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Oberjoch, Germany
March 17th 2014

That about sums up my feelings about the races in Oberjoch; the GS especially.

The weather was great when we arrived in Oberjoch.  Not necessarily good for the snow conditions but the clear blue skies and mountain air were definitely good for the soul!  We arrived in time to have a couple of days' training in the resort but I was disappointed to note that the race hill was closed off for the German racers to train on and they would not allow anyone else onto the hill!  I am not sure that this is actually allowed but I wasn't in a position to do anything about it and so I had to content myself with free skiing and doing drills elsewhere in Oberjoch.

The race hill in Oberjoch

By the time of the first race, the spring sunshine was a thing of the past and the wind was blowing fiercely by the first morning of racing.  The GS was very much a matter of those who finished the race wearing broad smiles and those who didn't (me, included) brooding over what might have been.  I failed to finish the second run and thus failed to capitalise on the great points on offer.  I could say it was a missed opportunity but, since it wasn't my plan to not finish and rule myself out of the bonanza, I shall not be quite so hard on myself.

The race was odd in a number of aspects.  Firstly, as several of us remarked after the first run course inspection, there was no banana gate (in either the women's or the men's course) in either run - I thought there had to be.  Then, there was no inspection at all of the second run course.  The Organisers said that they had moved the gates across, out of the ruts, but the course was not exactly the same and there should have been an inspection in any case.  And I was looking at the skis of the girl in front of me and noticed that they were 175cm long!  So not only were they not the regulation length, they also had the wrong radius!  Nobody checked our equipment at any time.  I was surprised by all of this; I expected a German-run race to be super-efficient and run by the rules!

It began to rain on Saturday afternoon just after the GS, continued through the night and was still raining for the first run of the Slalom.  I was absolutely sure the race would be cancelled but they salted the course and the race was held.  Being bib 33, by the time I came to race, the course was in bad shape and several around me failed to finish - I fell just as I came onto the steep.

Before the start of the Slalom race.

I am glad I went to Oberjoch despite the two DNFs.  It was my first race in Germany and Oberjoch is quite pretty - it is a tiny resort and our hotel looked across to the race hill.

On the way home, we spent a day in Zurich.  

The view over Zurich and the lake from our hotel.

The city itself is very like Innsbruck; the old part perfectly preserved and very beautiful. The weather was was lovely and really warm so it was very nice to walk around the city and down to the edge of the lake.  

The gorgeous Dolder Grand hotel, Zurich

Afterwards, I was able to use the hotel spa where the gym was state of the art.  I then forced myself to rest in the various "relaxation" and "chill out" rooms where I enjoyed St Patrick's day in bliss!

Relaxing at the Spa!