Mellow/Manic

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The title of this blog pretty accurately sums up the trend of competition this season so far.

It started with a pretty mellow hurry up and wait in Japan, followed by a manic two comps back to back in Kicking horse, a sequence which was effectively repeated once we arrived in Europe, with delays causing Andorra to run late and Fieberbrunn happening only 3 days after. 

We knew pretty early on that the competition in Andorra wasn't going to happen until close to the end of the window, so ultimately it ended up being a chance to go skiing and enjoy the company of friends. 
Which was much needed after the pretty hectic few weeks prior. 

Having a few rad days riding hard with no real schedule reminded me why I love skiing and had me super motivated to compete, so when it was finally time to push out the gate I was full of excitement and enthusiasm for the run I was about to ski. 

I skied my line pretty much exactly to plan with some big drops, a flip, an accidental grab (which I don't remember doing), all clean landings and finished 7th!

It is a result that I am really proud of because on this day everyone was apparently inspired by the recent falcon heavy launch (sending hard but also landing real smoooooth).
- by the way, everyone should watch that, the way those boosters land is mesmerising.

I think Andorra is my favourite stop on the tour.
The thing I love most is the abundance of food in hotel Coma, and the ease of acquiring it, although there are plenty of other reasons why Andorra is a good jam. 

I guess more than anything, after blasting around the world for a couple of months on a pretty tight schedule it was nice to come back to somewhere familiar and have some time to think again. 
Andorra was the scene of my first two FWT competitions last year, both of which went really well, so the place already holds a lot of good memories.
Plus, Hotel Coma parties are the best!

 Hotel Coma 

Hotel Coma 

Following a pretty mellow entry into Andorra, things became manic once again and we learned that the weather was about to turn to shit in Austria. The only clear day in the foreseeable future was for Friday, the first day of the weather window, and the prediction was that if it didn't run on day one, then it probably wouldn't run at all. 

That left us with 2 days between the competitions in Andorra and Fieberbrunn. 
Elisabeth Gerritzen, Yann Rausis, Marion Hearty and I skipped town straight after the prize giving in Andorra and drove straight to Verbier arriving at 3:30 am on Wednesday.
We skied that day, then left early on Thursday arriving in Fieberbrunn at 3 pm and inspected the venue until about 5:30 pm.
We kicked things off on Friday with a 5:00 am wake up, and finally competed in the most important and high pressure event of the season! CRUNCH TIME. 

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At this point, I was sitting in 9th place on the season ranking, and I knew that I needed to place 10th or higher at Fieberbrunn to be sure of qualifying for Verbier and FWT 2019.

I planned a line that I thought would put me into the top 10, and then decided that I wasn't content with just placing 10th, so I completed the plan with one final long air, which initially I didn't consider to be difficult. 
I skied the whole top section of my run pretty well, but came into my last air a little loose and was bucked backseat on takeoff by an unexpected bump, I wasn't able to regain balance and crashed as a result. 

Basically I cooked it. 
With only 3 skiers to go I was outside of the cut, until Michael Bimboes dropped in and put down the winning run, which pulled me back into 13th, where I stayed!

This means that by two top ten results and some bloody good luck at Fieberbrunn I am now safely qualified for the finals in Verbier and also for FWT 2019, for my third season on tour!

I am unbelievably happy and relieved to have qualified, waiting for confirmation at the bottom of the venue was hell stressful.

I am now in Verbier for the rest of the season and I am super excited for the FWT final which is happening here in a couple of weeks!

 Current rankings before Verbier

Current rankings before Verbier

 Memorial for Borja in the finish line of FWT Andorra. 

Memorial for Borja in the finish line of FWT Andorra. 

This happened straight after the competition was finished and before the prize giving, Borjas friends skied the face and spread his ashes before skiing into the finish line where we were all gathered, each of us holding a rose. 
Borjas wife then sent him of with a final few words, it was pretty tough to watch, although I still feel that the day was an awesome way to honour the life of a mountain person. 

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 View from the top in Andorra

View from the top in Andorra

 Fieberbrunn 

Fieberbrunn 

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