On Sunday was my first race in Italy of 2016. It was a Slalom race not a GS. In Italy it is usually a GS race as the first race of their season but this time it was Slalom because of the conditions. The night before the race it rained really hard. It wasn’t cold enough for it to snow on the lower slopes so it rained which was really bad. It meant that the gates would not stay in the snow.
When I woke up in the morning our driveway was covered in sheet ice. It was like an iceskating rink. Dad drove me down to the station where my coach Andrea was waiting for my whole group. After the van was all packed and every one was in the van we left Cortina to go to Auronzo, about a 40 minute drive away where the race was held.
We drove a lot slower than we normally do but we still passed cars at 100km/ph. Because of the time in the morning it was still dark and the ice was all over the road. When we got there we grabbed our gear and walked over to the chair lift where we put our stuff on. After inspection we were given our bibs. My bib number was 107 and Federico’s was 97 so I was only 10 people behind him.
The first part of the course was not rutted, rather it was smooth and straight. This is how the course went; It started with a few gates that where straight then we went down onto the steep. Then we had our first hairpin, and after that it was rutty for the rest of the course. We had a few gates that were wide then we had a delay to get us around the corner and onto the flat. Then we would gain some speed on the flat and go into a really turney section, then straight into another hairpin. After that we had 1 flush then another hairpin. The last few gates where very straight which lead you to the finish.
My time was slow because of a big mistake I made which costed me about 8 seconds. My mistake was on the turney part at the flat. I hit a bump that popped me out of the course and forced me to hike up to the gate I missed. With a big time penalty I still bet people in the race so I didn’t come last which was impressive. After the race was finished I went and had lunch in the cafe with Mum, Dad, Pietro and his parents. When we were eating lunch we watched the woman’s World Cup Super-G race and the mens second run of Slalom. Then after lunch we headed home – the drive wasn’t as icy as on the way to Auronzo.
These holidays have been tough. We have skied nearly every day this holiday and I have only had 3 days off so I’m very tired. This Sunday is my first race of the year at a place called Auronzo. I have raced there before – last year and the year before and last time it snowed heavily. The weather forecast says it will be snowing this Sunday for race day too!
Training has been hard when it’s minus 10 degrees and we still have to go full suit and it feels like I’m freezing to death. Their are only a few days of training left before the Christmas holidays are over and we go back to normal days which is skiing only in the afternoons and then skiing full days in the weekends. The race this weekend at Auronzo is a slalom race, then next week on Saturday we will compete for our first GS points followed by another slalom on the Sunday. Tomorrow I think I will be training slalom because of the race on Sunday. The weather conditions have been sunny, rainy and slightly snowy.
This 2015 I have had Christmas in Italy. This year it was different we had a white Christmas instead of a sunny hot one like New Zealand. The day was fun I woke up at 5:30. I could not sleep and laid in bed for half an hour until I woke up my little brother so he could wake up Mum and Dad. Dad wasn’t to happy with us waking him up at 6 in the morning because it was are only sleep in day. All the rest of the holidays I got up very early in the morning to ski.
Opening the presents was fun I got a lot of awesome things like a new NZL race suite witch I wear every time I ski now. I also got sun glasses, climbing belay device and a heap more. For breakfast we hade bacon, eggs and ham. For lunch we hade 7 courses of food. 1. Bruschetta 2. Pasta Redicco 3. Fish 4. Christmas chocolate. And a full monty Christmas turkey. Then for desert we hade 4. Panettone 5. Panacota 6. Veanetta. Then after dinner we watched a movie called The hunt for red October. The movie finished last so we went strait to bed after.
On Friday Dad and I went to Val Gardena to watch the men’s Super-G. The drive from Cortina to Val Gardena is about an hour an a half. The race started at 12:00 so we didn’t have to get up that early. It was super fun I tried a new drink called a bombardino. A bombardino usually has Whisky and cream in it but the one I had was without alcohol.
We only watched the first 30 before leaving because it was too cold for me and we where hungry. It was a close awesome race. Three Norwegians got 1st 2nd and 3rd which was cool. Here are the names of the top 3 in the race 1st was Aksel Lund SVINDAL 2nd was Kjetil JANSRUD and 3rd was Aleksander Aamodt KILDE. On the way home we stopped at another ski field. we couldn’t find a restaurant to eat at because it was too late all the restaurants had closed so we are at a bar. Then we drove home which was another hour and a half.
This week was my first week training in it Italy. There has been some cold times and some very hot times. To day was very cold. My ski team got to train with the old ski coach of the Italian ski team. He has had a few people that he has coached that have won medals in the World Cup and Olympics.
This week we have already started full slalom gates. And maybe tomorrow we will do full GS gates. I have skied in the weekend and in the school day so basically I have skied every day this week. This weekend is a long weekend I don’t know why but it just is. It goes all the way till Tuesday and then they go back to school.
I have the same two coaches and one new coach that can speak English which is good. His name is Simone and my other two are called Andrea and Denise. More and more lifters are opening as they make more snow but the snow is melting very quick because of the hot weather. Our first race is before Christmas.
It took us 2 boring days to get to to our destination in Italy. 4 flights of which 2 were long and 2 were short. We left Saturday afternoon and arrived in Italy on Monday. This time it was just Dad and I going to Italy to train for a month and then Mum and Tigne will come over. The waits weren’t that long this time each one 2 hours long and the good thing was we got to sit in the lounge because of Dad’s air points. Instead of stopping in Dubai for 3 days we stopped in London for 24 hours.
