Krahelski, Wills, Clissold and Poth win English U14 and U16 GS titles

From the moment that the new format was announced for the U14 and U16 age groups, you could feel a certain degree of apprehension from the parents. As for the racers, they did what they do best: They got on with the racing and skied their hearts out. The new format is designed to bring the young racers into the sport and not scare them off while the older racers are prepared for the move up to FIS. The Under 14 racers still use the two run format with all the racers getting both runs while the older racers now have to compete both runs to get an overall time. The Bormio slope at Stella Alpina above the 2000 base station coped with the demands of the racing admirably with numerous courses being required and having the new Combi course on the slope at the same time. Once all the times had been sorted out Alicja Krahelski and Angus Wills won both runs of the Under 14 race and Honor Clissold and Robert Poth had demonstrated that they are the class of the older age group.

Krahelski was joint fastest on the first run with Isabella Colley with Alexandra Lillywhite just ahead of Abigail Bruce and Rhona Price. Just over half a second separating the top five girls on the first run. The second run saw another tight finish with Krahelski this time edging out Abigail Bruce by five hundredths with  Colley in third and Isabella Hoskins in fourth and Alexandra Lillywhite in fifth.

Angus Wills did not have the same level of competition as faced in the girls race and comfortably won the two races, by six and seven tenths. In the first race Toby Deighton took second while Calum Pitkethly was second in the second race, having been third in the first race, Deighton taking third in the second race. There were also encouraging performances from Matthew Heginbotham (4th in first race), David Christey in the first race (5th and 4th) as well as Nathan Breese (5th in second race).

While the younger racers had the guaranteed luxury of two runs, the new format for the older racers, gave many of the racers their first experience of having to race over two runs. A number of the older girls crashed out on the first run and the frustration was evident. Honor Clissold used her experience to post the fastest girls time on both runs to win the race ahead of one of the most improved racers in the last couple of years, the BSA’s Erika Heginbotham. Marion Legais took third ahead of Francesca Lee with Freya Eaton in fifth.

Roberth Poth gave the rest of the Under 16 boys race a wake up call again with a commanding victory. Poth is a strong racer and showed why the rest of the field need to raise their game if they are to challenge him for the British Titles at the end of the season. While Iain Innes may have taken second, the time difference between Poth and the rest of the field, 1.7 seconds, will see some serious soul searching going on. Jordan Fellows skied comfortably to take third place behind his Telford club mate Poth. Oliver Davies took fourth with Will Wheeler in fifth.