Colne’s Bethany Widdup, a member of the 2013-14 England Alpine Ski Team, has secured both podium places and personal bests in the current season’s race programme.
And here, she reports on her progress to date this year.
Bethany said: “We started 2014 with 11 races across Europe. The first were in Bad Wiessee, Germany, and although there was little snow, we still managed to race three slaloms. I had a mixed bag of results. In the first race I finished 21st, scoring 71.80 points, which at that point was a personal best, while on the third day I improved to 16th place, with another PB of 58.68, bringing my slalom points down even more. The lower the points, the better your start number for the following races.
“I have now been selected for the British CIT team, another stepping stone for this season, and I hope to be able to score more points to help the team improve its rankings in the Arnold Lund World Cup.
“The next set of races were Grand Slalom in Santa Caterina, Italy, which didn’t go well as I crashed on the first run the first day, and didn’t start the second due to being ill.
“We then travelled to St. Moritz for the Swiss University races, where I achieved my first podium finish of the season with a third overall in the slalom, before moving on to Champery for the Welsh Championships.
“I had a good slalom first run, placing me second British girl 0.13 seconds behind, with another PB of 87.07.
“However, due to a hard set course and deteriorating snow conditions, the second run was a fight to stay in the course and I made an error, losing a lot of speed. But I managed to finish and gained my second podium of the season with another third overall.
“We then drove eight hours to Passo Rolle in Italy, where I have never skied before. In both slalom races, I had one good run that I was happy with, but made a few mistakes in my second run.
“Although it wasn’t as successful as it could have been, my coach and I were very happy with the runs and it is now a matter of working hard to produce consistent performances on two runs.
“With over half of the season done, I am happy with my progression, and it is also satisfying to get my first two podiums for overall positions under my belt. It’s now a case of building on that.
“The programme starts again tomorrow with a few weeks training, when I can work on the little things for the next set of races - the English Championships in Bormio, Italy.”