Driving into the Austrian mountains was a huge breath of fresh air. Another long stint of driving, and this time I was the only driver for my car but it wasn’t so bad – for one thing my hire car was a BMW X1! How do we while away six hours of driving? We play walkie talkie carpool karaoke of course! My pick was the riff off from the Pitch Perfect soundtrack which I think Craig rather enjoyed.
As I said ICC had finished but there was one remaining Europa Cup race to go and GB had space for me to race to get some more sliding in (always a bonus, especially as we don’t have a track of our own). The track is in a small town called Igls and a very different character from Altenberg. I raced in Igls the year before and really struggled to piece together a decent run; almost ending myself out of Kriesel on the last run before the race. This was unexpected because it has a reputation of being a very kind track albeit tricky to get down fast. So, I was looking forwards to making friends with the track this time and tuning into my inner glider (a way of sliding doing minimal work to build speed on tracks with low pressures).
The weather disrupted training but overall I made good progress over the three official training days. I’d worked out the way I wanted to operate that week (different from Altenberg) and I was enjoying less rushing and the serenity of the track. We always stay with the same people in Oberperfuss (near Innsbruck) and it’s one of the best hotels on tour with GREAT food! I was pretty content; eating, sleeping and sliding well. It’s all pretty straightforward when things are going well.
Race day arrived as per usual and I was feeling optimistic. We had an hour delay because of snow which didn’t bother me; you get used to that in our sport. But it wasn’t to be for me that day. I didn’t slide well, plus an early start draw combined with a snowy track and warm ice meant that I was in 13th after my first run. Not somewhere I expected to be if I am honest. Although annoyed I focused on redeeming myself in my second run; only for it to be cancelled because of weather (snow). Whilst I praise the Jury for making a call (having potentially learned from the problems in St. Moritz) it was totally uncalled for seeing as minutes later blue sky appeared as forecast.
So that put an end to my race season. Hardly the end I was hoping for. I was angry at myself and at the organisers; I so wanted that second run. But at the end of the day these are the things we have to deal with in the sport so I need to get used to it and I now have a ton more experience sliding in poor conditions compared to last year which will no doubt come in useful in the future. Shout out to teammates Brogan and Ellie for placing 1st and 3rd in the overall EC standings!! They’ve both had fantastic seasons, with Bro winning even before the final race and Ellie holding 3rd with just 6/8 results due to a concussion, #goals.
I am currently back in Bath; I was so ready to come home on Saturday but I am already missing sliding and looking forward to going back out on ice next week. There are four more weeks of sliding (training) and I plan to make the very most of it using what I have learned this season so that I can go in to 2018-19 in the best possible way. Oh, and there’s a little something called the WINTER OLYMPICS to look forwards to watching! I am not selected (as expected, no disappointments there) but I cannot wait to watch Laura, Lizzy, Dom and Jerry go and represent in PyeongChang along with the rest of Team GB!
If you’d like to watch the skeleton it’ll on the BBC from the 15-17th February. Check out the trailer ‘The Fearless are Here’.