Wednesday, January 30, 2008

X Games, with no coach.

I have just got back from competing at the X games (Basically the Olympics of action sports)

It’s an invitation only event and had 15 hours of live TV coverage in the USA.

I had some major problems on the run up to the event because my coach had to resign due to family reasons 4 days before I went. As a last minute thing I organized for my brother Jon Gillings to come to coach me for the first day of training and James Foster, another British snowboardcross rider to come out for the rest, both acted as my coaches and it turned out that that worked really well!

I qualified in 3rd so all my fears that it was all going to go wrong because I didn’t have my usual coach there went out the window at that moment.

In the X games there are 6 riders racing instead of the usual 4 which makes it interesting to start with. In my first heat I won the start so I was in the lead for most of the way down, 2 girls got in front of me when I hit some soft snow but it was ok because I only had to finish in the top 3 to get into the final. I was still in 3rd going over the final jump but then I flew way too far off the jump and crashed on the landing! I knew if I tried to stand up it would use up too much time so I just lifted up my board and let myself slide across the finish line. I didn’t know if I had got over the line in front of the girl behind me or not until I looked up at the score board and saw:

1:Tanja Frieden

2: Sandra Frei

3: Zoe Gillings

I had got through to the final!!

We had to wait for almost half an hour for the final to start because a guy had fallen on the course and they had to rebuild the fencing around one of the corners. I got nervous standing in the start gate I have to admit but as soon as I got out of the gate all my nerves disappeared. Unfortunately my race didn’t last very long because as we went into the first corner a girl just to my left lost control over one of the rollers and crashed straight into me. I ended up 6th in the final so 6th overall in the comp.

Considering all the problems I had coming up to this event and the fact that I came 7th last year I was pretty happy!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

King Of the Mountain Competition - USA

I was in Colorado just before Christmas at a competition called King of the Mountain, or as some of the girls called it Queen of the mountain.
It was a cool comp because they had bands playing in the evening, the performers included Michael Franti & Spearhead, Swollen Members, and more.
I had some team mates at this comp with me too, I am used to being the only Brit competing so it was a good change to have some team mates to cheer on. Unfortunately one of them got knocked out in the practice when she took a jump wrong and fractured her pelvis and ankle.

The other one got 17th place just missing out on qualifying for the heats.
I qualified in 4th which I was pretty happy with since there were a fair few good girls there.

My first heat started really well. I got out of the gate so fast that by the time we got to the first jump I was completely in the air when the other’s tips of their boards where just getting over the lip. Then disaster struck. Something happened as I took off so that by the time I landed my board wasn't underneath me anymore and I crashed, right at the start of a flat section so even though I tried to catch up I had no chance.

That really annoyed me because I had such a good start and then I fell in such a bad place!

I finished the comp in 9th though so pretty good all the same.
My next competition is in about 3 weeks so I am looking forward to that now.