Czech National Champs - 1st Place Horni Misecky, Czech Republic

5th April 2009

After placing 2nd in the last Europa Cup, I went out the following day wanting to win! I felt good and I had a great qualification run, clearing out on 2nd place by nearly 2 seconds. I had the best starting gate in every heat and was confident. The conditions were excellent, although quite warm, the course held up well and the weather was perfect. I won each of my heats comfortably and went on to win the final, clearing out on the rest of the field. 1st place in the Czech National Championships! It was a great feeling to finish the season on such a high note! After the event, Craig, Greg and I drove down to Prague to show them the flashing dance-floor at the Karlovy Lazne, that I have talked so much about! It was a great trip all round!

Europa Cup - 2nd place Horni Misecky , Czech Republic

3rd April 2009

Sorry for the lack of updates, I broke my computer! My knee took some time to heal after my crash in Japan. After taking a large amount of pain killers and anti inflammatories I made myself compete in the World Cup events in Switzerland at Grindelwald and Meiringen. I was hesitant due to my knee and in pain, and my results reflected this.

I had a few days rest and I decided to drive from France to Czech Republic for the final races of the season. A short 16 hour drive and I arrived in Spindleruv Mlyn, Czech, even got there without a map of Czech! The course was good, but the conditions were warm, my knee still didn't feel 100% but I was happy to give it my best shot and keen to try and end the season on a good note.

In the qualification run for the Europa Cup, I fell inside hitting my hip on the ground off one of the jumps, thus I had a slow qualifying time which left me with the outside gate. This was a huge disadvantage given the first turn was on the left and I was on the far right. I had a good start in the final but could only get across into 3rd place. I had really wanted to win this event, so I sat in close behind Helena Gallland from France, and slip streamed her into the final jump, then pulled out and overtook her over the jump and into the finishing area. I was stoked, and very excited. Mainly because my tactic had worked! So I finished 2nd in the final Europa Cup for the season. A good result none the less coming back from my knee injury! :)

World Championships - Inawashiro, Japan - injured!

February 28th 2009

After flying from Oslo to Geneva and sleeping in my car in P51 parking area at the airport,,,it was really really really cold and I didn't sleep well, once I heard the first plane flly over head, I returned to the terminal at Geneva airport to warm up before departing to Tokyo. I was greeted at Tokyo airport by a number of Japanese volunteers who were very friendly and helpful. I caught the bus to Inawashiro which was about 5 hours away and headed to bed after arranging my accreditation. I slept well, but was incredibly jet lagged.

We were in the 2nd training group so i woke up, at some breakfast and was so tired I went back to bed. I rolled out and went to training not feeling terribly switched on. My inspection wasn't great and my attention span was less that ideal. The conditions were warm and wet, the jumps were large and the course was fast. On my first training run, I did not realise the kick on one of the largest jumps into the steep section and I flew, i sat backseat and came down hard. It hurt but it wasn't too bad. I managed to get back up to give it another shot. I tried as hard as I could to stay forward and yet again off the same jump I entered the jump full speed, sat back and absolutely launched, landing about 50m later, smashing my knee up along the way. My initial reaction was "I have really hurt my knee" but followed closely by "I have to go up there and do that jump again cos if I don't do it today, I won't do it tomorrow" to which a doctor who had arrived to assist me responded "you won't be doing that jump tomorrow". I sat in the snow hoping the pain would subside, hesitant to let medical staff look at my knee and assist me. I didn't want to face it. I continued putting their help off, until about 30 minutes later when i was still unable to move and my knee was swelling more and more by the second. I finally let the doctor look, and the on hill diagnosis was "We think you have broken your patella and proximal tibia and going by the swelling here we think you may have torn your medial ligament as well" not what I wanted to hear.

I was taken to a hospital about half an hour away for x-ray and MRI. To every ones amazement I had escaped with bad bone bruising through my patella, tibia and femur but had escaped relatively unharmed compared to what I was expecting. I was out of the World Championships though, and that hurt. I watched the competition from the sidelines. At least another 4 girls were seriously injured off the same jump. I spent the week on crutches and am hoping to be able to compete again this season. I will have to judge the pain as I go along. Next it is back to Meribel for a rest and hope to recover in time for the Swiss World Cup series in Grindelwald and Meiringen. I will let you know how the knee comes along!

Branaes World Cup - Sweden - 29th!

February 23rd 2009

The course in Branaes was good. Perfect conditions, rollers out of the start, a tight top section which opened out into almost a downhill set finishing with a series of large jumps and double rollers into the finish. After a few runs of training I posted a reasonable qualification run. I had placed 29th and unfortunately due to television, the organisers only took 16 ladies for the finals which was disappointing. A video from training has been uploaded to my website under the media gallery section. So although I enjoyed my time in Sweden and the course was good, it seemed to all be over quite quickly and we prepared to travel to Japan, Inawashiro for the 2009 World Championships.

Voss/Myrkdalen World Cup - Norway - 30th!

