Sunday, 31 March 2013

The British Championships

Straight from Spain I flew into Geneva where I had to get a 4 hour bus that took me to Tignes. It was a long days travel but on the upside I didn't have to pay excess baggage on Easyjet.

I was met in Tignes by my good friend James Webb who is currently injured. Luckily he was commentating which meant he was still able to come, which pleased me greatly.

James at prizegiving

The first day we had skiing it was glorious sunshine. But I was too late to enter for slopestyle. If I had been a day earlier I would have been able to register. I felt like I could have put down a decent run and done pretty well.

On the thursday it was the halfpipe event. And this was my favoured event. I had come 3rd the year before which I was not very happy about as it was not a great result. So this year I wanted 1st. The conditions were absolutely terrible. We had about 10 inches of snow throughout the day.

First hit 900

Since the weather was bad I found it more beneficial to take two runs practise and spend the rest of the time slipping the pipe to try and clear out the fresh snow. The majority of the other riders did the same as me. It just made for a better event when it came to qualification.

Right side 720 tail

Flare safety grab

Since the conditions kept getting worse and worse the organisers had to cancel the finals. It just meant they went on qualification score. The judges gave the riders the option but everyone voted not to run it.
I managed to put down my World Cup run in the quali's so I was nervous about not running it as I wasn't sure what the others had done. Thankfully I came out on top. I was extremely pleased that the British title was mine. I hadn't won it since 2008. So I was over the moon that I was back on form and back on top.

Smiles all round

Covered in Champagne 

I would like to say thanks to Scene Images for the photos. They are some great shots.

Seirra Nevada Part 2

The contest actually ran the second day. The weather was really unpredictable all day. One minute it was in and you couldn't see anything. The next it was blue skies. It made for a very frustrating competition. This meant that I had a lot of waiting around before my runs.

Coach Jamie and myself waiting

After a short practise that consisted of only two runs it was straight into the event. The organisers rattled through the first runs. I was not very pleased with my first run as I had a bit of a bad landing on my first hit. The first hit was over vert which meant it spat you into the middle of the pipe. It was difficult to deal with.

More waiting

Dropping for my second run

A lot of other people felt under scored. And I also agreed with them. Some people were getting really high scores for not such good/technical runs and other with better runs were getting a lot less coming in. It was strange as it's difficult to know what to do if you just aren't getting the scores you deserve.

My second run went a lot better. It was probably the best run I had done all season. I was really focused for this event. I wanted a good result and I felt like I had a good chance to do well. When my score came through I was so disappointed. It was the lowest score I had all season and I was gutted. I didn't want to wait around and watch the others but I felt I had to show some support for the other guys because if it was me I would want them to do the same.

Can you find me?

The mens final was cancelled due to the weather. And girls only managed to do 1 run qualification. It was really difficult conditions all day and I was just happy to have landed my run.
When I got back to the hotel I got some really good news. Even though I didn't get the score I wanted I still managed to end up in 20th place over all. Which is another Olympic qualification criteria I hit. It takes a lot of pressure off knowing that I have three top 20's now. It lets me know that all the hard work is paying off.

Results sheet

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sierra Nevada part 1

On the 20th of March I flew from Glasgow to Malaga for the World Cup Finals. They were in Sierra Nevada which is two hours drive from Malaga.
I got off the plane with my ski jacket etc and people were looking at me funny. I didn't see to big a problem. And then I pulled my skis off the belt and the looks became even worse.
After that I walked outside and was met by the glorious sunshine!

I was met at my hotel by Paddy Graham and Jamie Matthew and then we went for dinner. The day after that Paddy had slopestyle practise so both Jamie and myself helped him for the day. It went really well. He had a decent run that would have placed him highly.

Unfortunately the next day was really windy. So it meant that the whole resort was closed. It was a bit gutting as it was meant to be my first days training. Instead a few of us drove to the beach down in Montril which was about an hour away.

Lads in the wagon


The next day was the first day of practise. I was incredibly warm and still slightly windy. The pipe wasn't in the best shape but it was sunny so that was a positive. It was in a fairly sheltered location so it didn't affect the halfpipe riders as much as the slope style guy.

Training went pretty well. Apart from a few crashes which I tweaked my knee on. Other than that I was happy. So later on that night me and a few of the others drove 20 minutes up the mountain to watch the sunset. It is incredible.

The next day was meant to be our contest day. It looked like this.........

That was the view from my window. I was not impressed to say the least. Instead of sitting around and doing nothing I went to the gym and got some physio on my knee.

Just a few needles

Hopefully the contest runs tomorrow. But I will just have to wait and see. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

World Championship, Oslo

Last week I flew into Oslo from Laax for the World Championship. It was a great week in Laax training with James Webb. I couldn't manage to get a direct flight to Oslo so I had to go through Berlin. It was a tiny airport and it had hardly anything in it. It was a long days travel.

The first days training was really good. The pipe was perfect. It was 5 hits long and in good condition. It wasn't to icy or to soft. The halfpipe was right at the bottom of the mountain beside the car park. It made it really easy to get to it and easy for spectators as well.

View from the Car Park


We also has a night training session because the finals were at night. It was strange training at night again as the pipe has a thin crust of ice on top of the soft snow. It doesn't freeze all the way through as we are still skiing in it. So it is just the surface.

Night session
After the night training we went back to our hotel. It was right beside a football and ice hockey stadium. The team and I ended up sitting in one of the rooms that looked out over the rink and watching a game.

The next day was competition day. I didn't sleep to well the night before as I was nervous. I am never usually like that. But a lot seemed to be riding on this competition.
I was in the later heat which I was pleased with as I didn't have to be up early. All the best in the world were there. So it made a very tough contest. Thankfully the weather held up for all the heats. Even the girls who were later on in the afternoon which meant the sun had been on it all day.

I landed both my runs but not quite how I wanted to. I wasn't pleased with the way I skied. But still managed to get my highest score of my season with a 68.8. I placed 18th which has matched my best result of the season so far.

Unfortunately I didn't make finals. So the following day me and Jamie Matthew(the coach) went for a ski around the mountain. It was very small and not much terrain. But we found a mini pipe which was roughly 8ft. It was so much fun. We skied in that for a good few runs.

The weather was pretty poor so we only skied half of the day and then went down to the hotel for lunch. Later on that evening all of the team went to watch the finals under lights. It was really enjoyable to watch but extremely cold. As soon as the event was over we left as fast as we could to get back to the warmth.

It was a great competition and I look forward to the next one in Spain.