The smiles, the fun and the adrenaline said it all: The ultimate gladiatorial alpine event proved a popular attraction again to the winter sports community with the first British Indoor Ski & Boardercross Championships. Sam Allan and Emma Peters were the class act in the Ski section, both set the fastest times in qualifying and were rarely troubled in the knockout stages. Allen, a member of the GB Team at the World Junior Championships this year, used the event to further enhance his credentials and as he said after the event, “I just love skiing ski cross!” …  For Peters, another who is making the transition from competing in Alpine to Ski Cross and her schedule for the forthcoming season is now gearing more to the Ski Cross events rather than Alpine, she is still learning the craft of ski cross racing but is learning fast. Peters gave the men a run for their money as until the second qualifying had been completed, she held the fastest qualifying time of all! Will Wheeler and Sam Allan would post faster times after run two was finished. Francesca Lee took second in her maiden Ski Cross event with Alex Reidy taking second in the Men’s race. Will Wheeler posted the fastest qualifying time but as a Junior, though he did go on to win that group as well! Another ex Ski Cross competitor, Max Hardy took third place in the mens event.

Head to head racing is what it is all about!
Head to head racing is what it is all about!

The knock out stages, with racers racing two by two is what Ski and Boardercross racing is all about: This is the gladiatorial nature of the sport and what made both events so popular in the Vancouver Olympics. Little Daisi Daniels pulled off the overtaking manouevre of the day as she snuck in past her opponent as the other braked slightly going across the rollers while Paul Telling came to grief while racing one of his coaches for the Evolution Team in the Quarter Finals, Paul ended up, unhurt, in the netting! Tom Farrow suffered in both the semi final and little final with coming together with another rider, ruining his podium chances!

The female snowboard category was dominated by, Maisie Potter. Maisie has been competing internationally and finished 7th at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Romania back in February of this year. Maisie’s experience showed and she won the overall female snowboard category and took home the newly created Gilling’s Cup named after British World Cup snowboard cross star Zoe Gillings, a Team GB medal contender for Sochi 2014.

In the men’s snowboard category, the winner was Kyle Wise. Kyle is a member of the British Snowboard Cross team and his skills shone through in a tough men’s category. Kyle hope’s to compete for Great Britain at the 2013 Winter Universiade in Trentino Italy. Tomski Robinson age 12 didn’t only win the kids category but was faster than all the other snowboard competitors except for the overall men, placing him the 4th fastest on the day, a promising future ahead of him.

It was good to see in the quarter finals of the Junior age group Sam Houston from the Moguls discipline taking on Will Wheeler from Alpine. Houston could not have come up against harder opposition yet still gave a good account of himself in the race.

Ski Cross is fairly new to the indoor scene yet the combination of rolls, Jumps and banked turns gives the riders (not racers you understand) plenty of scope to experience different terrain.  While many of the alpine community claimed not to have heard about the event until they felt it was too late, those that did enter enjoyed a course that was adjusted after the first training run with some of the bumps being tapered off. Top racing combined with enthusiastic and keen staff volunteering to make the event better. How other disciplines could learn from this – together the winter sports could be so much stronger!

Pictures from the event will be up soon! www.racer-ready.ifp3.com