British Women’s team coach, Stefan Moser, has worked very hard with his two charges, Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest. As he starts his third season with Tilley and Guest along with the improving Cara Brown, Moser has been delighted with the form shown by Tilley and Guest. Talking the day after a four day series of races that saw Tilley win two races and podium in one other and Guest podiuming in the two Giant Slalom races, Moser was satisfied with how things were going so early in the season.
While Britain has relied on the endeavours of Chemmy Alcott for a long time, maybe ten years, the next generation of racers have been steadily making their names known. At the end of 2011 – 12 season, Alex Tilley posted intent with an almost clean sweep of the titles at the Delancey British Alpine Senior and Junior Championships in Meribel. Charlie Guest had to console herself with just the Junior Downhill Title as Tilley grabbed the headlines and Titles in all the other races. While the two decided along with Moser not to defend the Senior titles in 2013, preferring to concentrate on some tech races at the end of the season, this decision was justified as Tilley went on to score a 9 point FIS result in Malbun, Liechtenstein towards the end of the season. Speed skis are not something that you can just jump on and expect to get results, they need careful preparation and to get the best out of them, you need to spend time on them.
While Tilley moved from Atomic at the beginning of 2012 – 13 and Guest moved from Salomon, both racers are now firmly entrenched on Head skis and are starting to feel the benefit of the huge resources of the Austrian brand. With new regulations being enforced for the new season, how have the two girls adjusted to the new skis? Moser explains that “they moved onto new skis without any problems.”
With the season only just starting the haul of spectacular results in Treble Cone and Cardrona has raised eyebrows amongst the competition, even a few friendly bets being taken by some of the guys against these top girls! For Moser though, he has nothing but praise for Tilley and Guest in how the season has gone so far: “I am totally happy with the girls. They are skiing really wellÂ and we basically just starting training now so could have been the other way really.”
With Cara Brown also part of the team as well, Moser will work hard with the young Scot to improve her basic stance and the basic position so that she too will start scoring the same points range that Guest and Tilley are now getting accustomed to. A few years ago British racers scoring points in the 50 – 60 range had been delighted, now results around the twenty point mark are what the fans are raving about. The future is bright but there is a lot of work for the tier of racers behind Tilley and Guest to do to reach the same standard that is now being set by the post Alcott era of racers. Alcott has not gone but she is in the twilight of her career and the next generation have to reach the stellar standards she has set over the last ten years. As the British Team tag line says “Better never stops.”
Guest, Tilley and Brown will now spend the next ten days training in Cardrona, New Zealand before their next set of races at Coronet Peak on August 14 – 15. Moser is quick to point out the support that Cardrona have given his charges in terms of training facilities. Moser is using all his contacts and knowledge to get the best for his small team. “It is without doubt we would not be here had it not been for the help that we have been given by Johnny Rice, an ex British Team coach.”
The 2013 – 14 season is up and running and the British girls have hit the ground running: Two wins, two other podiums and this is causing some other racers to worry. It is a long season but the signs are good. Long may it continue.