February 18th 2009

It continued to snow in Myrkdalen, by this stage there was about a metre of fresh snow! The training day was cancelled as there was far too much snow on course from a safety perspective. There was a pretty nice opening ceremony held in the centre of Voss, where we all got to walk across the stage and collect a goodie bag from Kari Traa! We were stoked with the goodies in the bag! The following day we went out for training, they changed the course slightly for the FIS event, making some jumps bigger. It was extremely difficult conditions, the course was soft, it was chopped up and bumpy, there were holes in the course, a lot of competitors were losing their skis from the holes in the course. There were a number of concussions and plenty of crashes! Qualification went quite well, I was in 30th position and gained a spot in the finals. I had a good heat and knew that I had a chance if I really gave it a go. I was pumped and willing to give it everything….that I did! I had a great start and got over the first jump and moved into 2nd place behind Meryl Boulangeat, in an attempt to try and hold my position I skied a tight line (which I had not skied before) and I realised why…the rollers were far more savage on the inside line and they just threw me about, I was a bit out of control and then crashed hard - straight on my head!!! It hurt! I was GUTTED! But everybody said it was a great start and I really went for it and in the words of Heikki “You showed great courage”. Only 1 heat of of the 8 ladies heats finished with 4 competitors on their feet! It was tough and rough! I think this was the highlight of the season so far, I know I can be in the mix if I can just stay on my feet! Well…that headache hung around for the next 5 days! Potentially a mild concussion but didn’t want to face it. We loaded up Andra’s car and Mitchey, Andra, Sophie and I car pooled all the way to Branaes, Sweden and arrived about 9 hours later. Next update from Branaes!

Voss/Myrkdalen FIS Ski Cross, Norway - 7th

February 15th 2009

After a short stop back in France, I washed my clothes and packed them back up and left for Norway. After flying into Bergen, I took the airport bus into town, and with the assistance of a shopping trolley (best 1 euro I have spent) I loaded it up and made my way to Bergen Train Station! Classy! I took the train to Voss and was greeted by the organiser of the event who conveniently offered to take me to Myrkdalen as the public transport stopped in Voss! I arrived at a Christian Hostel and was pleased to go to sleep! Craig my team mate arrived the following day and seen as it was the last accommodation in town, we shared a tiny room with a put up bed instead of a desk. It had started snowing and didn’t seem like it was going to stop! We were unsure whether they would be able to pull off the FIS event due to the huge amounts of snow that had fallen. The organisers were VERY keen to get an event off and we went out for training. It was soft, it was bumpy, bad visibility and there were lots of rollers at the start of the course which were pretty intense. It continued snowing and one line had been slipped in the course. We all did a qualification run and everyone was sure that they would not run finals given that there was so much snow next to the course and with 4 people, it would just seem dangerous. But no, they ran the finals, some competitors refused to start it was really difficult conditions. I managed to crash twice in my first heat, once at the top of the course in the compression, then my ski came off into the corner jump. It was a crazy event, but I finished in 7th position which was quite good, there was not really a lot to report from the event.

Cypress World Cup - Olympic Test Event - 26th place

February 9th 2009

Well what a week! One of the more difficult weeks I have endured! It started with a foot of snow in London, therefore Heathrow shut down and all flights into or out of London were cancelled for the whole day. So out came the insurance policy and off I set to find the cheapest flight via anywhere other than London I could. There were massive queues everywhere but I managed to buy a KLM flight online, which happened to be the same one as Em. I am not sure whether it was just being run down or all the sprawling across the floor at Geneva airport trying to book flights online, read insurance policies, while moving up in the queue or what but I had a bad head cold that made my head feel like it was going to burst on the aeroplane and my ears as if they were at completely different levels.
We arrived in Vancouver and were put up at a very nice hotel in downtown Vancouver! After a pretty rough sleep, and some serious jet lag, We went out the following day for training. The conditions were very warm, about plus 5 and sunny. The course was a bit different to normal. A lot of features about 14 jumps, berms and a lot to think about. Some of the jumps were pretty big and due to the slow snow it was difficult to gain enough speed to make the landings. We had a second day of training and went out for qualifications the following day.
Qualification went quite well, there was one corner table jump at the bottom that I just couldn’t clear, but other than that it was alright. I skied into 27th position and had qualified for the finals. I went to pick my race skis up at the bottom and couldn’t believe what I saw…a huge chunk out of my base, right down to the core about 6 cm long! I had obviously hit a big rock in the course or at least landed on it. I was pretty annoyed about it, and after seeking some help from a few technicians I was off to get it fixed asap, as I only had 2 pairs of skis and the training pair was in pretty bad condition from general use! When I got back to the hotel, Coni one of the Swiss guys offered to help fix it and he glued it up and did a great job of it! I went out for finals the following day. The finals started at 1pm so the course had had the sun on it for hours. It was really wet and slow and the landings didn’t hold up very well, there were troughs in most of them. Em was in the first heat and I was in the third heat. After Em’s heat had left I heard over the radio at the top, “racer down, 2nd last jump, we’re going to need a blood wagon.” I had a bad feeling it was Em and shortly after I was notified that it was. She had injured her knee and she passed a message up via medical staff to tell me that she was OK, worried that I may not start my heat but rather get down to help her. I guess it is times like these when you really wish you had some support staff. I can’t say I felt 100% confident, Em had just been taken off in a blood wagon and I knew the landings were a bit sketchy. I guess I didn’t give it everything, I had a good start but over the first wu-tangs I just fell into 4th place and sat there. I finished in 26th position. At the bottom I ran off to get all of Em’s stuff together and got over to the medical centre asap. I spent the next hours/days helping Em get everything together, comforting her, arranging MRI and talking with her insurance, getting her to the doctor and Airport. She has done a pretty good job of it and it looks like she will be out for the rest of the season after having surgery. Get well soon Em, I miss you already! It was all quite a draining experience and a long week. I was very happy to arrive back in France for a much needed rest. I am off to Norway next and on to Sweden and Japan after that. I will be in touch!

