Sunday, December 20, 2009

telluride world cup

I had qualifications for the world cup in Telluride yesterday where the top 16 go through. I had a very bad day, came 18th and don't really want to talk about it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Portes Du Soleil - Cant Wait

Its only two more weeks until I go back to the Portes Du Soleil which will hopefully be my base for this season, I cant wait!!

Per my last blog im currently in Hintertux but looking forward to leaving, the trainnig has been good but lots of bad weather days and quite a bit of driving, all in all very tiring. I was in the PDS a couple of weeks ago when I first arrived in Europe as I did a photo shoot for BMW and some video diaries for the BBC - I was lucky as the snow had fallen overnight!

If im lucky and the weather holds out ill be doing some mountain biking as a bit of light excercise before I leave for the World Cup in Telluride as the snow will be comming thick and fast this year if last season is anything to go by! I was in the PDS this summer doing a load of mountain biking and even got to have my own speed boat for the day on Lake Geneva courtesy of one of my sponsors, it was great. really looking forward to the start of the season... Its only a few weeks away!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

On snow in Hintertux

I have been training in Hintertux in Austria this week.
It's great to be back on snow and I have had a good weeks training.

We have had some trouble with the weather, this time of year on a glacier it's always a bit of a gamble with the weather and it was fog which was the problem this week. There was quite a bit of hanging around waiting for it to clear for the first 3 days but after that it was ok. When we can see it there's a pretty nice track here though, it's got two wootangs at the top which is great for me becasue that's one thing I was wanting to train while here. After that there are some rollers, three banked turns and a few jumps then some more rollers. It's a short rack but good for training and my technique over on the wootangs has improved already after the few days we have been here.

We are off snow for the weekend for some rest and dry land training but I am going to be back on snow on Monday. I just hope we can see the track!

Have a good weekend everyone.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Final Preparations for the Olympics before leaving the UK

The last 5 weeks for me have probably been my busiest ever! Since I arrived back from Argentina I have been finishing my final dry land training program at Bath before I head out to Europe for “on snow” training. But the difference this time is with the Olympics being so close even though I've been in the gym every day, I've also been doing tons of interviews for the media it feels like I have been doing at least one a day and also spending a great deal of time working with my sponsors, its been really tiring, but all good stuff and pretty fun. The one thing that is obvious is that the “Financial situation” within my sport is a media story at the moment. I can see why this is but there is absolutely nothing I can do about it apart from get my head down and train. It has had a massive impact on my training program but at the same time it has also been a massive opportunity. In short, the British Olympic Association and UK Sport have been absolutely excellent to me since the financial problems began, both organisations have worked together and really helped me, if it were not for them I would be in a lot worse position right now!! So I have to say thank you so much to them.

There has been a great deal of positives that has come out of the problems, some that have changed my career for the better, for good. Over the past 5 years I have been part of a “generic training program” but now since the financial problem began back in March I have developed a close team around me and am running my own “focussed” World Cup Snowboard Cross program together with the British Olympic Association. Thanks again to my manager and WC SBX program manager Dan Brier who has worked tirelessly during this time (and for the past 3 years) and made so many things happen that simply looked impossible. He has allowed me for the first time to actually focus my training around myself where it is best directed for me to become the best I can be. This hasn't happen overnight but I am so much happier now, both on and off the snow. In years gone by because of the training programs I have been part of I haven’t been part of a team but now I am with the immediate team around me and TeamGB as a whole, its great and I love it!

Anyways, my plans are to stay in the uk till the start of November so i have look 2 packed weeks to look forward to before I go, I'm filming with ITV Granada today at Milton Keynes SNO!zone - my indoor slope sponsor, I have a national newspaper interview tomorrow, the metro show on Saturday where I am launching the new BMW X1 motor vehicle as a BMW ambassador, also on that day I have an interview with the BBC and a photoshoot with British Airways my new airline sponsor. I'm spending Sunday with my friends who have come across to see me from the Isle of Man which should be great fun. Next week I have another couple of interviews, the Olympic Gold ball in London on Thursday evening where the dress code is black Tie so I am wearing a dress, this doesn't happen very often! Then the Birmingham Ski show over the weekend. Its all go!! I'm now really looking forward to getting back on snow, I'm probably going to start off in Hintertux, Austria but I have to finalise arrangements with my coach – Lukas Prem depending on where the good snow is. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to afford to employ a coach since March 09 but thanks to the creativity of my team and the endless efforts of UK Sport and the British Olympic Association, I now have one part time at least and I'm really looking forward to working with him through the season.

