Dougie Crawford added the Downhill to his Super G crown with a hard fought sixth place overall in the National Championship Downhill. The perfect conditions on a hard packed piste set the scene for a battle for the British Title between Crawford and the defending Champion TJ Baldwin. After the fog removed itself from Meribel, the ambitious programme had a chance of being completed. And completed it was. Three mens runs and two runs for the girls meant 260 racers took to the Roc de Fer course. With the men having a training run first up, this was not for those wanting a lie in as the training run started at 07.45!
Crawford has spent two years out of the sport through injury and after a run that he felt was less than perfect, Crawford felt that it was more important for him to win the title. Crawford has made his results already this season and these will see him rise up the rankings and more importantly the start list on the World Cup and Europa Cup races in Downhill. This was the first time that he has been awarded the Sir John Ritblat Trophy for winning the Delancey British Downhill. “It was a cracking day, they have done a cracking job in getting three downhill runs. As for my skiing, I made a couple of little mistakes but it was still good enough to win the Title,” Crawford explained in the sun after the race.
While Crawford was enjoying the spoils of victory, for the deposed Champion, it was, he felt, “more important to get a good second result that will lift me back into the top 100 in the world,” Baldwin explained. The first race had been very tight in terms of time with Baldwin just over a tenth behind Crawford yet this saw him five places further back. Baldwin was not too despondent about having lost ownership of the Sir John Ritblat trophy. Being in the top 100 in the world also has further implications for Baldwin as qualification for the Olympics is also hotting up. Baldwin was gracious in defeat to Crawford explaining that “Dougie has been skiing well and deserved the win.”
Brad Morgan took his second successive third place in the Championships but was still a little out of sorts he felt with his skiing. “It could be so much better but I have hardly done any downhill this year,” he explained.
The gulf in class between the top two British racers and the rest is quite large and hopefully the fact that Crawford and Baldwin, who set up their own programme this year along with help from the American Team, who have now both made it into the top 100 in the world, this will help in the search for funding and support.
Roy Steudle was just behind Morgan in the National Championship Downhill in fourth with Max Baggio taking fifth place.