Successful British Championships and Rauris World Cup!

Last week we all returned from Rauris, Austria after a fantastic few weeks of training and racing. The first 2 weeks were the British Championships which were followed directly by the third World Cup of the season. The standard of skiing at the British Championships was the best we have ever seen and really bodes well for the future of British Telemark! We were slightly lacking in snow but the event was still a huge success and a big thank you must be given to the Army and Navy for all their work organising it. Thank you also to the sponsors who gave some fantastic prizes this year: Snow and Rock, POC, Belton Cheese, Reusch, Rossignol and Tog 24. The full results from the British Championships can be found at: AWSA Telemark

We had three Championship races: GS, Sprint and Classic and two Development races: Sprint and Classic. It was great to see the Development racers racing their Classic on the same slope as the Championship race. Congratulations to Jasmin Taylor and James French who are this years British Champions! Anna Morrissey came second in the ladies and Fred Thomas and Jack Harvard Taylor came second and third respectively in the mens.

The new Senior and Development teams were announced at the prizegiving, congratulations to all those selected! Thank you to Chris Wotton who has taken over the role of team coach and was fantastic at spotting new talent and getting everyone involved. The event finished with the mountain race where everyone gets up stupidly early to race up the mountain. A special mention to James French who was leading the race until his skin fell off ha!

New Senior Team:

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Ladies: Jasmin Taylor, Anna Morrissey
Men: Jack Harvard Taylor, James French, Freddy Thomas, Chippy White, Andrew Clarke

New Development Team:
Men: Robert Houstoun, Louis Hatchwell, Ben Atkinson, Danny Johnson, Paddy Armour

Men: Robert Houstoun, Louis Hatchwell, Ben Atkinson, Danny Johnson, Paddy Armour

Jas, Anna, Jack, James, Freddy, Chippy, Andy, Ben, Louis and Robbie competed in the Rauris World Cup. Everyone skied really well, Jas finished 6th in the Sprint and James finished 19th in the Classic. It was impressive to see a couple of the new Development team members getting a top 30 place too! The classic race, set by Urban Simcic, lived up to last years with seven rollers in the skate section taking us all the way to the bottom of the Kreutzboden chair lift..very tiring!
Unfortunately the Slovenian World Cup that was due to follow Rauris has been cancelled due to lack of snow. A few of us are competing at the Inter services Championships in Meribel next week and then Jas and Anna will fly to Steamboat, America to compete in the fourth World Cup.

2013 British Championships Race Report

On the 5th January the British Team arrived in the small Austria town of Rauris to commence training in preparation for the British Championships and the second FIS Telemark World Cup of the 2012/13 season.

Joined by over one hundred servicemen and women from across the three services (British Army, Royal Navy and RAF) competition was fierce for podium places in both the Army and Open Championship races.

Rauris, Austria

With the addition of the recently selected Junior Development Team, comprising of: Edward Lees, Nick Henderson and Ollie Wotton the team spent the first five days freeskiing before progressing into GS gates prior to the first Championship race.

As a result of the rising temperatures in the valley, the race jury took the decision to move the opening race up the hill to the Gipfelbahn piste.

Kicking off with GS, racers battled against poor visibility and 30cm of fresh snow on the hill. With less than a second separating the top three men after the first run, Chris Stewart took the gold medal followed by Jack Harvard Taylor and James French.

Jack Harvard Taylor

The following day provided the British racers with similar, challenging conditions for the Sprint Classic race. Again Chris Stewart skied into first place, closely followed by James French and Jack Harvard Taylor finishing in bronze medal position.

On the final day of racing the sun emerged for the Classic race, the longest of the three Championship races. The demanding course started with a flat one hundred metre skate before dropping into a series of open ‘super G’ style gates. Following on from this, athletes where put through their paces with a long GS section before the rap (360 degree banked turn) and uphill skate into the finish. After an exhilarating race Chris Stewart beat Jack and James, finishing with an impressive final skate and clinching the gold medal.

Buy your ‘Free the Heel’ Ski Ties

The British Telemark Team are offering you the opportunity to buy your very own ‘Free the Heel’ telemark skis ties for only £6 (inc postage).. and support the British Team at the same time!

The ski ties, sold as a pair, are an invaluable accessory for protecting your skis’ edges whilst transporting them around resort and in storage. They also look pretty good, and you’re sure to be noticed on and off the slopes.

To order yours today – contact Anna Morrissey

Pre-Season at Manchester’s Chill Factore

On Sunday 7th October the British Telemark Team headed to Manchester’s Chill Factore for a pre-season training session on the indoor ski slope accompanied by a morning of performance profiling with newly appoint head coach, Andy Stewart.

Chill Factore is the UK’s longest indoor ski slope boasting 180 metres of real snow making it ideal for practising drills and working on fundamental telemark skills in a safe and controlled environment.

