They may not be related but Paul Henderson and Anna Henderson both produced race winning performances in the final round of the successful British Indoor Grand Prix Series that is based at Xscape, Castleford. With many of the regular racers in this series away on summer training camps, the field was still full of some of the best racers in the country. With lots at stack in terms of prizes for the series from Salomon, Ski Bitz as well as cash prizes for the Junior age groups, the British Indoor Grand Prix Series has raised the bar again this summer and continues to go from strength to strength.
With Paul Henderson having a reputation for bailing on second runs, the Edinburgh racer produced a dazzling first run to leave the rest of the field over four tenths behind him. Henderson’s older brother Callum, one of the most successful racers in the series over the years was astounded after the first run with the line that his younger brother had taken yet knew that all was still to play for on the second run. Playing second fiddle to his brother overall, Callum Henderson knew that he would have to raise his game on the second run if he was to deprive him of the win. Paul, a Youth Olympian in 2012 and a very talented racer, knew he had the advantage in time over his older brother from the first run and yet his style is to go fast, and fast on the second run he went again to post the fastest run on both runs to take the overall win with Callum second and Euan Kick taking third. With all three coming from different age groups, the strength of the men’s race was impressive.
Anna Henderson is the current British Under 16 Overall Champion on snow after having taken second place in all three races back in April in Meribel. She is a class act and with a comfortable half second lead over the rest of the field from the first run, the rest of the field had to raise their game to try and catch her. Emma Peters is a rising star from the North of England and with cross discipline talent, is starting to make people stand up and notice her ability. Although she was close to Henderson on the second run, she had to be content with second place overall. Olivia Parker took third place overall.
In the age group races their were wins for Joseph Constantine in the Under 14 age group; Jonathan Bingham in the Under 16; Euan Kick in the Under 18, Paul Henderson in the Under 21; Callum Henderson in the Senior age group and Andrew Hjort in the Masters age group. The Under 18 age group was probably the most keenly contested as the podium places were spread by on a quarter of a second. Danial Poth got the better of his younger brother Robert who has only just come back from a training camp in Hintertux. With Nine racers in the Master’s age group, this was the largest of all age groups again. With season series points vital, George Davis in the Under 16 age group must have felt that his hard work through the season was about to come undone on the second run as he made a huge error half way down yet he had the forethought to continue despite losing huge amounts of time and salvaged second in the race to win the series title for the age group.
In the girl’s race Grace Williams took the Under 14 age group win with Anna Henderson taking the Under 16’s; Emma Peters the Under 18 age group; Olivia Parker the Under 21’s, Mel Wilcockson the Senior age group and Kerry Turnock the Masters age group. Kirsten Walton clawed back a little of the advantage that Williams had in the Under 14’s on the second run while Lucy Pirkhoffer held on to second in the Under 16’s in a close tussle with Isabel Brown. Nia Jenkins took the Series title overall despite placing second in the Under 21 age group, courtesy of her consistency through the previous four rounds.
The rising stars of tomorrow, the Under 10 and Under 12 age groups, had the highly inventive course to negotiate twice with stubblies, bumps and jumps all set up specially for them. Isla Ward won the girls Under 10 age group ahead of Erin Ward and Mya Walton; Riley Maze-Brown took the Girls Under 12 with Ellie Jackson and Maisie Jefferson joining her on the podium; Kayne Stanway, Gordon Wylie and Matthew Williams took the podium in the boys Under 10 while Elliott Bennett won the older boys age group with Lucas Henderson and Nicholas Bingham joining him on the podium.
Next up: the British Indoor Championships.
Many thanks to the following firms for supporting this Series: C-Tec, Salomon, Ski Bitz, Lions Ski Club, Xscape as well as all the parents for driving the athletes to the races!
Full results will be up shortly
Pictures will soon be available from www.racer-ready.ifp3.com