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English Alpine Championships 2017

Image for article English Alpine Championships 2017

From the 12th until the 17th of Febuary the English ski racing scene flocked to Bormio, a historic town in northern Italy. These championships bring back a lot of memories, the first time I went was in 2010, and this is my 7th time at the Championships. I am in the Under 21 catogory (U21), and so compete in the FIS races (International races organised by the International Ski Fedaration for everyone born in 2000 and older) and my time is filled with a race every day. 

The Championships kick started with 2 slalom races, the second of which counts as the English Alpine Championships race. I was using Mountain Fuel nutrition for the first time and I was perfectly fuelled up and ready to race. The first race started off well, but unfortunatly I straddled a gate (when the gate goes between your feet) and this means that you are disqualified. After the disapointment of the first days racing I felt ready to race on the second day and even though I made a few mistakes on the first run, I sat in 3rd U21 British after the first run. I really attacked the second run and had the fastest British time on this run, and this pulled me up to finish 2nd British overall in the Slalom race which I was really happy about (the picture is on the Podium, 2nd place, with the Salomon race skis I got from George Fishers last year) 

The Super-G race followed (Super-G being Super Giant Slalom, Slightly turnier than Downhill, a lot faster than Giant slalom and Slalom) and I was really excited. The course was fast and turny, there were places where risks could be taken, and places where it was crucial to think ahead. I was testing out some new wax on my race skis from James Heaton, a race wax developer and so my skis were running really fast. The top section went really well but over a blind roller I ran the line slightly too direct and getting air off the roller, I wasn't able to make it to the next gate so sadly didn't finish the race. 

The next day was an Alpine Combined (Combined times of 1 run Super-G and 1 run Slalom) race. The Super-G was set slightly slower than the day before, a bit more turny the whole way down. I took the same approach as the day before and attacked from the start gate, and even though I ended up running a really low line (which is usually really slow) I crossed the line with the 4th fastest British time and it was my best Super-G race of the season so far. Sadly as I came through the finish I caught an edge and was flipped into the netting. I was stretchered off the hill and taken to the nearest hospital where they x-rayed nearly all of me (they even x-rayed my head!) and confirmed that I hadn't broken any bones  the doctor thought I would be able to ski again in a couple of weeks, and with the help of Sue Read (Sports physio, Keswick) I'll be able to come back stronger!

So although it was a shortened English Championhsips for me it could have been a lot worse and so I'm really grateful I'll be able to head back out to the Alps soon! I am hoping to be back for the British Champioships in Tignes in March. I'll kepp you updated!

 

22 February 2017 by Francesca Lee

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