That's about it for now but I will have more updates soon. And finally a massive thank you to Graham Hughes who took these images during The Times interview I had a couple of days ago.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Argentina world cup

Today was the first world cup of the season which was held in Chapelco, Argentina.

I was a little weary at the start because of how little training I had had over the summer but I was riding ok in practice on the course so my confidence went up a bit.

Yesterday was qualifying and it was super hot, it must have been around plus 15 with very strong and hot sun, I was just riding in a T-shirt, back protector and my bib, the bare minimum and was still boiling hot! I qualified in 8th position which gave me 2nd lane choice in my first heat today so I was pretty happy.

Today I was in a heat with Lindsey Jacobellis (USA), Isabel Clark Ribeiro (BRA) and Yoka Fujimori (JAP). Lindsey was going to be a challenge to get in front of as she is currently ranked 1st in the world but other than that I should have been ok. In the end the heat didn’t last very long though. I came out of the gate quick which means that all the work I have been doing on my starts over the summer seems to be paying off. I was just behind Lindsey going over the first set of rollers when she miss timed one of them and fell, straight in front of me. I tried to turn around her but I was just too close and crashed into her, which allowed the others to pass us and fly down the track. We got up and tried to catch them but they were just too far in front. I finished ahead of Lindsey at least.

My final position was 10th which isn’t too bad I suppose I am just a little annoyed that I got knocked out in the first heat.

I am leaving Argentina tomorrow and going up to Colorado to see my brother for a week before heading back to Bath for 4 more weeks of fitness training before I hopefully get back on snow (providing we don’t have any more funding problems) and the season really gets going.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

In Argentina - still no Olympic programme (August 22nd)

I left the UK on the 17th and got to Chapelco the day before yesterday. We were meant to arrive one day earlier but got stuck in Buenos Aires for an extra night because our flight got cancelled. It wasn’t all bad though because we went to a Tango show which was fun.

I am very happy to be back on snow, the summer seems to have gone by really fast, a lot faster than I would have liked to be honest.

I am here for the world cup competition which is on the 12th of September but have come early for some training beforehand because I have only been able to get onto snow for a few days the whole summer instead of about 5/6 weeks which is what I had planned.

I haven’t been able to get on snow anymore than that because of the whole funding being stopped, programme grinding to a halt thing I was talking about in my last blog.

I have been up on the hill yesterday and today. We were a bit worried when we arrived at the bottom of the hill yesterday morning because the snow didn’t look very good at all! There were massive brown patches and areas of dirt everywhere at the bottom. Then as if the weather was reading our thoughts it started snowing about 30 minutes later and still hasn’t stopped. There was about 8in of powder today which was sweet to ride on.

There is a south American cup competition at the start of September which I am going to enter for practice, it will be interesting to see how many world cup riders turn up for it, quite a few I think.

I am off to go to dinner now.

C ya

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer training

I have spent a lot of time in the gym recently, about 4 hours a day 6 days a week actually.

I did manage to get on snow for a week earlier this month. I went to Les 2 Alpes, France where I was training half pipe to transfer those skills into Snowboardcross. It went really well for the first 4 out of the 6 days we were there and I was really getting into it. Learning a load of new stuff and thinking about how I could use it most effectively. Then my back started hurting for no apparent reason, I hadn’t fallen or anything! It was fine if I was still but as soon as I moved in any direction I got shooting pains which stopped me riding anymore. In fact it stopped me from doing pretty much anything at all!

It only lasted about 4 days but that was just long enough for me to be back home by the time I was good enough to ride again.

That was fairly annoying but at least I did get 4 good days of riding and had made the most of them.

