alpine ski race for under 14 and under 16 year olds. This weekend did not go so well for me. The race was in a place called Folgaria which is in Italy. Dad, Tigne, Mum, Guilia, Alice, Sarah and I arrived there on the Monday before the race. For the whole week we trained and took time to watch the Italian qualifiers for Topolino which were really hard. Our international races were on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday it was GS for u14 and slalom for u16. Our courses were right next to each other. I was doing GS because I’m u14. The day was good – it was hot and sunny nearly like summer.  I didn’t do so well on the GS, as I got late on two gates then crashed near the finish but as I was still moving I was able to hike the gate and I made it to the finish. Alice didn’t do so well either as she crashed in the slalom. Saturday was a different kind of day.  On Friday night it had snowed a heap of snow and was still snowing heavily when we arrived on the mountain. Throughout the whole day it snowed and it didn’t stop once! That day I had slalom and Alice hade GS. Again the slalom didn’t go so good. I had a really bad first run which put me into 33. I was hoping for a top 15 as I have been training and racing well. On the second run I crashed on the first hairpin and broke my shinguard so now I have to buy new ones.  Alice placed 8th in her GS which was fantastic.

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The trip back home to Cortina is 3 hours long and we had so much stuff that Tigne and I could not see each other for the whole ride home as the car was packed to the top. We had two big ski bags in between us which made it impossible to see anywhere but out our windows. The Robinsons headed to Milan to spend a few days there then they would fly back to America. The race was fun even if I didn’t do well – I still had fun and I hope I can come back next year.

Thank you Giulia for being my coach and looking after me.