At 6.30am Gilly Seagrave (co-owner of Our Camp), Carrie (Milton Keynes rider), and I set off on a mission to Switzerland for the The NikitaGoodie Lady Session, and Laura Berry and Stef followed us in convoy.
After a 3 hour drive (due to the heavy snowfall) we got there just in time for the last registrations; still snowing heavily we head up the hill to find the park and the comp. We were not expecting to see a great turnout as we thought most locals would wake up, take a look outside and think, no! However, there were 32 competitors in total, so the white out had not been a deterrent.
The 5 of us set about getting our practice runs in and exploring the park – this was difficult as the visibility was so poor. I was unsure of taking on the kickers as you could not see the landings and I stupidly did not do any practice runs over them until the comp started. There was a wide selection of rails to play on, including 2 rainbow rails, up-down boxes, a side-on rail, as well as some straight boxes. Everything seemed more intimidating than usual due to the weather conditions but it did not seem to put off the riders who were pulling 180s and 360s (even though you had to feel your landings rather than see them)!
The comp was split into 2 parts as the judges could not see the whole park because there was so much snow. The morning involved being judged over the 2 blue kickers, and the afternoon involved being judged over a selection of rails. For the 1st part of the comp we were split into two groups, Group A and B. It kicked off with Group A having 45 mins to do as many jumps as possible and then it was our group’s chance to prove ourselves. I managed to get 3 runs in, with nothing fancy just indie grabs. However, I was pleased with this as it was a new experience doing kickers (5 metres) without being able to see properly. After this section we all stopped for a hot lunch and then it was back on it for the rail comp. The judges chose select rails that were in sight for them to judge and then every competitor had two runs to be judged on. Your options were the side-on rail, then the rainbow rail or a big gap-box, a picnic table or a small jump with a post to tap and then the long straight rail. It was challenging!
Everyone met in the Irish Bar at the bottom of the hill at the end of the day for Maude to announce the winners. Nikita was generous on the goodies and Maude made sure every rider went away with something. Getting a prize for taking part is really motivating and much appreciated. Anais, from Villars and sponsored by Nitro Static won the comp. She also won the Grimentz comp a few weeks ago, so she is becoming an experienced prize collector! Laura Berry, sponsored by Red Bull, came 2nd with her frontside 360 over the 1st kicker and a backside 360 over the 2nd. In the 2nd half of the comp she nailed a front-side board pretzel, and then the rainbow rail, a tail-tap backside 180 and finishing up with something fancy on the last rail. Gilly Seagrave, sponsored by Protest and Atomic, came 3rd with a front-side 360 to half-cab, then in the rail come a 50:50 on the side-on rail, a clean run over the rainbow rail, and finishing up with a nose slide to switch out on the box.
The day was not to finish here as Maude did a great job organising a party for all the girls to celebrate our efforts in the comp. So after Gilly and Laura had collected all their prizes we headed back to our quaint Swiss apartment and got ready for our night in Switzerland! After a meal of spaghetti we headed downstairs for the disco where we were giving each other stupid dares to do! Mine were easy, ask for numbers, get free drinks and dance with Swiss men – I did not say that these dares were nothing compared to taking part in the comp in a white out!
So a massive thanks to Maude for organising the comp and party and putting so much effort in, as everyone had a great time.
Written by Catherine Peck, sponsored by Salomon, Animal and Ruroc Helments