Speaking of injuries, all the ones I got through the season are gone now apart from my right heel injury from January which is still hanging in there. After a million different theories about what I had done to it one of my doctors finally worked out that I had trapped a nerve. I got it injected with cortisone a few weeks ago as that is pretty much all that can be done bar an operation. The injection made it feel a little better but it still hurts when I get any impact through it. I don’t want to have the operation because the recovery time is 6 weeks and I can’t afford to be off my feet for 6 weeks right now so I am just going to have to put up with it I think.

I am thinking about the first world cup of the season now which is in Argentina on the 12th September. I am going out there on the 17th August for some training beforehand so I am looking forward to that a lot. Hopefully they will have a lot of snow and build a big course with some big jumps like last year as that will be very good preparation for the Olympics.

Re the financial situation I talked about in my last blog nothing has really changed, my programme was officially frozen at the end of April and it hasn’t started again, the financial backing for my programme is supposed to start again on the 1st august, I will let you know if it has, in my next blog.

As it stands I am currently financing the entire world cup SBX programme and I will soon be bankrupt!! So I really hope I can draw on funds in august.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Back to Bath

I am back in Bath now and settled into dry land (off snow) training here. I am in the gym 6 days a week again now which is hard but necessary, and doing me good.

When I got back I had a few injuries still causing me problems. I bruised the bone on the outside of my right elbow in Valomalenco in March, that is almost totally better now.

My right knee has been niggling for a while but that’s looking better now too after some treatment, it’s not affecting my training at all anyway though so not a problem.

My right (note how all of are on my right side!) heel is still sore from when I landed on it at the X games back in January these. I have had an MRI scan and a CT scan on it so we know there is nothing wrong with the bone now but it’s still causing me problems when I take impact through it. Hopefully it shuldn’t be too long before that’s better too.

I am having financial problems with my Olympic programme at the moment but I am hoping this will be sorted soon and we will have enough money to employ a coach; I’m doing the best I can in the circumstances and hopefully should be able to get back on snow soon.

One thing I am loving is the weather at the moment. After a long winter surrounded by snow the sun shine and heat are defiantly going over well!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

1st at the Brits 2009

My last competition of the season was the British national championships, AKA the Brits, which were held in Laax, Switzerland. It is odd, Britain is one of the only countries that hold their national snowboarding champs in a country other than their own.

The weather on the competition day was awful, the mist was coming in and out and at times you couldn’t see more than 50m in front of you. There was some doubt as to whether the comp would go ahead but after putting some dye onto the course to make it more visible the competition got underway.

Because of the time delay waiting for the dye we were restricted to only one training run each. That certainly made things interesting, although some people did sneak through to get two. Yes I am talking about you James Foster!

After the short training we had 2 qualification runs where my aim was to beat all the girls and as many of the guys as possible. I did fairly well coming 1st in the girls and 4th in the guys over the two runs.

Because there wasn’t lot of girls in the comp we only had 8 girls qualify through to the finals so we skipped straight to the semi finals. The weather had closed in before my semi final meaning we couldn’t see a thing! I got out in front right away thankfully so I knew I wasn’t going to catch anyone up and have to be able to see where they were in order to pass. I did get a bit worried when I passed one flag around a turn and couldn’t see the next flag through the mist, I had to just remember where it was and steer around what I thought was the correct side of it. I got it right, thankfully, and won the heat.

In the final there was me, Lesley Mckenna, Ivy Taylor and Dani Stone. I got into the lead out of the gate and led all the way down the course to win the gold with Lesley coming in 2nd, Dani 3rd and Ivy 4th.

I was obviously the favourite going into the race after competing at world cup snowboardcross all season so there was definitely some relief to go along with my happiness at winning.

Also competing in the Brits boardercross was another rider from the Isle of Man, where I come from! His name is Jonny Chan and I have been trying to help him out over the last few months with advice and tips as he has just started out competing this season. He had a good race qualifying in 2nd place in his age category only one hundredth of a second behind the winner and after the competition got invited to join the British Junior team, congrats to Jonny!

