It was an unusually sunny weekend in Dublin for the Ski Club of Ireland International Championships.Â Turnout was somewhat down this year as the weekend coincided with Torquay Alpine Ski Clubâ€™s 50th anniversary celebrations, which prevented some regular competitors from making the journey.Â In spite of this the races saw a respectable turnout, with 72 athletes entered.Â Many of the competitors were ranked among the best … in the dry slope seeding system, so the somewhat smaller field did little to hamper the level of competition.
Day one saw an impressive effort from English competitor Sarah Lambden, whose first run time of 14.25 was 0.41 ahead of the fastest maleâ€™s time. The male field was much reduced after the first run, as a tricky course set by Ronan Columb halved the field.Â The remaining boys needed to pull out all of the stops for the second run in order to pip Sarahâ€™s winning total time of 28.70, and they managed to do so, with Thomas Hales taking the lead in a total time of 28.00.Â Jonathon Powell and Adam Lee took second and third respectively, whilst Hannah Bozier and Alice Hales followed up Sarahâ€™s lead in the females.
The International Dual Slalom was a hotly contested event, with more than one impressive crash as teams of six competitors raced head to head in identical slalom courses.Â A straddle by Wales A in the finals meant that England A won the event.Â Meanwhile, England B got the better of Ireland B to take third place.Â Recognition should be given to the fact that Wales A informed the officials of the straddle, as it was difficult to identify even when re-watching it on video. Congratulations to Wales A for the display of good sportsmanship, which is what these events are all about!
Day two of the championships saw more great competition, with Sarah Lambden once again leading the ladies field, albeit by a slightly smaller margin than the previous dayâ€™s competition.Â The first run saw Gerard Flahive leading the men with a fast time of 13.31 through the first run course set by Richard Lambdon.Â Gerard was followed closely by Thomas Hales, who was just 0.09 off the pace.Â Ronan Columbâ€™s second run course, although more forgiving than his previous course which had decimated the male field, still managed to catch both Gerard and Thomas out, leaving the way open for David Hatcher to claim the prize.Â He was followed by Jonathon Powell and Christopher Reader.Â Meanwhile, Hannah Bozier and Sophie Ogden took silver and bronze in the ladies.
Overall the weekend was a great success, and thanks are due to all involved.Â With the popularity of the snowdome scene it is great to see competitors still travelling to compete in dryslope competitions. Mention must be given to the fact that the event included a food tent which provided free refreshments all weekend, and this, coupled with the hotly contended competition, made the event a spectacle worth becoming involved in.Â Dryslope races remain unrivalled for their atmosphere, and we hope to see many competitors making the trip to our championships next year!