World Cup at Lake Placid - The Coldest Place on Earth!

24th January 2009

We left Flaine, and departed for Lake Placid, USA. Em and I met up in Newark, New Jersey airport. It had been a long few days and upon arrival into New York Albany airport, my luggage as per usual, did not arrive. This time I was not alone, most teams were without luggage but by the time we arranged for my luggage to be sent on and got the keys to the hire car, it was already getting on to 8pm. We got to the hire car, which they had told us was in parking slot 24, we made the comment “wow that’s pretty big for a small car, I would call that intermediate at least!!” and we put all our bags in the car and tried to put the back seats down to get the skis in when Em said “Mate, I can’t open the boot.” So I said well try the ignition to check we have the right car….”Mate they don’t work in there either”…we had managed to load up someone else's car with all our stuff! After laughing quite hard we got all our stuff out and I started walking around the car park pressing the unlock/lock button repetitively. Luckily we found our car about 200m away. We managed to get a Chrysler Cruiser which we thought was terrific, total style! We set off in the wrong direction for Lake Placid, 15 minutes hadn’t gone by before we had to stop and ask directions! We ended up stopping for a pizza along the way in a ghost town. We were pretty tired by this point, after all the travel, I was seeing double, Em was dozing off and we still hadn’t reached Lake Placid. So after a dangerous drive, we finally arrived at the Olympic Training centre, when we got out of the car…oh my god….I understood at an instant why this place was called the coldest place on earth…it really was! It was somewhere down around –40 mark, it hurt to breath, you just coughed! We ran inside and were told “You aren’t staying here and the accommodation lady has left for the evening”. No one was able to tell us where our hotel was, we were so tired and it was so cold, we just wanted to go to bed. No luggage, freezing cold and no accommodation….this was getting better by the second! Luckily one of the ladies felt pity upon us and luckily there had been a recent flood in the training centre, thus a section of rooms had been damaged, had no carpet and water damage, so she said she could set us up in one of those rooms for the night and we could sort it out in the morning when the lady arrived at 8am. Thankfully we grabbed the room key and got straight into bed! We were in the first training group in the morning and we were absolutely shattered!!

We slept very well, we woke up and arranged where our accommodation was. My bags had arrived over night which was perfect and we travelled across town ate breakfast and got ready to go up for training. The event was being held at Whiteface mountain. We got up there for training and it was savage, the snow machines were blowing in your face it was –35, it was painful, everyone had every bit of their skin covered, I didn’t think my body was going to function! We couldn’t believe there were people skiing out of choice…as Em told one of them “this isn’t pleasurable, this is punishment, we have to be out here, now get inside and get yourself a hot chocolate!” A lot of teams still had no luggage so the training group was small. The course was quite flat, open and had a section with about 4 doubles in a row and quite a big step up jump. The first jump was quite difficult, you either had to suck it with no speed or jump for your life at full speed and still not make it. We took a run and went inside to warm up, took another run, went inside to warm up, our boot liners had a thin layer of ice all around them, the boot shells were rock solid, it was absolutely freezing out there!

It warmed up to about –20 the following day, we realised that this cold snap was not normal when locals said it was the coldest snap they had had in years. I was glad to hear it, and –20 seemed totally acceptable after the first day!! We had another training day, I managed to double eject off the first jump and went off the second jump on my stomach like a penguin. You know when you are winded yet you can still hear people cringing from the chairlift… this crash hurt my shins quite a lot but I was not alone as a few people did exactly the same thing! We had qualification the following day. Because the course was so open, every mistake made a huge difference in time, I was slow in qualification and quite disappointed but they took 32 girls for finals so I was in 29th and ready for my first heat of finals for the season.

Finals took place the following day, I had a difficult heat, but pulled out with quite a good start, I was in 3rd and then didn’t give 100% into the first turn and came out in 4th. It was good to get into the heats again and it made the trip very worthwhile. Final placing was 28th. The following day, we stacked the Cruiser full and also gave Chloe a lift to the airport, 3 people, 3 big bags, 7 sets of skis, and a number of small bags, it was a tight squeeze but we did it! Amazing what you can fit into a small car! Em and I travelled back to Europe before heading to Canada in February.

Update from Les Contamines World Cup

Date: 10th January 2009

We are now in Les Contamines, France for our second world cup of the season. The course was excellent, fast smooth and lots of flowing features! We managed to get in some great training and things were feeling really good, even grabbed a few compliments from other nations coaches which was very encouraging. It was the sort of course that one minor mistake and you lost a lot. After being so pleased with my skiing in training, I don't know whether I stiffened up from nerves or what, but for a double feature that I managed to ski really comfortably on the 8 training tuns, I managed to open right up into a T jump over...not fast! Thus losing speed onto the flat. Mainly disappointed that I could have been right in there on a good run, I ended up in 38th place, it wasn't too bad considering but I am looking forward to Flaine, event though my tib and fib are hurting already! I have taken many positives from this event and will write again after the 3rd World Cup in Flaine!

First World Cup for the 08/09 Season!