I am back in the Isle of Man now where I am for one week before heading back to Bath to start my fitness training for the summer.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

World cup finals 2009

I just competed in the world cup finals held in Valmalenco, Italy.

There was a lot of wind during the qualifications which caused troubles for some of the riders who found themselves travelling faster or slower than expected over the jump section in the middle of the course. I managed to avoid most of the trouble to qualify for the finals in 4th place giving me 1st lane choice in my first heat and putting me in a great starting position.

I quickly got into 2nd position behind Olivia Nobs in my first heat and stayed there comfortably to go though to the semi finals.

In the semi finals I got into 2nd position fairly early on behind Dominique Maltais and it was looking like I was going to get through to the final easily until the second to last turn when Olivia made for a pass on the inside of the corner so I stayed high trying to keep my speed so she wouldn’t get in front. Then Dominique went off the hip jump at the end of the turn falling forwards over the nose of her board and because of the angle Olivia and I were travelling we went off the jump travelling in totally the wrong direction! We flew in the air while I did a kind of inverted 360 for what felt like an age before finally hitting the ground, and man did that impact hurt! I spun around a couple of times on the ground before getting back onto my feet and continuing down the course. Dominique was just ahead of me and on her board again after falling but moving very slowly so we both struggled over the last few features looking back over our shoulders for the girl who was in 4th to come flying past but she never came. I later found out that she had fallen half way down when behind us and had decided not to continue in the course after falling. Olivia never made it down after the fall as she had hurt her back so got stretched off the mountain. When I got to the bottom knowing I had qualified for the final along with Dominique all I could say was ow, ow, ow. I climbed onto the ski do to get back to the top and did a quick account of how my body was feeling after the crash. My right knee was pretty sore but I was sure it was just bruised along with my right hip, my right arm was feeling weak, sore and I couldn’t straighten it. I was most worried about the side of my face, I could feel that I had a scrape to my right temple and the feeling of a black eye coming on and the possibility of my eye getting stuck shut as well as a head ache and a small amount of dizziness.

I got to the top and let everyone in my team know I was basically ok after the crash which they had all watched on the TV screen at the top and winced heavily at (if you check out the news article for this event on this site there is a video showing it) There was then around a 20 minute delay while Olivia was being loaded into the stretcher. I used the time to try and calm myself down, stop myself shaking and decide if I was in good enough shape to ride in the final. If nothing else could I pull out of the start gate with how my arm was feeling?

By the time the girls final was called into the gate I had decided it would be safe for me to ride but I was going to have to be careful as I was still dizzy. I pulled out of the gate a little slowly, not surprisingly but passed into 3rd position without too much difficulty and managed to hold that position all the way down to finish in 3rd and take home the bronze medal.

It was really great to end the world cup season with a podium especially because my parents had come out to watch me and that was the first time they had seen me on the podium at a world cup. Also because of the extra points I won it pushed my world ranking up to 5th which is where I now finish the season, 2 places higher than last year.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

World cup in Spain

Yesterday I competed in the penultimate world cup of the season which was held in La Molina, Spain.

I was looking forward to this race as I really like Spain, not least of all because it is usually warm. La Molina wasn’t a disappointment there; it must have been around 20 degrees during the competition yesterday!

I had qualified in 6th place giving me second lane choice in my first heat. I was in second going into the first corner but passed on the inside to get into first where I stayed the whole way down the course so winning my first heat and putting myself through to the semi finals.

In the semi finals I had third lane choice and then there was a lot of contact over the first few features which meant that I was in fourth around the first turn. I was riding faster than the girls in front of me though so was aiming on passing one or maybe both if I could by taking the inside line in the second turn. Then the unforeseen happened. The two girls directly in front of me hit each other and started wobbling then full on crashed with one of them falling so she was lying on the ground with her board across the burm right in front of me. There was enough time for my brain to think “jump over her board!” but not enough time for my body to do it, as I was only about 2 foot behind her. I hit her board and my feet stopped dead but the rest of my body kept on going, slamming me into the snow in one of the worst face plants I have ever done. I then slid over the next gate before I managed to stop myself. I remember thinking “I have to hop back around the correct side of that gate and carry on, I may be able to get going again faster than these other 2 girls who have fallen” I got as far as rolling over and bending my knees up to start hopping before my body realized it had no oxygen whatsoever and refused to move for the next 30 seconds or so while I gasped for air knowing that I wasn’t injured I was just winded. Anyone who has been winded badly will know that the worst part is there are people asking if you are ok because you’re not moving or getting up and you can’t tell them you are because you just can’t talk!

