1. What skis are you on, redbridge? I'm wondering what the waist width is, and what the turn radius is too, among other things. Of course it's not the arrow, it's the Indian, but some arrows are not as good as others in the gates.
2. Was this a Nastar course, or something else? If Nastar, you can track your handicap online at Nastar.com. It's the handicap that you want to compare from day to day, and course to course at different resorts. You want that handicap to go down. That will tell you that you are getting faster.
3. How close to the gates were you as you went around them? Which part of you came the closest to actually touching the gates, your skis, your hip, your shoulder? Your shoulder is preferable, and it should be the back of your shoulder, not the front. As a general rule for Nastar type courses (and rules are made to be broken), the back of your shoulder should just lightly brush the gate. Do not slam the front of your shoulder into it.
4. If there were other tracks on the course, were yours following along with the majority, or curving around farther out, or did your tracks pass around the gate above or below everyone else's? In a public course such as Nastar, it's often good to have your tracks pass above and inside the majority (until it's so rutted up that you have no choice), since most people are low and late around the gates.
5. When do you think your new turns started: exactly between two gates, before that, or right before the upcoming gate? At the "start" of your turns, what was happening at the level of your skis ... were you releasing your old outside ski, or had you already released and were your skis moving from flat to their new edges?
There's a lot to think about when racing. It's a whole new ball game.