A team of Hemel Ski Race Club Masters (Stephen Campbell, Shiobhan Duffy, Anna Harrison, Ali Hills, Alistair King, Rob Morgan and John Urquhart) spent a week training in Gol, Norway, from 8th to 15th of December. The Adult Training Camp focussed on technique and developping skills in disciplines beyond regular slalom such as GS and Super G. Most of us felt on home ground with slalom courses even if were set in the way that made them more challenging than the usual Monday night courses (for example, our so called ‘warm up’ course in Gol extended over 400 m on the red piste and consisted almost exclusively of repeated series of verticale). In contrast, both giant slalom and Super-G were completley new ventures for those of us who only have trained in indoors environment. The Super-G featured a descent over 1 km course. The fastest racers were flying downhill at the speeds reaching 60 mph!
The Norwegian weather was exactly as one would expect in this part of the world. Gol is placed 10° closer to The North Pole than London – not quite the Arctic Circle position but near enough! Thus, it was hardly surprising when the temperatures fell below -20° C.
Not that anyone complained and not that the frost stopped us from training dawn till dusk! On our return, however, the team cleared up all the supplies of hand and foot warmers in their local stores, as an early preparation step for the next camp. Bettet later than never!
The snow was firm and crisp, the terrain was ideal for race training, and the coaching team was amazing. As were the additional activities in the camp, including morning yoga and stretching sessions, ski prep and video analysis in the afternoons and, of course, just letting it go and relaxing in the swimming pool and hot tub after the training.
The coaches Eilidh McLeod, Matt Holt-Rogers and Mike Barker guided us through the whirls of the courses and crescendos of speeds, directing everybody with individual technical advice and motivational support. Everybody has felt at the end that not only have we faced a new challenge but we have also improved different aspects of our racing performance. It was a great experience!