After a quick team captain’s meeting to discuss the forthcoming World Cup calendar and the 2013 British Championships, Jack handed over to Andy who delivered a number of insightful presentations based around the ‘coaching process’ and ‘training periodisation.’

Jack Harvard Taylor commented, “Andy is a real asset to the team and it’s great to have him on board this season. Andy will be working closely with the team during the pre-season and throughout the British Championships prior to the Rauris, AUT World Cup event at the end of January 2013.”

The 90 minutes on-snow afternoon session consisted of a number of drills aimed at improving athlete’s balance, coordination, pivoting and edging.

Current British Female Champion, Jasmin Taylor said, “The day was very fun and I feel personally, that I’ve taken a lot away from it and learn some new skills!”

The day was very fun and I feel personally, that I have taken a lot away from it and learn some new skills!

GBR FIS Telemark World Cup Report

The British hosted FIS Telemark World Cup drew to a close yesterday following the prize giving at the Hotel Grimming in Rauris.  The British organising committee paid tribute to the terrific help and assistance of the local Rauris community in putting together a brilliant few days of World Cup racing, particularly the Tourismusverband and the Hochalmbahnen who were played vital roles during the precedings.  The event was a huge success and proved that it is possible to host a World Cup level event in a foreign country.

Teams started to arrive in Rauris a couple of days before the races to familiarise themsleves with the terrain – Rauris is a very small resort with only a handful of runs and is perfect for an FIS World Cup race.  The resort boasts an homologated World Cup GS course and has previously hosted a Women’s FIS World Cup race.

The conditions were near perfect and the racers gave spectators their fair share of thrills with huge jumps and some spills.  Both Giant Slalom and Sprint courses were technically difficult, the terrain on the Kreutzboden piste is particularly challenging with a shallow start giving way to a icy and fast track about half way down that lasts to the finish.  The jump which was perched rather precariously on the edge of the transition meant racers were exposed to a fast landing with the next gate situated only a few metres from touchdown.  The aggregate speed from the upper part of the course combined with the unfettered momentum of free flight had racers in all sorts of trouble trying to negotiate the tight left hander after the jump on both the GS and Sprint courses.  Unfortunately some, to their dismay, realised that going ‘big’ on the jump was not the best tactical move and ended up tangled in the strategically placed safety netting.  The rappelokke (360 banked turn) was well placed and provided a onlookers the perfect place to see top class world athletes in action.  There were no events worthy of note here but it was interesting to see the technical nature of this discipline being put into practice – no sooner had the athletes left the 360 they were now pumping their arms and legs at a frighteningly rapid frequency to get themselves around the cross-country part of the course and to the finish.

12 nations arrived in Rauris to participate in the first ever British hosted Telemark World Cup and also the first Telemark World Cup of the 2010 season.  There were 9 Brits from the team able to compete, sadly Rachel Morgan was unable to attend due to work committments and David Cardwell and Carl Simmons are plagued with injury.

There were some surprises and it seems that the French have been working hard in the closed season with Chris Lau taking first place in the Giant Slalom on day one beating Eirik Rykhus (NOR) by almost a full second, on the other hand Bastien Dayer (SUI) was way off the pace trailling the leading pair by almost 4 seconds.  Chris Stewart (GBR) recorded his best finish in 29th position.  49 racers started.  In the women’s event Amelie Reymond (SUI) showed that she was still top class and romped home with a performance that left Katinka Knudsen (NOR) who was struggling to find top form in her wake.  Melodie David-Metral (FRA) came in with a respectable 4th place just behind Sandrine Meyer (SUI) who converted to telemark 2 seasons ago and has been one to watch ever since. Sarah Hannibal (GBR) gave a sterling perfomance in her first ever WC appearance coming 14th and recording some good WC points.

It was not long before the Norwegians exerted authority over the event in the Sprint with Rykhus crossing the finish just over a second in front of Philippe Lau (FRA) who followed almost 2 seconds later by Daniel Forrer (SUI) who was always in the top 5 mix last season.  Meanwhile the women’s race was once again dominated by Reymond who was on superb form.  On the British front there were some strong efforts Stewart and Andrew Clarke were close after the first run with less than 2 seconds separating them.  All was to play for and Clarke took an icy patch incorrectly and slipped below a gate having to climb to continue.  Stewart smashed the jump and recorded his first ever nil penalty there – only 9 other racers achieved this, he finished a credible 26th.  With racers leaving the course at several points, not always under control, the Brits through gritted teeth muscled on to record 4 top 30 finishes (Chris Wotton (28th), Philip Maddox (29th) and Huan Davies (30th)).  Hannibal fell, popped her shoulder but continued to ski to record an 18th place finish.  Other finishers were Clarke (31), Matt Turner (32) and Richard Parrot (34).