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Nukabira, Japan - January 2013
January 6th 2013
After a lovely, relaxing Christmas at home with my family it was time to hit the ski circus road again - and what better part of the world to start 2013 than the slopes of Japan!

One thing about Japanese people; they really do go out of their way to look after you and after 3 great days training as guests of the local race club in Nukabira I was feeling very confident.

The conditions were absolutely right for a good race for me; cold, firm, grippy snow and a decent start number.  I knew that this was my chance to score well and I was ready.  I didn't hold back at all and I was sure, at the end of the 1st run, that I had beaten that course - I was lying 17th (from bib 33), less than 2.5 seconds off the leader.  My second run was good but more cautious because I was aware that my first run had put me in contention for a good score and I didn't want to mess that up!  In the end, I finished 18th overall, 2.7 seconds off the winner and with a personal best score of 58.36!  Thank you to all my friends who sent me messages of congratulations ...

The second day of racing in Nukabira dawned with the same bib number and the same grippy snow.  I was full of confidence and knew that I could repeat the success of the previous day.  Mother Nature had other ideas!

The wind was gusting off and on and there were what looked like mini-tornadoes appearing here and there on the snow before the race began.  Things had calmed down but just as I began my first run, a gale force wind blew up and literally blinded me with snow for the duration of 2 gates.  I could not see anything at all and I came to an almost complete standstill as a gate was blown sideways into me.  It was just my luck that the wind decided to do its worst just as I was on the course!  Anyway, as a result of this, I ended up 5.9 seconds off the leader after the first run and I didn't make the flip.  The second run was a bit bumpy but I made up 4 places to finish 27th and score 92.78 points.  This was hugely disappointing after the previous day's fantastic result but there was nothing at all that I could have done about what happened in the first run.

Despite the worst that Mother Nature could throw at me, the two races in Nukabira have put my GS points at 75.