April 3, 2009: Last Race of the Season – French National Championships

Risoul, FranceWell I made it to the Risoul 1850 Ski Resort in France without any problems. It was a long trek from Montreal (over 24 hours of traveling) and to my surprise I didn’t get lost on the 4+ hour drive it took from the Nice airport. Maybe I’m getting better at navigating Europe! (I probably just jinxed myself and will get lost going back to Nice.)

I’m really looking forward to the race tomorrow. Now that the pressure to get the 50 points needed to start in the Olympic qualifying World Cups is gone, I can just go out and have fun and go for it with nothing to lose. I’m not sure how many people are going to be at this race; there are only two girls representing France on the World Cup and only a few others doing Europa Cups so I’m not sure how many points this race will be worth (they take the average of the top 5 girls’ points). It would be really cool to podium here.

This race is reminiscent of exactly four years ago when I needed to get 120 points to qualify for the 2006 Winter Olympics. I traveled all the way to Finland for their National Championships and got a third place finish, a trophy and the 120 points. I’m hoping for a repeat of that trip here!

Something to focus on tomorrow is to keep round line (as usual) but to finish pressuring my board at the gate. Particularly on the heelside turn. I’m holding the pressure way too long and then have to switch edges too quickly so I don’t go too far out of the course. If I can just release at the gate and let the board run I can ‘float’ for a bit patiently and then slowly change my edges and build up pressure. Then I also don’t get caught at the bottom of the turn with too much pressure to hold. Interesting observation I just made after watching some video of World Cup riders. Hopefully I can implement my plan tomorrow at least partially.

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