The change of time was the hardest thing out of my whole trip. It took me 5 days to finally get into the time difference. My ski coach Giulia picked us up from the airport in Venice. We hopped into her van and started to head to Verona where we stayed for a couple of nights. The drive was only 2 hours to Verona.
A few days later after Verona we left for Cortina which was another long 3 hour drive. By now we had our car which is a Kia ceed. On our first day of skiing we were shocked to see no snow. Only one run was open out of 6 mountains. 2013 18 meters of snow, 2015 5cm of snow, so not that much compared to 2013. We have one month until Mum and Tigne get here and then we will have four months till we leave to queenstown.
This NZ season has gone pretty good I have had lot of podiem finishes. I have had races in Mount Hutt, Ohau, and Coronet Peak. Speed week in Mount Hutt was my favourite part of the season so far. There was 4 super-g races and 1 slalom race at Mount Hutt. In the super-g I reached 110Kmph with a jump in the middle of the course. I got 3 silvers and a Brons. In the slalom I straddled the first and the third gate so I got disalfide so I didn’t get to do the second run.
I have one 2 races this year both in Ohau witch was good. We have hade a few snow days and hopefully Some more are on their way. I only have a few more races and if I win 1 GS 1 SL 1 Super-G I will have the most points and will win the overall title because I’m tiying first GS and Super-G.
The 2015 has just started I have 3 coaches David, Wylie and Emily. We have only had 2 races so far 1 in Coronet Peak and 1 in Ohau. We have already had 1 race cancelled in Ohau because of rain. The first race was a kombi so was the second also a kombi. In the first race of the season I didn’t do so well I came 4th. In the second race I came 1st with a big mistake in the middle of the course but I still managed to win the race witch was good. This weekend I have 2 races in Ohau again.
My head coach is David he is from Spain. I have hade 2 Emily’s so far one from Britain and one from USA. Wylie is from New Zealand and used to be a freestyler so he can do backflips and stuff like that. This year I am skiing on Rossignol skis I have skied on them before in my life and I think there pretty good.
Two weeks ago Dad and I went for a small road trip to Switzerland for a race called The Trophee du Lout Lachaux. We left at about 9:00 in the morning. The Trophee du Lout Lachaux is the oldest trophy in all of Switzerland. It is a massive super G race that fells like a downhill as it’s between 4 and 6 kms long depending on your age! At about lunchtime we stopped in Milan at a little restaurant on the side of the highway.
After lunch we came up to the border of Switzerland and Italy and thats when we realised that we had forgotten our passports which were all the way back in Cortina! And, the bad thing was that we had English number plates on our Spaceship so we were more likely to be pulled over. We did manage to sneak over the border so all we had to worry about was getting back to Italy after the weekend was over!
We had found a place to park for the night in our little Spaceship. It had been raining the whole day and we had the back of the car up with the tent connected to the car so we could sleep in it comfortably. The night was cold and wet outside but we survived – in fact it was quite fun!. The next day we woke up and it was still raining at the bottom of the valley and snowing up on the mountain where the race was scheduled to be.
When we got onto the ski field, we had to sit in the cafe for about 3 hours while they still decided if they were going to cancel the race or start it from a bit lower down the course for safety. Dad and I went down to another cafe to get some lunch before the race. Then we got the news that they were going to start it from lower down the mountain so we headed of with all our bags and skis down to the new starting gate. We waited at the start for a couple of minutes before they cancelled the race as the snow conditions were too dangerous. For the rest of the day dad and I had nothing to do as the weather wasn’t really nice, the shops were closed and we didn’t have a hotel to go and hang out in – just our Spaceship!
Day 3 (last day)
We woke up to another cold day but this day was different – it had been snowing the whole night. We decided to not put the tent up that night because it was a bit colder. I thought the race was going to be canceled because the conditions were worse than the day before. So we headed up to the mountain the see what was going on, and the race had not been canceled.
Once again we sat in the cafe for about another 3 hours till they said the race was going to start a bit further down the course. This time we didn’t wait 5 minutes….. we waited half an hour sitting there in the cold waiting for the race to start! Finally they started the race! From here things got a little hectic – we were not starting in our sequenced bib number but rather randomly. After the race had finished I took my boots off at the car and then something amazing happened – we saw the sun for the first time 2 days!
Prize giving was a long time after the race had finished. They went down the list of groups first then from under 10 up. When they got to the under 14’s I was excited that I may have done well. But my name never got called out so I felt a bit down – until they said for me to come up onto the stage because they made a mistake and I actually came first by 4 seconds! After 3 long days of sitting down and doing nothing I still had a 12 hour ride home. I had loads of fun in Switzerland and I will miss these sorts of fun races with my dad when we go back to NZ.
ps. We made it back across the boarder into Italy ok!
On Sunday there were two families who arrived here in Cortina, Italy to ski. One of the families were the Blewitts and the other were the van Asches. They arrived pretty late (about seven pm) at night. Mum and Tigne where eating with Giulia and the Blewitts out at Francisco’s when Henry texted mum asking where in Cortina was a good place to have good pizza. Henry was not meant to arrive till Monday. Giulia had spent weeks prepping Henrys car and everything. About ten mins later Henry and his family arrived at Francisco’s! Dan and I were returning from our trip to Switzerland.On Monday we went skiing strait away. Mum went with the Blewitts to get their skis sorted. Dad Tigne and I met them up on Floria. For the whole week we skied day after day. On Thursday we had a massive powder day. It had been snowing up the mountain and down at our house for the night and didn’t stop during the day either. We spilt up into two groups – the girls and the boys. The boys skied the more dangerous steep parts and the girls drank wine in the bar.