ThisÂ seasonâ€™s Southern Hemisphere Alpine ski races have seen some fantastic results from many of British Ski and Snowboardâ€™s athletes.
In South America, Senior Squad racers Douglas Crawford and TJ Baldwin racked up over … ten top 10 finishes in the South American Cup and FIS races held in Chile. These were fantastic results for Britainâ€™s top two downhillers, particularly as many of the Swiss World Cup team were in attendance at these events. These early season successes can be put down in part to the punishing fitness programme the two racers have been following since the end of the British Championships in April. Of their great start to the season, Dougie Crawford said, â€œBoth TJ and I are pleased with the results we have delivered during our time in South America. These were solid results but there is more and better to come.”Â
Over in New Zealand, last yearâ€™s European Cup Slalom Title winner Dave Ryding started off his Olympic campaign with a 6thÂ place finish in the Australian New Zealand Cup Slalom race at Coronet Peak and a 2ndÂ place podium finish in the New Zealand National Championship Slalom held in the same resort.
Two of British Ski and Snowboardâ€™s promising female Alpine racers, Alex Tilley and Charlie Guest have both been delivering impressive performances. Guestâ€™s most recent success was a first place podium finish on Monday (9thÂ September) at the Cardrona Australian New Zealand Cup (ANC) GS race. This result now means that she is leading the ANC GS standings going in to the last ANC race series of the season which kicks off at Mt Hutt, New Zealand on Friday. Tilley has also had two 1stÂ places and a further Â podium finish in the Slalom and GS FIS races held at Treble Cone and Cardrona.
Britainâ€™s younger team athletes were also in action in Chile, producing not only personal bests in their Alpine races, but also competing in a successful cross over to Ski Cross races. FIS-Europa Cup Squad racer Max Baggio came 8thÂ in the El Colorado Ski Cross South American Cup race, with U18 Squad racer Oliver Davies finishing just ahead of him in 7th. Baggio also achieved personal bests across all five Alpine disciplines during his racing season in Chile, Â Â and said of his performances:Â â€œItâ€™s really good to come back with such consistent results from Chile. I am really happy with them and just hope I can continue to perform consistently coming into the Northern Hemisphere winter season.â€
Fellow U18 Alpine Squad racer Darcie Mead continued her run of form after winning last yearâ€™s British Ladies title, with a top 10 place in the Nevados de Chillan Super G against numerous members of the German World Cup Team, including Olympic Medallists Maria Reisch and Viktoria Rebensberg. This is a great result for the 17 year-old following her successful training in South America. Mead said of her experience in South America: â€œWeâ€™ve had a really good camp down here, with training and races in Valle Nevado, El Colorado, La Parva and now Nevados de Chillan. Training and racing alongside the Swiss, German, Austrian, Russian World Cup Teams is an amazing experience and it really focuses you on where you are and what you need to do to progress. Iâ€™ve got a lot to take back to Europe and feel like Iâ€™m really well prepared for the winter season.â€
The end of this month sees the final race series of the Southern Hemisphere season for Team BSS racers Dougie Crawford and TJ Baldwin. On 30th September, both will compete in the Nevados de Chillan SAC races and will hope to repeat some of their earlier successes of the season.