The regionals ski race took place in Montana, which meant another long drive. Initially loading the car was extremely entertaining – there were 12 of us going, each person having at least 2 pairs of skis each, so you can imagine that the trunk of the car was pretty full. It was like a game of ski-Tetris. We stopped on the way at a hot springs to break up the drive. I’ve never been to a hot springs before so it was a great experience – it was absolutely freezing outside so the hot water was very welcome.
Since the competitors for this race were coming from all over, there were many more competitors than had been at the other races. This meant that the races didn’t run as quickly, and the girls and boys raced on different days. This was ideal because it meant that we got to cheer on the boys without being nervous about our race, as well as have a couple of hours training. The first day we got there, we had the girls’ giant slalom (GS) race. Day 2 was boys GS, and day 3 was girls and boys slalom. Slalom is a faster race so there was time to fit boys and girls on the same day. The weather wasn’t great on the day of the girls’ race – it was snowing and about -20. Unfortunately the race got held up at the start, meaning we had to wait around for over an hour in out race-suits trying to keep each other warm and motivated. The next couple of days were fantastic, and totally made up for the first day.
Although regionals are not a big deal, they do determine on whether or not the team qualifies for nationals – the top 4 teams qualify. UBC has a great team and usually qualify, but this year everyone was nervous due to a mix-up over admin meaning that some of our best racer’s times didn’t count. Despite this stress and mix-up, we still came 3rdoverall! When it was announced, our club lead (who was in her retirement year of ski racing), burst in to tears, making our efforts truly worthwhile.
I decided not to go to nationals, since it took place in Jackson, Wyoming, and meant missing a week of school, so this was my last ski race with the UBC Alpine Ski team. It was the perfect way to end an amazing season, and I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to ski with such fantastic people.