The season has started pretty slowly with a lot of races being cancelled and postponed due to the strange weather we are experiencing out here in the mountains. The weather has been so mild its been so warm and not had many snow falls, so training has been limited and races have been cancelled all over Europe.
We got a large snow fall last week and I have finally just competed in my first races of the season so I have a big smile back on my face! The season kicked off with the first World Cup in Flaine, France. The course was great, extremely technical with many corner jumps and crucial turns on the berms, due to the mild weather the snow was soft making the course quite slow, increasing the difficultly on the large jumps with massive flats to clear. The race went well and I finished in 21st position a good start to the season and egger for the next race.
The second World Cup race was last weekend 31st January in Les Contamines, France, not a far drive from my base in Chamonix. The snow was a lot harder making the course a lot faster, with many downhill speed sections…my favourite! The jumps were big with a few camel jumps (double rollers where you take off on the first roller and have to clear the 20 metre gap landing on the back side of the second roller) I am always a little nervous of these type of jumps after I landed on the up ramp of the second roller in a race last year and ended up with whiplash! Luckily in training I managed to nail them, lifting my confidence going into the race. With my confidence high the race went well and I got a great result breaking into the top 20, finishing in 19th position.
The following day Saab Salomon hosted an International Cross max on the same course in Les Contamines. The Crossmax competitions are commercial ski cross events held across Europe, the international Crossmax events are used as qualification rounds for entries into the Winter X games, the ultimate Extreme event held in Aspen, USA annually. The Crossmax race went well and I just missed out on qualifying for the head to head knockouts, finishing 18th.
I’m back in Chamonix now doing some training, then heading off to Switzerland on Thursday for my next event…I can’t wait! Will write soon, to keep you all updated, if you ever need anymore info about me or skier cross, check out my website www.emilysarsfield.com.