To come first, first you have to get down. Jazmine Butcher produced one of her finest performances of her young career to take the win in the first of the two Giant Slalom races held down the fantastic Col de Voza slope in Les Houches. With the slope having so much terrain for the course setters to play with, this was a day for the racers to have to stay totally on their game all the way to the finish. One mistake and this was curtains for most racers, or for one racer who missed the first gate (but shall remain nameless) they did not even get to ski the rollers, bumps, jumps and all the rest of the exciting courses that were set for them. The Col de Voza is one of the best GS pistes that the british racers will experience this year. Enough of the slope, the racing was great as well!
Jazmine Butcher managed to win the first run of the girls race and then hold on for the win overall by finishing third to her BSA training partner, Megan Jenkins, and Ambitions Anna Henderson who both put in great performances despite being out of the running for the Overall win having crashed out of the first run. Both Jenkins and Henderson are strong skiers both in stature and technically and their second runs were great to watch. Not just parents were standing down the side of the course as the two racers battled it out on the second run but many of the boys looking to learn how to race the course as well! Erika Heginbotham (BSA) and Isadora Taylor (Ambition) joined Butcher on the podium for the first run. Heginbotham went on to take second overall with Jessica Anderson taking third overall just ahead of Kirsty Guest and Cameron Manson. Starting near the end of the starters was Sarah Haigh form the DHO abd she managed to post the 8th best combined time, a great effort.
Alicja Krahelski continued her fine run at the championships in taking the overall win in the younger age group with Alexandra Lillywhite and Isabella Colley joining her on the combined podium. Â Olivia Ward was just hundredths off making the podium in fourth after having been second on the first race. Olivia Ward’s older sister Ella took a promising third on the second race.
The Robert Poth show continued into the first Giant Slalom as he gave the rest of the Under 16 boys a wake up call to win by over two seconds. Fraser Buchan came in second and third but Poth even had the luxury of being able to ski off line half way down and still win in a commanding fashion. Poth put in a clean second second run and it was on this run that he really made the damage to the overall time. Indeed none of the older boys could get close to him and it was left to another talented youngster, from the under 14 age group, to post the second best time on the run: Mathieu Avent! Buchan and Kick were second and third respectively again with Fellows and Vinter rounding out the top five on the run. Vinter and Zac Pierce had been just off the podium places on the first run; Vinter would take fourth and Iain Innes fifth overall.
With Mathieu Avent destroying the rest of the field in the under 14 age group, the rest were lead home by Angus Wills (BSA) and Toby Deighton overall, all three in the top ten overall. Angus Wills followed Avent home on both runs and third place was shared by Jamie Brown on the first run and Toby Deighton (BSA) on the second.