Date: 6th January 2009

Happy new year! We managed to train with the German National team at their national training centre for 2 days just prior to the New Year, which was invaluable! I also managed to get my new skis tuned and prepared by the World Cup Technician Martin Lampert from Liechtenstein, he did a great job and I am very appreciative!! We travelled back to France for the new year and then back across to St Johann/Obernsdorf in Tirol, Austria for the first world cup! They put on a real show! The ladies field doubled and we had 50 ladies starting. However, they did bring the injecting machine across from Kitzbuhel and inject the slope a few times. On training day it was rock solid, there was some fairly large jumps with really hard landings and it was fairly hard to hold an edge, but everyone was in the same boat. That night we were greeted with a competition dinner and Tyrolian dancers slap slap slapping their thighs, kicking, toe taping, bum slapping and so forth! Brilliant! The following day we went out for training and everyone was fighting for a run, everyone was given one run in the end. I thought the snow looked a little more see through in inspection and it turns out they injected it again over night…not that it was necessary!!! Well…everyone described that training run as ‘bambi on ice’ and it is an accurate description! Skis just doing their own thing It was so icy that I tried to take some direction into the final 3metre jump and the skis just slid out, I went off it inside, back and just went splat on the “concrete” landing. Hurt a bit, I must say it shook me up a little, I lost some confidence and only came away with a scratched and bruised wrist! The qualification run, didn’t feel so good, but I don’t think it was a course where you could feel good! I ended up 36th but know there is room to improve. Did manage to enjoy a good night of Tyrolian dance interpretation in the town centre followed by some karaoke practise. The finals were the following night and were excellent, the organisers did an excellent job and it was a real spectacle. There were some fairly large collisions. Marion Josserand from France won the ladies after leading Ophelie’s ski pre released in the final half way down and the men’s was won my Michael Schmid of Switzerland. We set back off to France (being pulled over by the police along the way for not having a vignette on our car and being charged 120euros for it or threatened to take our car away and pay 3000euro to get it back…he was very stern….but we talked our way out of it…of course!!) Oh and on a positive note…the car is back running on 4 cylinders and purring like a kitten!! We are now preparing for the next World Cup in Les Contamines France.



It makes it all worth it!

Date: 13th December 2008

Just a quick note: Today...Blue skies, good company -7 degrees and fresh's days like these that remind you why it's all worth it!

My 3 Cylinder Car! WORTH A READ!

Date: 11th December 2008

As per usual I have a story to tell, I know there are those few of you who enjoy this thread for that reason. Never short of a story!

The ski lifts open on the weekend , so I had a few days to settle in and do some dry land training. I was ready for a relax. After a couple of days I was a little concerned about my car. So I drove down to the nearest garage who said it needed a new coil. They said they were unable to do it but booked me into the Opel dealer in Albertville for the following Monday. I arrived at the Opel garage at 8am sharp in hope to get back for a ski in the afternoon. How wrong I was. When I took my car to Opel, expecting a new coil to take about 1 hour and a bill of about 100 euros....after ten minutes the mechanic walked out and said "BIG PROBLEM"...thats when I asked I don't care what just tell me how much?? ....2000 euros....thats when the tears began. No one quite knew what to do about me bawling amongst a large variety of new cars in the middle of their show room.

So I finally asked whether another garage that was cheaper could do the repair. After a lot of trying to translate with my dictionary, and some phonecalls, I was off to another garage, they didn't want to give me the keys he said "you can't drive this it go BOOM!" so he reluctantly gave me my keys after I said "well buddy its not staying here at 2000 euros!" (thats twice the cost of the car) and i set off to find the cheaper garage. After 2 hours on google translator with the mechanic, we established it was the cylinder. Thats right I had been driving my 4 cylinder car around on just 3 cylinders. I established it was worth repairing rather than buying a new car, as everything else was good on the car, and it would cost about 800 euros, mainly labour cost as its a huge job and will take 2 weeks. So I call my insurance company to see what the situation is, turns out with roadside cover I get a free hire car for the duration of the repair and any taxis etc that I need. So they tried to be very helpful which was nice. They arranged a car and said you can't pick it up until 2pm, it was about 11.30am, so the mechanic man who spoke no english (hence the google translator tool) dropped me at the car hire place and i walked around killing time. Then at 2pm I go to pick my car up, its got summer tyres, manual and no chains. I said umm the insurance company told me, winter tyres and automatic. "No we have no car with winter tyres"...brilliant this is in the middle of Albertville which is surrounded by mountains..they treated me like I was being outrageous for asking. So unfortunately the insurance company was unable to locate a car with winter tyres and it was nearing 4pm, so they rang me to tell me everything is closing so we'll taxi you home and we will taxi you to go skiing tomorrow while we sort this out. So I returned home and went skiing with my taxi return. The insurance company called me and said ok we haven't a car with winter tyres, but we have an automatic (which is better than nothing as its what I am used to), it is in Lyon. So I said right well I won't get up my road in it (i really wont its not cleared and I was expecting it to snow) so I said can you arrange some snow chains. So after being made to feel like I had asked for a luxurious vehicle with a dvd player and GPS navigation system built in (i had merely asked for some chains in a mountainous country) they called back and said you can pick the car up in Lyon tonight, you can catch a train there etc, you'll get there about 9.30pm they have some chains for you and you are lucky my supervisor said we would cover the cost.

