Henderson wins close girls race while Kick profits from the last gate

After her domination of the final round of the British Indoor Grand Prix Series, Anna Henderson had to work hard to win the British Indoor Championship at Xscape Castleford on Sunday. Emma Peters took second place with Nia Jenkins edging out Olivia Parker for third in the girls race. Euan Kick took the Men’s race after first run leader Paul Henderson suffered the misfortune of straddling the last gate. Robert Poth took second overall with James Foster, a past member of the British Team, coming out of retirement to take third place.

Fourth place after the first run ensured that Henderson had to attack the second run if she was to make it two wins out of two from the weekend. With Emma Peters in the lead and second place being shared by Nia Jenkins and Olivia Parker, Henderson was the first of the fastest four down on the second run. With a time of fifteen seconds flat, this was the target for the remaining three racers if they wanted to win. First down was Nia Jenkins and her slender advantage over Henderson was lost as she exited the delay gate that set the racers up to go over the last roller that had been used on the Under 12 and Under 10’s course. Parker also struggled and lost event more time to both Henderson and also Jenkins; they had been tied after the first run. Emma Peters had a tenth of a second lead over Henderson from the first run yet Henderson’s second run had the edge and she held on to win the race with Peters dropping to second overall.

In the Men’s race, Paul Henderson put in another tremendous first run that saw him have a lead of almost two tenths on the rest of the field. The decision to swap to Head skis this summer and the work he has put in with Marc Telling and the Ambition coaches is clearly paying dividends. Henderson has a reputation of skiing hard and fast and yet does not always make the finish. With three fast runs in the bag and having also completed all his team races in the dual slalom on the Saturday, Henderson was on a roll. Between the two runs, his older brother was rueing the fact that the previous day it had been the first time that he had been beaten by his younger sibling. With Kick leading the rest of the field after Henderson after the first run, there was not a lot of daylight between him and the rest of the top six racers. The second run was to be an all or nothing event and with the added spice of the delay gate setting the racers up over the mound before one final gate into the finish. It all sounds so easy. Yet when both of the forerunners failed to negotiate the final gate, this should have sounded the warning bells to the racers at the start.

Daniel Poth was in sixth after the first run and had a deficit of one hundredth over Callum Handerson. While Poth went into the lead that had been held by Graham Dickson, there was a feeling that there was more to come in the race. Callum Henderson was fifth last to go on the second run and he admitted that this was an unusual feeling for him: Explosive and furious is his style and Henderson certainly went for it. He went into second behind Poth and then had to wait to see how the remaining four could do, especially his younger brother: The tension mounted.

James Foster was next out of the start gate and he successfully negotiated the course with little difficulty: Foster used his years of experience to set up well for the tricky gate over the mound and comfortably went into the lead. With Foster having a deficit of just seven hundredths over the next racer, Robert Poth, Poth knew that he could not afford to make a mistake if he was to hold onto his place on the podium. Not as fast as Foster, Poth still managed to stay in the lead by just four hundredths of the second.

Euan Kick is one of the smoothest skiers around at the moment and while he is deceptively fast, the young Scot produces the fast times when it counts. He likes the challenge of chasing for the win and after having to settle for second the previous day, his first reaction was to say that the British Championship was the important one. This would be his chance to lay down a time that would concern Paul Henderson, who still had to go. Kick was smooth, deceptively fast and posted a time that was the same as Robert Poth. Having been eleven hundredths faster than Poth on the first run, Kick’s combined time saw him in the lead.

Races are often decided on small matters and Paul Henderson looked to have done enough to secure his second race win of the weekend as he excited the gate on the mound. His line looked good but as he fought for every hundredth of a second, his ski edged to the last gate and sadly for him, it went the wrong side of the gate. Disqualification. The despair was written across his face in the finish. While you could have excused Kick for being delighted with the win, he admitted to having the feeling of having won by default. Kick took the win with Robert Poth in second and James Foster returning to racing with third place.

The girls age groups were won by Shannon Potter in the Under 14’s; Anna Henderson in the Under 16’s; Emma Peters in the Under 18’s; Nia Jenkins in the Under 21’s; Mel Wilcockson in the Senior age group and Judy Reid in the Masters. In the Men’s race Bailey Dickson just held on to the Under 14 age group after a second run charge by Joseph Constantine, four hundredths separated the two; Jonathan Bingham also ran it close as he held off Morgan Gash for the win in the Under 16’s; Euan Kick also had an eleven hundredth winning margin over Robert Poth in the Under 18’s; In the Under 21’s Hobie Greenfield stayed on his feet as the rest of the age group capitulated at the last gate to win ahead of his older brother; James Foster won the Senior age group as Alex Molliex won the Masters.

In the Under 12 and Under 10 age group races there were wins for Isla Ward ahead of her sister Erin and Mya Walton in the Under 10 girls race. Glesni Catlin won the Under 12 girls race ahead of Holly McKey and Maisie Jefferson. In the boys under 10’s Osian Catlin won the race ahead of Lucas Ellis and Kayne Stanway while in the Under 12’s Elliott Bennett almost smiled when he collected his trophy for winning the race ahead of Nicholas Bingham and Scott McIntyre.

The full results will be posted soon.

Pictures from the racing will soon be up on www.racer-ready.ifp3.com