Scoring a competitive 55.65 in the short program, Craine led the field into the final free program to finish overall second on 159.96 points behind Alexia Paganini from Switzerland (162.27) and did so in a borrowed dress and without all her usual equipment – except for her skates.
“The only thing I had was my skates because I put them in my mum’s bag. No guards, skipping rope, no make-up, no costumes, no training gear, no foot padding,” Craine said.
Aussie team mate Katie Pasfield, who finished 16th in the 24-strong field was able to loan Kailani a spare dress for the free program and a local girl loaned Craine a short program dress and tights.
“I’m so grateful to Katie and the girl from the local club. My bag is still in Warsaw and I’ve been living in one shirt for three days. At least there will be no washing to do when my bags turn up.”
Craine was jubilant about her event, citing a step forward in the free program as a goal ticked off.
“It was a little bit decent,” a happy Craine said this morning.
“I wasn’t coming here for placings. The object was to compete a lot (in preparation for the Olympic qualifier) and not freak out. Even though I moved down a spot after the free program, I felt completely comfortable. I wasn’t shaking or nervous at all and that was the goal.”
“I made a lot of mistakes that I’m not happy with but definitely I felt better. This competition was an ice breaker. I found a new sense of confidence and the event felt more like training.”
“I do this stuff in training thousands of times and wanted to make it feel like practice and I did that. It was a perfect six-minute warm up. I got really down in my feet.”
Winning the short program wasn’t good enough for the Newcastle native.
“I felt really uncomfortable on the first day, but still I think my training has been better.”
“Even though I was leading. I didn’t come here for the place. People were congratulating me after the short. I wasn’t having any of that. I was not happy at all with it. I didn’t do my triple/triple and my spinning wasn’t up to my standards.”
Craine has added a triple loop triple toe jump to her repertoire, which became a triple double in the event.
“The triple/triple is my biggest obstacle at the moment. I’m just really harsh on myself and it’s kinda taking that next step.”
Knowing she can face equipment problems and still deliver has been a bonus.
“What if the only thing I have my skates? Now I know.”
“We had to sew me into the dress to keep it done up. Everything will be a walk in the park after this.”
Craine will head back to her Los Angeles training base for two weeks before competing at the Ondrej Nepala Trophy in the Czech Republic before heading to Germany for the Nebelhorn Trophy that will determine the final six nations for PyeongChang next February.
“The competitor list is tough at Ondrej Nepala. The world champion will be there. Hopefully I will go from that to Nebelhorn and feel even better about myself.”
One thing she will be sure to do is travel with her equipment as hand luggage.
“I normally always do. It won’t ever go in in the suitcase again.”