So off I go, get to Lyon, which in itself was a story but I shan't go there, get the car, start to make my way back to Meribel and of course in comes the huge snow fall they were expecting (and was still going 2 days later) after being on the highway for maybe 40km. And I am talking HEAVY SNOW FALLS! So I took my summer tyres rental car, fish tailed my way down the highway at 38km/hour (actually overtook a truck at that speed ...ridiculous), I did fly out of a tunnel at 110km into a white out and 20cm of fresh snow on the road, absolutely shat my pants, thought that was the end, horrible didnt know where I was going, if there were cars, whether to break or not, it was bad, thats when the speed went right down to 38km/hour. So I reached Moutiers (bottom of the mountain) at 2am. Couldn't actually go any further as the highway was so dangerous with no turns, let alone a mountain with about 25cm fresh chopped up snow everywhere, no road clearers in sight. So I went to put the chains on, so glad at this point that I had got them...wrong size aren't they... way too small. Fighting with the car hire company at 2am you can they say we'll send someone and if they can get the chains on you have to pay 100 euro atleast and if they are too small we will deal with it (i was reasonably confident i am not that bad with chains and the box didn't have my tyre size on it), so they send someone at 3am...meanwhile hanging out at the closed Elf service the man turns up at 3am says "it is too french"...then wait for it....tows my car away...leaves me in the snow...pelting down snow, battery on my phone is beeping low, i am on the phone saying please i am freezing (no jacket just a polar fleece!) they have towed my car away now what?? please can you get me home. So I wait till 4am when they finally can arrange a taxi and I get home at about 4.20am. Not happy at this point.

So I woke up feeling exhausted and mentally drained, then wait for it, car hire company called me and asked me "why did they tow the car away, there was nothing wrong with it" I was pleased about it, cos i just love sitting in probably -5 being snowed on for over an hour at 4am....with no jacket...great! Then are lucky that this is being covered and that you did not have to pay for the towing and garage....I said "lucky...are you taking the piss??" this guy could not find a file on everything that had happened, apparently my file didn't exist. Then they refused to pay for me to have some chains that fitted. So they taxi me to get my car from the garage and tell me we won't pay 120 euro for the chains from the garage so you must go to the supermarket and buy some cheaper ones. So I drive with no chains in the snow , with my summer tyres, to the supermarket and get the cheaper ones as instructed, so they will reimburse me. Well of course they are of lower quality so naturally they have broken and the chains are flinging around hitting the inside of car...which just makes me look like I don't know how to put chains on, you should hear it! So now I have this car until they can fix mine, and they aren't looking into it until Monday 15th because they are too busy before then...anyway just standard Sauvey shambles! Oh you can't actually access anything from where I am staying without a vehicle no buses or anything and about 20+ minute walk to a bus. Anyway, thought you may have a giggle, atleast I can kind of laugh now. On a positive there have been no fires and no ambulances. So i'll take it as a positive.

Am off to Grasgehren, Germany for a Europa Cup on Thursday, (in my summer tyres and broken chains...for the first time ever I am really hoping it doesn't snow because I really don't want to deal with it). Although I haven't skied that much or done much training, it will be good to have 2 days of training on the SX course. I will write again after that! Good Times!!!

The first update for the 2008/2009 season!

Date: 5th December 2008

I left Australia on the 19th November. Stopped off in Reno/Tahoe, USA, to visit the Bennetts after flying to and from San Fransisco and LAX a number of times to rack up the remaining airpoints I needed to move up a loyalty class, (cheaper than paying excess baggage), but failed to think about how tired it would make me. I had a few nice days in Tahoe though, relaxing and hiking with the family, it is always so nice to see them!

Onward to London... (via San Fransisco and LAX of course...) so totalling 9 flights from Australia to London...I arrived and made my way down south to Fareham where my dad's cousin Pauline resides. I stayed here for 3 days with Pauline , Mike and Ashley who were all extremely helpful and accommodating! I was absolutely knacked by the time I had arrived and well jet lagged! I picked up my car...1998 Vauxhall Vectra, what I thought was to be a total gem and bargain! I left early on the 26th to make my way across to near Meribel, France. A good 10 hour drive plus a ferry. Well I put the location in France into the GPW and off I set, finding myself at Portsmouth dock before realising the GPS was taking me across the sea to Spain...obviously a quicker route but not the one I had the ticket for. Brilliant! So by the time I reached Dover, I missed my ferry. No worries, I sat around and got on the next one, and hit the road in France. One wrong turn a few hours later and I found myself lost in Paris...just what you need...Paris peak hour traffic. An hour in and an hour out, it was now getting on to dinner time. I stopped somewhere between Paris and Lyon at an Autogrill and decided to have a quick feed. I still had another 5 hours to drive. When I walked out I realised just how tired I was feeling, and decided to pull up with the trucks outside the autogrill and have a sleep. So into the back I hopped on top of everything I own and crashed for the night. 10 hours later (I really was tired) I woke up with ice on the inside and outside of my car, -4 degrees, the beauty of being at the Autogrill was I nipped in, had a croissant and coffee and straight back onto the highway. Handy!

By the time I reached Lyon, the car started sounding like a tractor. When I stopped to take a ticket at the telepeage (pay point) I thought my car was going to conk out. Anyway I arrived at my apartment and unpacked the car. I started to settle into my apartment and set off the following day, chugged along back to Lyon as I had to go and pick up all my equipment from the Kneissl factory in Kustein, Austria. So I flew to Munich caught the train down, spent a night in Innsbruck with friends then caught the train back to Munich airport via the Kneissl factory. I then drove back to Meribel in my car that sounded like it was about to blow up, arriving around 2am. I will get my car looked at sometime this week. It is nice to have arrived and started settling in for the season! Looking forward to skiing!