After a minute or two I had got my breath back enough to communicate that the side of my stomach hurt but I was ok enough to go back to the top to race in the small final.

A few minutes later I was there and in the gate again. I got into third into the first turn then passed into second the in the second turn, then the girl I had just passed came from the inside and took out my board from underneath me, under normal circumstances I think I would have been able to hold myself strong and stay on my board but after my core stability had just got hampered by the injury to my stomach in the last heat I was once again sliding over the snow thinking, “oh no not again”. Luckily this time I was left with air in my lungs so I could get up again and finish the race before one of the others in the heat placing me 7th over all. My world ranking is now also 7th.

Today, the day after I feel like I have been hit by a truck but I should be ok by the next comp which is in Valmaleco, Italy next weekend.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sunday River world cup

Today was meant to be just the finals day of the world cup in Sunday River, USA but as the qualifications had to be cancelled yesterday because of fog, I should say it was finally cancelled after hours of waiting around to see if the fog cleared! They ran the whole competition today. It sure was a long day.

I qualified in 6th place this morning after my 2 runs putting me in a good spot for the finals this afternoon.

I had a good first heat against Susan moll from Austria, Deborah Anthonioz from France and Marni Yamada from the USA. After we got out of the gate and over the first feature I was in 3rd place but I passed into second after a few turns and held that position to the end getting me through to the semi finals.

My next heat was tough, I was against Deborah again as well as Lindsey Jacobellis and Maelle Ricker. I was in 4th going into the first turn but I did a nifty pass to get in front of Deborah around the second turn leaving Maelle and Lindsey in front after which I tried to get past one of them at the same time and keeping Deborah behind me. I got very close coming over the last 2 jumps catching up Lindsey but unfortunately the finish line came just a bit too fast for my liking as I had more speed and was gaining but didn’t have the distance to pass into 2nd.

After that I was in the small final (to decide places 5 -8) I had my best start section of the day getting into 2nd into the first , soon after the girl in front made a small mistake allowing me chance to pass into the lead where I stayed all the way down to the end, winning the small final.

I finished in 5th and even though it’s not the highest result I have got this season it does feel good to win the last heat of my day.

Next I am travelling back to Europe after being away for almost 2 months then we have a world cup in Spain around the 11th of March.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stoneham world cup. In the final again.

Today was the world cup competition in Stoneham, Canada and I got into the final for the 3rd time this season!

My first heat was tough to say the least. I was against Lindsey Jacobellis (world number 1) Sandra Frei (world number 2) and a young Austrian girl.

I had 3rd lane choice so after the first two took the two middle gates I opted for the far left gate. We pulled out and were all together going into the first turn which was to the left. I took the inside line of course as that was the side I was on which got me into second place. Sandra had been to my right so had taken the higher line into the turn allowing her extra speed to overtake me over the next few rollers putting me in 3rd position. Then in the next left turn I cut down low to get in front of her then up high to steal the fast line. It worked great and I got in front then held that position the whole way down finishing in second and progressing through to the next round.

In my next heat I was against Lindsey, Deborah Anthonioz and Alexandra Jekova. I was in 3rd coming out of the first corner but in the same way Sandra had in the heat before I had taken the higher line allowing me to pass Deborah over the next set of rollers to place myself in second. Unlike Sandra though I managed to keep the other 2 behind me to finish in second again and progress though to the final!

The final itself didn’t go too well for me with me crashing within the first 20 seconds or so resulting in me finishing 4th.

I am still happy though since I still have a heel injury from last month which hasn’t had time to heal yet and is still giving me problems enough that I wasn’t sure if I was even going to be able to compete here at all let alone get into the final.

