Diary of A Novice Racer - Part 3


By: Caroline Brown

Mid-May 2010 and I had my first race trophy (3rd place in the Ladies' Masters slalom race at Milton Keynes) so where to go from here?

Earlier in the year my City of London livery company, the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN) had been on the lookout for willing participants in the inaugural inter livery ski championships. Although I was very keen to go, the final exam for my massage diploma was on the same date so I had to pass for 2010 but put my name down for 2011 as soon as the first request for entrants came out.

I started searching the internet for Giant Slalom coaching courses for adult novices because the championships ran both slalom and GS events and although I was getting plenty of slalom training at Chill Factor I had no experience of the wider gate settings of a GS course. I wanted to learn more!

Eventually I found a week's 'Taste of Race' course with Inspired To Ski at the end of November in Tignes and duly booked a place.

Alan declined the invitation to join me, opting for a week's off-piste instruction in St Anton in December instead, so I headed off to France alone and met up with three very friendly mature ladies from Aberdeen on their second 'Taste Of Race' trip and a young South Korean chap who gamely put up with us 'oldies' all week! The conditions were fantastic and for most of the time we had the most amazing training piste all to ourselves - Rosolin for those in the know. There was video feedback every evening and everyone had noticeably improved by the time we went home.

Fast forward to January 2011 and I met up with the rest of the GAPAN ski team in Les Carroz for a couple of days' team bonding before the main event in Morzine, where 78 skiers took part in the second inter livery championships. The slalom was run under floodlights on the Friday night and the placings determined start position for the GS on Saturday morning. I managed a creditable 11th in the slalom followed by a very pleasing 9th in the GS, and as the fastest lady in each event I came away with 2 trophies to add to my collection.

And from here? Well, I'll be back in Morzine next January to defend my position as top lady and have accepted an invitation to race for the Ladies Ski Club at the Inter-Club races next year.

'No longer Novice' Racer signing off!