What was meant to be my week on snow! Continental Cup SX - Hotham

Date: 1st September 2008

I had been looking forward to my week skiing for the last few months. Working hard at both my jobs, back at uni part time and training hard off snow, I was ready to get back on skis! I had a weekend cruising around at Hotham and managed to fall violently ill with influenza on the Monday, and it took me down BADLY! After being put on a drip on the Tuesday, food would not stay down and I spent the remainder of the week either in bed, the toilet or on the couch watching Olympic repeats. After not being able to keep food down for 5 days I,for some crazy reason, decided I would start the ski cross continental cup race on the Saturday. For those of you who are regular readers or know me well will know by now, sometimes you just can't stop me! Without the strength to tune my skis, team mates Craig Robinson and Gregg Samuels tuned, waxed, prepped and scraped my skis for me so I was ready to go in the morning, a huge thank you to them as I would not have been able to do this by myself in the state I was in.

So I left the apartment for the first time all week and found myself in the start area for the SX. I felt weak and sick, I rag dolled my way down the course and ended up in the finals in the outside gate (I was actually happy to get that far). I had a bit of luck and found myself in the big final. With little to no energy left after 7 runs down the course, feeling exhausted and sick, I fell straight into 4th place and made it to the bottom. I wish there was more to tell you, but it was fairly uneventful and I was just pleased to cross the line in that state! Actually a great result, potentially a stupid action even starting the event, but everything worked out well and I rushed off back to bed. I managed to keep some food in later that night for the first time in 6 days. The race was won by Aleisha Cline from Canada.
I left Mt Hotham on the Sunday and returned back to Melbourne where I spent the next 7 days just renourishing my body. The illness has put me out of training for nearly 2 and a half weeks and I am just getting back into it now. Gutted that my week at Hotham was spent sick as a dog, but am looking ahead now to the Northern season and will continue to work hard off snow.

First ski for the 2008 Southern season!

Date: 25th July 2008

Have just returned to Melbourne after the first ski for the season. A last minute rush up to Hotham for some photographs with Tony Harrington, Hotham proved to be fantastic and I enjoyed some of the best days of skiing I have had in Australia! The weather was prefect, the conditions great, good snow, it doesn't get much better! The 6.30am starts showed some of the nicest sunrises I have ever seen. After successfully testing the Kneissl GS skis, all looks good and I can't wait to get back up there in a few weeks time for more! ...Even managed to squizzle my way on to the '08 Hotham Season passes!!! Please find a couple of photos taken below. Thanks to Harro for the photos!

World Cup Finals, Valmalenco

Date: 17th March 2008

After a few days rest in Brides Les Baine, Em and I set off for Valmalenco, Italy for the Ski Cross World Cup Finals, in the famous Peugeot 106, full to the brim, with the skis on the roof and the socks on the ends (to protect the bases from flying road grit) We arrived to very warm weather, +15 degrees! The snow was so wet that on training day 1, it was a similar feeling to skiing through puddles, where your skis actually stop, we were a little concerned we wouldn't make it up the jumps, let alone anywhere near the landings! The speed was very slow and we had to pop most jumps to clear them. Em and I rushed home thinking of anyway we can miraculously make our skis really fast in 2 days! Big thanks to Marty for all his tips in this department!! Much appreciated!

The next day the snow hardened overnight and the course ran completely different. Without anyone there to tell us that it was no longer necessary to pop the jumps, Em and I discovered the hard way, windmilling off the top jumps just about clearing the landings! The course ran quite well and once it hit lunchtime the course was starting to slow down again. Yet again we waxed and waxed our skis in an attempt to make them as fast as we could.
On the finals day they ran the heats from World Cup rankings with no qualification. The weather had come in, it was snowing and foggy with flat light....brilliant! The course had yet again slowed right down and we were hardly moving. In training no one had enough speed to clear any jumps and the snow was VERY slow, to the point we didn't know whether to start skating over the middle rollers, because you felt kind of stupid just sitting there, feeling like you could easily have a conversation with the person next to you, something you really don't normally experience in SX! The course was put on hold, due to an injury and the piste bashers came in to remove some jumps, sadly making the course even less exciting and even more of a game of wax. The heats were run and I had the outside gate in a tough heat with Hedda, Emilie and Alexandra. I had a decent start but as soon as we went over the first double and hit the flats I was out back and stayed there coming through in 4th, not going through to the final 8. It was a good experience being able to get in the heats of 4 against the top girls in the world as well as the training experience. The event was won my Ophelie David (FRA) with Hedda Bernsten (NOR) and Meryl Boulangeat taking 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Thank you to Vic and Dan for their help on course as well as Neil and Racer Ready for his support, photography and assistance with accommodation costs at the event, your support is very much appreciated! I will be heading to Japan in a few days for a FIS Ski Cross on my way home and a brief powder skiing holiday with Den, pending how the leg holds up! Will write again soon!