Because of my result today I have moved back up to 6th in the world cup rankings with 3 more world cups to go this season.

Next up I have a couple of days off before we drive down to Sunday river in the USA where the next world cup is. I have never been there before so I am not sure what to expect but hopefully it should be a good race.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Off the mountain, but in good company

I am in Vancouver at the moment and am getting a bit fed up because my heel is still hurting from the injury I got in the X games a couple of weeks ago. Because I don’t want to make it any worse I can’t ride on it which means I am getting a bit bored that all I can do is gym work.

I do have nice place to stay though! I am staying with a family right by the water in Vancouver bay. The parents are called Jon and Roisin and they have 4 great kids, Rachel, Adam, Connor and James who are always running around which is delightful and it is great for me to be in a family environment instead of in a hotel like I normally am.

The family threw a cheese and wine party a few nights ago where I met a load of great contacts here in Vancouver including one of the people of VANOC who are the organizing committee for the Vancouver Olympics and the owner of Grouse mountain where I am now hoping to betraining in the run up to the Olympics. Thanks to all the Borrill family for letting me stay. (I even got my own room, which is massive and has a flat screen TV!)

Thanks again to the whole family, you are awesome.

I did get to go up to Whistler mountain the other day though, not to train on the mountain but to watch the Bob Skeleton world cup which was on up there. Bob Skeleton is where athletes slide down a bobsleigh track face first on a sledge. On this course they were going at speeds over 130 KPH!

I went to watch the British girls who were competing. One of them was Shelly Rudman who got silver in the last winter Olympics. The other girl was Amy Williams who trains at the English institute of sport in Bath in the summer the same as I do so we know each other quite well.
It was really fun to watch, I was a bit restricted from where on the track I could get to because I couldn’t walk far with my heel so I watched from the finish area which turned out to be the best place to be.

The best part about going to watch was that Amy won silver! It’s really great for her because it’s the same track there as it will be for the Olympics next year so getting a medal here is a very good sign for her chances.

I have another 4 days of rest for my heel before official training starts on the course for the next world cup snowboard cross competition which is being held on Cypress mountain where the snowboarding events are for the Olympics next year.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Injured at X games

The X games is kind of like the Olympics for action sports only it’s invitation only and is held every year.

I qualified in 3rd position which I was really happy with as it is my best qualifying position in a major event this year and gives me more confidence in my qualifying gradually improving.

Unfortunately on the qualifying day it had been snowing all morning so the track was considerably slower than the day before in practice so I landed on the flat on one of the features when I didn’t have enough speed to make it to the landing and in the process bruised the underside of my right heal. It sounds pretty lame but it is actually very painful!

I was unsure about weather I would be able to race in the heats the next day but in practice on that morning it didn’t feel too bad (all the ibuprofen I took probably had something to do with that) so I decided to go ahead with the comp.

In my first heat I wasn’t quick out of the gate so fought from 4th place into 3rd (at the X games you are in heats of 6 with the top 3 going through to the next round) I passed into 2nd briefly when I took extra speed into one of the turns but as I was on the inside line which wasn’t the fastest line I went back in 3rd position pretty quick. Then we were coming up to the second to last jump when the two girls in front of me speed checked and rolled over the jump instead of jumping it. I don’t know why they did this as I had been jumping it in practice that day and I made the landing fine. So as I was directly behind them I had a choice of A, speed check as well and follow them over risking the girl behind me passing as I was dumping speed or B, go to the right of the jump and jump it. In that spilt second I chose B. I went to the right of the girls in front and jumped off the jump with as much force as I could. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough after the speed I had lost with the last minute turn I didn’t have enough momentum to take me all the way to the landing of the jump and I landed on the knuckle (where the ground goes from flat to sloped) as a result of that I lost speed allowing the girl behind to over take me on the run up to the last jump, much to my annoyance as you can imagine!

