There were grudge matches built up from years of friendly rivalry in the City and their are grudge matches built up after years on the slopes at the City Ski Championships. Yet the Duel Slalom at the City Ski Championships are time to put the answers down on the snow. This was the time to let the skis work and do the talking. And this year saw some of the finest racers assembled for many a year: Two ex GB Team racers in the form of the Robinson Brothers, Ollie and Nick were taking part for GFI along with other luminaries from World Skiing in the form of Olympic Champion Tommy Moe and also Colin Jackson. Add to the fray past City Ski Champions and you had a lot of names looking to be beaten. And even Racer Ready got dragged up the hill to battle it out!
For the second year, the City Ski Championships were being held in the great Swiss resort of Crans Montana. Famed for its 300 plus days of sun, the resort near Sion, has held World Cup races in the past with the men here last year: Max Blardone winning the Giant Slalom and Benni Raich winning the Super G, yes that is right!
With Open categories, mixed categories and other categories, there was something for everyone to enjoy. In the opening few rounds it was obvious that the Robinson dominated team of GFI was one of the teams to beat. With their history and strength, on the other side of the draw was Lloyds of London lead by the City Ski Champion of a few years ago Chris Olivera. And it came to past that these two teams of strength met in the final. GFI had had an early scare in being drawn up against First Energy in the opening round but their strength in depth was too much for even Racer Ready to catch up helping out First Energy.
So it was Robinson (Ollie) pitted up against Olivera in first leg of the relay. Robinson took an early lead and then made the fatal mistake of trying to see where he was against Olivera and disaster. Robinson had spent all morning geeing up his brother not to choke in the final leg and then here he was lieing on the snow cursing his bad luck / poor performance! Despite getting back on course with all his equipment and dummies, it was a nice easy run home for the experience of Lloyds. Youth would have to wait another day to try and win the Accenture sponsored event!
In the finish afterwards Robinson’s excuses were almost legendary, straight out of the book: “I came in too straight, I sat back and then found the snow was too soft.” In reality his was pressured by the wily Olivera and slipped on his inside ski. Robinson piled into a gate and the frustration was evident as he noticed ‘burn’ marks across his jacket. Later on in the evening her was heard to be still analysing his run with another racers whose team had crashed out early – Tommy Moe. Maybe it was the fact that they had done all their runs prior to the final on the blue course and had not managed to check out the red course and it was this that caught him out!
So it was victory in the Open Dual Slalom sponsored by Accenture to Lloyds…
Next up was the main Event, the Giant Slalom. Before then the attendees had to navigate the Financial Forum, Comedy Evening with Marcus Brigstocke and a night on the town. Who would be fit and healthy in the morning?
Many thanks to Momentum Travel for organising this trip. The insight given during the Financial Forum from the CEO of Hublot watches, Marcus Brigstocke and the BBC’s Frank Gardner made it for a thoroughly interesting and entertaining Forum sponsored by the Financial Times.