Update from Switzerland World Cups

Date: 10th March 2008

After the Spain incident, I took 6 days off and went to Prague to sight see and meet up with a friend. Good news was that once the swelling went down I could close my jaw and eat meat again! The jaw was not broken!! Prague was really nice and I would recommend it to anyone, I managed to come across the most amazing flashing dancefloor there as well, if ever in Prague and in need of a good night out with retro music and as I said an amazing dancefloor...just drop me an email and I will send you the bearings! Good times! I spent most of the time recovering and enjoying time off snow.
At the end of the week I traveled to Geneva and was picked up by team mate Em, No luggage arrived of course, standard procedure...and off we set to Grindelwald for 2 open Swiss cup races and a world cup. The weather was terrible, raining and wind so the events were canceled, as were the training days. I had the stitches removed from my neck in Interlakan hospital and was ready to go! They managed to pull off the world cup after a few days. It wasn't until I put my ski boots on about 8 days after the accident in Spain that I realised, I actually hurt my leg quite badly in the crash and was in a lo of pain, but had not realised as I was more concerned about the bleeding neck and potentially broken jaw to have realised at the time. Not to mention I lacked confidence in general after the crash! I only managed to get one training run in as they closed the chairlift due to wind and I qualified slowly pushing me back to 25th in the field. We then continued on to Meiringen where we had another world cup. I was unsure initially whether I would start due to my leg, I did the training and thought it is the last event just grit your teeth, take some more panadol and mobic and do I did and yes produced a bad result surprisingly! To be honest, I broke after this event, physically, mentally and emotionally I was ready to go home!!! It was shortly after this that we were asked to attend the World Cup finals in Valmalenco, where they only take 16 ladies and 32 men, which we were really pleased about and was worth waiting around for! (Even though 2 hours prior I had been heard saying.."Get me on a plane home NOW!". So I have headed back to Meribel with Em and had a few days down in Brides Les Baine relaxing and resting the leg. Next news will be from Italy!

Update from Sierra Nevada, Spain

Date: 25th February 2008

I have been in Spain for the last 5 days for a World Cup and 1 FIS ski cross event and I have some stories to tell! The course for the world cup on training day had some large features where it was almost impossible to clear the flat and make the landings. I hurt my shins quite badly, as did most of the field, including the men. The course claimed a number of competitors and some of the features were changed slightly so it was possible to actually land on the landings. The course was extremely fast at the bottom with a number of rollers which you hit at a speed that was almost uncontrollable, I held on for dear life! In my qualification I over-jumped one of the features with the wrong direction and had to make a big direction change into the upwards corner jump losing some vital speed. I qualified 18th unfortunately not going through to the final 16 which was disappointing, however I am confident that I could have had I have had a clean run. It was good fun none the less. The event was won by World number 1, Ophelie David from France which was no surprise.
The following day the jumps were cut down substantially and a few rollers were removed which slowed the course right down. I qualified 7th which was quite slow and I wasn’t that pleased with it. It was alright as I know once you get into the finals anything can happen. In my first heat I came down in second behind Dagmara from Poland. I had comfortably made it into the final 8. The organisers were using snow mobiles to get the athletes back to the top of the course to cut time between heats. It was cloudy and the light was flat and at full speed my driver did not see the compression ahead and we flew up in the air…I subsequently somersaulted off the back of the snowmobile with all my equipment and my skis hit me in the ribs along the way and I landed on my head! The Canadian coach came running calling a medical sled along the way and the driver apologised profusely, meanwhile I was just trying to breath. I said to them “Can you please ask them to hold the start” while trying to get some air! The ribs were a bit sore but with all the adrenalin from the race I said lets keep going, got back on the snowmobile and was dropped at the top. When I arrived back in the start my final was in the gates ready to go. I literally did my boots up and they said “attention GO” and down the starting board went. Towards the bottom of the course I started to get dizzy, and got black patches over the last jump, I stood up crossed the line and sat on the snow trying to clear my head. It was quite frightening. Being up at 3000m altitude probably didn’t help! After a drink of powerade and 5 minutes rest it was back on the snow mobile back to the top for the small final.
I felt alright so I decided to start. I didn’t have a great start and over the first double, the two competitors on either side closed in on me slightly, I landed on the back side of the double roller right between them we all bumped skis and I think the Canadian girl caught her edge and skied straight into me. We had a big tumble and somewhere along the way her ski flew off and her binding hit me in the neck. It hurt quite a lot, I undid my helmet buckle and when I stood up and the medical people came over carrying some of my belongings, they cringed when they looked at my neck, I then heard the Canadian girl ask “can I keep going?” My reaction to this was… “Bugger that I don’t want to come 8th!” so I grabbed my poles, did my helmet back up and tried to continue…I realised after attempting the next jump that something was seriously wrong, I was in a lot of pain there was blood and I thought I may have broken my jaw!!! I pulled out and stopped at the next medical assistant whom rushed me down to the hospital. After seeing the nasty open gash on my neck in a photograph, I realised how crazy I was for attempting to continue the course. The Canadian girl had my flesh in her binding!!! Quite revolting, I have seen the photos of it bein removed! A huge thank you goes to my team mate Emily, Chris and the best dam team manager going round, Janet Sarsfield for running around after me, getting all my equipment, looking after me and transporting me to and from Granada hospital. I was stitched back up, a few layers as it was quite an open wound and the xray machine for the mandible was not working so we were unsure of the result. I still can’t close my jaw but it is already feeling much better so we are pretty sure there are no cracks! All in all…a bit of an average day! I feel run down and my whole body hurts (in particular the jaw, shins, fibula, head) but I have a week to recover and hope that I will be able to return for some events next weekend in Switzerland and get my stitches out before the next World Cup in Grindelwald, Switzerland on the 6th March. Stay Tuned!

Update from Bormio Europa Cup - 8th!

Date: 5th February 2008

I have just got back from the next event on the circuit, a Europa Cup SX in Bormio, Italy. Due to a large overnight snowfall on Friday, the course was extremely bumpy and with limited visibility, the event was nearly postponed! It cleared up around midday and we reinspected the course and started again. It was still really bumpy and with a pretty messy qualification I made it through into the heats. The finals were at night and starting with the outside gate I just went for it, nothing to lose. Managed to win my heat and proceeded through to the semi finals. In my semi final I got out quickly but managed to take a low line nearly missing the second gate, once i climbed back up I was back into 3rd unfortunately not going through to the finals. In the final my start wasn't as good and after running it low again I nearly missed the jump throwing my skis across to make it and landing on the flat as I lost my speed. I finished 8th and it was a pretty pleasing result.