At the bottom I took a ski-do back to the top for the small final (places 7-12) but as I was on the way up my heal started to hurt more and more and I realized I had damaged it further from the final flat landing and I wasn’t going to be able to keep on riding so I got the ski-do driver to turn around and go back down the hill to the medical centre. Another girl also pulled out from the small final due to injury and as I had qualified above her my final position was 11th and she was 12th.

I was very disappointed with that obviously since I hadn’t got the result I was hoping for and I am now injured as well.

At the medical centre they told me that nothing was broken which is good news but just that I have to avoid all impact for as long as it takes to recover. The more impact I have the longer it will take. I am hoping to compete in a grand prix competition in the US next week but that is looking pretty unlikely now. My next world cup starts on the 11th of February by which time I hope to be back up and running.

Monday, January 19, 2009

World Championships

Yesterday was the finals day of the world championships held in Korea.

We had qualifying the day before and I qualified in 8th position. I think I could have got a higher position as I was riding fast in training but my two timed runs both had mistakes in them unfortunately. I qualified in the top 16 for the heats the next day though which is of course the main thing.

Yesterday I had a bit of an up and down day.

I had a good start in my first heat (up)

I miss timed the second feature so got passed and went into first turn in 4th (down)

I passed into 3rd (up)

I passed into 2nd (up)

I passed into 1st (up!)

I did a back flip off the second to last kicker half a second after gaining the lead (down!)

I didn't hurt myself on the landing by landing on my head or anything, probably because I made it almost all the way round and back onto my feet again (up)

I finished 11th overall (down)

But that's around 10 places higher than my last world champs so things are on the (up)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bad Gastein, bronze medal!

I competed in 2 world cups over the weekend both held in Bad Gastein, Austria.

The first one didn’t go too well for me. I qualified ok but in my first heat a girl just behind me lost control over the rollers near the start and flew across the course diagonally and took my board out from underneath me. By the time we both got up and got going we were too far behind to catch the other riders. It is really annoying that things like this happen in boardercross quite often as there is nothing you can do but you just have to accept it.

The second world cup went much better for me! I qualified in 4th place which is my strongest qualifying position in about 3 years. It also meant I got to pick my gate for the first heat.

In my first heat I was against the same people as the day before with only one change which was a bit déjà vu like. I went great the second time though as I got in front by the end of the first rollers and held the lead the whole way down.

That put me into the semi finals where I had 2nd lane choice because first choice went to Lindsey Jacobellis the current world cup leader. It was pretty tight at the start but Lindsey and I pulled ahead and both went through to the final.

The final consisted of me, Lindsey, Dominique Maltais and Alexandra Jekova. There was a lot of contact between us all near the start which ended up in me and Alexandra being left behind the other two. I passed Alexandra about half way down the course to finish in 3rd position and claim the bronze medal. There was a question about whether there was some unfair pushing by some of the riders while we were all bunched together near the start but it wasn’t clear enough on the video so nothing came of it unfortunately.

It was great to get onto the podium, there seems a massive difference between 3rd and 4th!
I am in Korea for the world championships now. We had training on the course today and qualifying is tomorrow. I came 4th in the World cup here last year and after my 3rd in Bad Gastein I am feeling pretty confident right now.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1st at the German champs

Today I competed in the German national championships and it was great!

It was quite a long day because they ran qualifying in the morning and heats in the afternoon.

I won the qualifying by a pretty big margin. My time was 1.01.34 and the closest one to me was 1.04 something! In a sport where it is not unheard of for one person to be one hundredth of a second in front of another to win by 3 seconds is amazing if I say so myself.

After lunch the top 16 girls went back to the top for the heats. I won my first heat, won my second heat and then won the final. By a ways.

It was just a great day! Everything went exactly to plan and came off wonderfully. I even won every one of the starts in my heats, an area I usually struggle in.

To top it off I worked out after that my qualifying time would have put me in 24th place in the men’s competition. (There were 90 men competing today)

I am spending tonight in Munich then driving to Bad Gastein tomorrow for the next world cup of the season. I hope to do there what I have done here today! I believe the race in Bad Gastein will be shown live on Eurosport 2 in Britain at 8pm on Sunday night so I will try to make it a good show.