The group stage saw thrills and spills, but racing had to be halted early on after Aldershot’s James Sieber crashed at high speed. At the time James was unable to move from the slope complaining of a hip injury. The U18s racer was given oxygen on the hillÂ and was carried on stretcher to the ambulance. On a happier note it is known that James hasn’t broken any bones from his crash but … is still unable to move his legÂ and will be in hospital over night. Everybody on the dryslope scene will be wishing him a speedy recovery.
As a result the course got changed to slow down the racers and the group stage continued. The biggest surprises were Loughborough ski team and Norfolk A taking early exits after not qualifying from the group stages. Both teams were in for a chance of winning the event, especially Norfolk who had All England winner Micheal Molloy in their ranks.
Starts were a huge part of the results with Cardiff defeating Telford purely on false starts in the quarter finals. Whilst Manchester, Gloucester and Pendle won their quarters after a series of eventfulÂ races.
Pendle rose to their historic winning background in the semi finals, by defeating favourites Cardiff to reach the final. A tight race between surprise package Manchester and Gloucester, saw the home slope team edge the win to reach the final.
It wasn’t to be the Welsh’s weekend as Manchester grabbed third, after Cardiff had to hike in the playoff.
Most teams had been battered and bruised by this point, and it was amazing that there were two teams left to compete for the final. The first leg was an exciting race with Gloucester taking the first leg. Despite Gloucester having to hike in the second leg, Pendle gave the home the win after straddling the last gate during one of their runs. So Gloucester were named All England club team champions.
Running alongside the main event was the open team event, which included younger and lower ranked racers. Loughborough Open A were champions after defeating youngsters Midland cubs in the final, whilst Aldershot Open A claimed third.
Overall the team event was highly entertaining but I think most racers were glad to come of the hill with no otherÂ serious injuries, after seeing one of their own take huge hit.