Update from Meribel, France

Date: 28th January 2008

Sorry it has taken me so long to write an update! It has been hectic the last few weeks and trying to find the time to sit down and write something has been difficult!

Les Contamines: The first world cup of the season, one to be forgotten! Massive jumps, large gaps before the landings, I was struggling to clear the landings on the training day, then it snowed overnight and slowed the track down, other than my ski falling off in training and losing most of my confidence as I ate it hard, I ended up compressing my back landing badly off one of the big jumps and ended up spending the next 2 days at the physio!

Flaine: The second world cup, Just a few days after Les Conatmines, I wasn't sure whether my back would hold up, Andrea the physio did some excellent work and I was able to start. After double ejecting off the first jump in training I realised I was going to have to get my bindings re mounted as I was losing confidence and not able to commit to the course fearing my skis may fall off again! Happy just to be able to start, it was a pretty nice course, quite techincal and the jumps had nice landings, I skied into 24th position, but had a lot of room for improvement.

Kreischberg: After a 12 hour trek across Europe with Em my team mate,, and a brief stop at the Milka factory, we arrived in Kreischberg Austria to minimal snow for the 3rd world cup within a week! Training was cancelled but they managed to pull the event off. The course was pretty good, I skied alright, was closer to the winner in qualifying with 2,9 seconds off and finishing in 20th position. Still not overly happy with my skiing, seeing places where I could improve, particularly on the jumps. Overall had an absolute blast.

Zweisimmen: The first Europa Cup for the season. The course was set quite open and along the flat, it was fairly tame, with fairly straight forward jumps and nothing too difficult. I unfortunately just struggled to create speed on this course. I wasn't scared of anything but just skied slow. I think some longer/faster skis may have helped so I didn't qualify (18th) which I was pretty disappointed with, especially after doing well on this course last year placing 5th. The following day there was an open ski cross event on the same course. After another slow qualification run, i realised the course just was not for me. After qualifying 13th I had last choice of gate, ended up on the outside lane, but managed to come 3rd in my heat, not continuing on into the finals. It was good to get in the starting 4s finally!

I am now back in Meribel, France with Em, having some time off and giving my shins a rest! This weekend there is a Europa Cup in Bormio, Italy, so I am hoping for bigger and better things there! Will be in touch when I can! Until then, Take care!

Update from Innsbruck, Austria

Date: 6th January 2008

Happy New Year! I am currently in Innsbruck, Austria. I left Canada on the 29th December and the rest of the trip was far less eventful than the beginning, thankfully, and I managed to get in some good training and plenty of freeskiing! Thanks to Luc and International Racer for this opportunity, check out their website, you can find the link on my homepage. The first 2 crossmax events I had planned on doing in Garmisch, Germany, were unfortunately cancelled due to lack of snow. The snow here in Innsbruck has been substantially less than I had hoped for, so now I look forward to the first competitions which will be in France next weekend. I will be in touch!

Update from Sun Peaks - BC, Canada

Date: 4th December 2007

I am currently in Sun Peaks in BC, Canada. I have had a crazy start to the trip actually. A bit of a string of bad luck. After having my flight from LAX to Reno canceled and subsequently spending the better half of the day in the LAX terminal, my next flight a few days later, from Reno to San Francisco was also cancelled. After being re-routed via Seattle to Vancouver, I arrived with no luggage. We decided to stay the night in Vancouver before driving to Sun Peaks. We got some accommodation at a motel/hotel in Langley just out of Vancouver. At 1.45am the fire alarms started blaring, we all assumed it was just burnt toast, until everyone had their doors bashed down "Fire!! Everybody get out" in a state of serious panic we grabbed everything we could and threw it in the car, however, I had no luggage, which made my trip quite a bit easier. The place was burning to the ground, the room above me had smoke pouring out of the doors and windows, the roof of the whole hotel was on fire smoke and flames filled the air. We later found out it was arsine. So we set off for Sun Peaks at about 2.30am. My bags finally turned up one at a time, and some of my luggage was in pieces, including a brand new POC helmet which had not previously been used. When we thought the luck had to stop there, after merely one day of freeskiing, I awoke to chronic pain at about 5.45am the following day. I was nauseous, dizzy, hot and the severity of the pain was indescribable. Something I have never experienced!! After screaming and rolling around on the ground "something is going to burst Luc, please I am dying!!!", an ambulance was called by Luc my coach and I was rushed to Kamloops hospital. The pain finally subsided and it was later found that I had torsion of the ovary. Not sure what caused this, particularly while sleeping, but possibly a cyst which burst and caused the ovary to twist. A very painful experience. Since then I have been a bit hesitant on snow but after seeing another doctor yesterday I am now ready to look forward for the rest of the season. After doing 2 days of freeskiing, it looks like we will be doing some Super G and GS training in the next few days which will help. Stay tuned for what I hope will be a less eventful update in the near future!

Curl Magazine Article

Date: 23rd November 2007

I just had news from the editor of 'Curl Magazine' that an article called "Sarah Sauvey's Story" is in the November/December edition of the New Zealand/Australian magazine. A lovely 2 page spread. The article was written and images were taken by Jane Emerick, keep your eyes out at your local news agency for a copy or have a look at the PDF copy in my Media Gallery section of this website! Heading off tomorrow so I will be in touch from North America!