The result of which has been some incredible snow conditions, enabling us to hold the races in the Stade down in the lower slopes, a great slope for racing on, and it has been used for many World Cup races in the past. All of the children (and staff) were hugely excited at the prospect to race on such a prestigious course.
After heavy snowfall on Friday night, and the first race (Giant Slalom) scheduled for Saturday morning there was certainly going to be no problem with fallen snow, but simply whether the conditions on the course would be suitable. The fresh snow was very fluffy, and with it falling so heavily they had been unable to groom the piste over night meaning that a race course would get churned and worn through very quickly.
The race management studied the conditions, and as always safety is paramount in ski racing, so the decision was made to cancel all races on the Saturday and make a re-call on Sunday. It is always a huge shame to have to cancel an event, but something that as race managers you should never be afraid to do if the quality of the conditions, and the safety of the race can come under question.
As an alternative everyone met up again with their ESF instructors, and headed off onto the piste for a full days ski guiding and coaching. After the first run any disappointment from the cancelled race was quickly forgotten! The quality of the snow was outstanding, it was a pure powder day, and this was all on pisted runs.
With all the pupils off enjoying the fresh snow the Race Managment were meeting, and had made the call to move the Giant Slalom over to the Sunday, to be run with the Team Parallel Slalom event, at the sacrifice of the individual Slalom.
The mood in the hotel for supper on Saturday night was one of complete ecstasy, with all of the pupils blown away by what really was a once in a lifetime’s day of skiing. Poweder days like this are few and far between, and all of the pupils were hugely thankful to have the opportunity to enjoy such incredible conditions.
An evening’s bowling was a great way to finish the day, before an early night in preperation for the next days ski racing.
Over Saturday night the skies cleared, which dropped the temperature in resort and compacted the snow, the piste was groomed, and as we sat down for breakfast on Sunday morning the sky was clear, the sun was shining and we could all see the course being set from our breakfast table. The mood was again extremely excited, as it seemed we had truly been blessed with fantastic ski racing conditions.
The stade is a great place for racing, there is an ESF hut at both the start and finish of the course, and a drag lift running up next to the piste enabling the competition to be concentrated in the one area. With a commentator sitting in the hut holding a clear view of the course, and the names and times of all the racers coming up on the big screen it really was an extremely professional setting, and a great environment on which to hold the Independent Schools Ski and Snowboard Championships.
The Giant Slalom was run in the morning with some outstanding racing by all competitors. We will post the full scores in due course, but the below is the podium for the three divisions:
Boys Giant Slalom:
1) Sam Todd-Saunders – Hurstpierpoint
2) Nicholas France – Hurstpierpoint
3) Josh Dhillon – Kings College Wimbledon KCS
Girls Giant Slalom
1) Olivia Knowles (Wycombe Abbey)
2) Lucy Maynard (Wycombe Abbey)
3) Annabel Wright (St Mary's Calne)
Team Giant Slalom
1) Wycombe Abbey
Junior Giant Slalom
1) Ben Richardson – KCS
2) Nick de Boer – KCS
3) Ben Meyeratteken – KCS
After a full morning’s racing through predominantly sunny and perfect conditions, we held the parellel team slalom in the afternoon. The true competitive nature of the schools always comes out in this event, as it is a simple race of school yard nature with 5 people in a team hitting the slalom in a relay against a team of opponents doing the same.
In this event Kings College Wimbledon showed their depth of racers with their second team taking the title, beating a very able St Mary’s Calne in the final.
The day was capped off in celebratory style with a full three course gala supper followed by prize giving in the Belle Etoile hotel, we had a handful of great prizes on offer from Westbeach (http://www.westbeach.com/) and Rubix Kangaroo (http://www.rubixkangaroo.com/) with the winners receiving a jacket each, and prizes all the way through meaning that no one went home empty handed.
It was truly a fantastic four days in the mountains, and a huge thanks goes to all the schools, racers, and parents for their continued support in the events sixth year.
All of the teams have now landed at home safe and sound, with the excitement of the Christmas holidays ahead, an no doubt more mountain adventures for a lucky few!
We will be creating a photo book of the event, and will have a CD of the photographs, so if you would like a copy please do not hesitate to drop us an email with your name and address to email@example.com
Please follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/basecampgroup) for regular updates, and we also have a page specifically dedicated to the championships which will have all the photo’s from this year, and up and coming information on the 2012 championships (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Base-Camp-Ski-Snowboard-Championships-2011…)
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!