Wow…we arrived to the most crazy, hot, perfect weather. Which really puts the pressure on…we all like to have an excuse ready about wind/rain or other conditions that we can use to console ourselves with. But no. Just plain perfect.
First comp of the season so it’s great to see everyone again. There’s no money in water skiing so as a sport its really kept a friendly feel to it. Don’t get me wrong – its super competitive, but there’s real support for competitors and parents too. Most of us who are hoping for a place on the British Team were there. Praying/hoping/dreaming of posting good scores.
I was up second in both events – Trick and Slalom. The novices (newbies to comps) go first, then the U12 boys and then us U14 girls. It’s an 8:30am start so we get to the lake for 7:45 so I can get changed, warmed up and get down to the dock in time for my slot. There is no messing about. You miss your slot…then you miss your slot. For this comp there were 3 rounds of Slalom and 3 rounds of Trick spread across 2 days. So if one round goes badly then you’ve a chance to get a good score at the other rounds. It was so great to hang out with my friends, Lucy, Tom, Amy and her sister Holly. Lucy and Tom were on the U14 team last year and are both amazing 3 eventers. Lucy tricks just shy of 4,000, and Tom just above 4,000 points. Which is amazing and probably makes them two of the most talented trickers in Europe in their age group.
The comp was amazing for nearly everyone. PB (personal bests) is what matters. It doesn’t always happen but we try to ski against ourselves, and improve our performance rather than compete against each other. Tonnes of PB were achieved – Lucy in Trick and Slalom, Amy in Trick and Slalom, Tom definitely in Trick were he landed some amazing flips for the first time.
I was hoping to score about 1500-1700 in trick. My PB last year 1360. Trick is…well tricky, because even if you do the trick it might not count if it’s not perfect – or done the right way. You may think you’ve done okay but then your scores come in and it can be a shock. With Slalom it’s simpler – you get around the buoy and your fine.
So my first run went well, I thought it was good. But I never expected to break the 2,000 mark and was jumping in the air when my score came in at 2,100. So so happy. All those winter training sessions have paid off. Two more rounds, one not as good at 1770 but one better at 2250 so I’m really happy.
This year for U14 the speed at which the line is shortened changed from 55kph to 52kph. Both Lucy and I had to learn fast (4 weeks’ notice) to change our timings and intensity. We both struggled, we were both missing our gates in practice. Neither of us had particularly high hopes for this comp.
The running order had Lucy going out first. With all of the struggles she ran 6 buoys at 14 meters and made it look easy. And then she got 1 buoy at 13m. Everyone cheered, everyone was excited for her.
I congratulated her, and just hoped I could match it. I’ve never felt so nervous going out for a ski before. I actually felt quite sick. It would be a big achievement to run 14m I’ve not run it before in comp (neither had Lucy so there was a lot of celebrating). I set off…my skiing wasn’t pretty. Lots of little mistakes. I think the nerves hit me. But I held on a fought for every buoy. And it worked – I ran 6 buoys at 14m. Then I went out at 13 m and couldn’t believe it – 2 buoys. A new PB.
Big thank you to my coaches and sponsors. John Battleday at JBski spent ages driving and coaching in the snow and cold. John always tells me what I need to do to get better and encourages me to be the best I can. He’s amazing.
Jodi Fisher has been coaching me since I was 9 years old and was the first coach to tell me I had talent – and how to hold a slalom handle! Without his encouragement I never would have entered my first comp. Via Jodi’s Ski Team I can get help on line any time any where. I love my time in Florida and it helps me so much. Finally a big thank you to Thule bags for sponsoring Jodi’s Ski Team – I love the gear.
Oh… and George and Flo Hazelwood run great comps, and have been so welcoming to me. I don’t know how I’d survive without my sausage baps from Flo’s cafe.
I know that I’ll have bad comps – comps where I’m not skiing my best. Where I mess up. But today, right now…I’m celebrating! We all got to relax and hang out together afterwards..canoeing, swimming and just having a great time.