Equity Interschools Ski Challenge get off to great start

How do you get 390 racers of all ages and differing abilities to race on the same day and in different disciplines? … You send them to the Equity Interschools Ski Challenge in Les Houches! With racers from Under 10 up to Under 21 racing both Giant Slalom and Slalom, this was a logistical issue made to look easy! All helped with some great support from the schools across the UK that came to race.

The new support from Equity will certainly help to develop the premier schools races run by the British Ski Academy into an even better event. With more schools being attracted to the event each year, the strength in the depth is certainly starting to show!

Sarah Woodward took the honours in the Under 14 girls slalom and she also had the biggest winning margin of the day which was mainly built on the second run as the snow started to soften. Hannah Loeffen-Gallagher came second in the race with Cerys Gorringe in third. Oscar McCall won both runs in the boys Slalom down the same courses with Dexter Lee second fastest and George Case taking third after going slightly askew on the second run and just held off Jake Doyle.

Fraser Buchan won the Under 18 Giant Slalom for boys with Hugo Ng taking second ahead of Chris Guest. Buchan’s younger brother Scott was unable to make it a family double win as he let a first run lead go and had to settle for second behind Mizuki O’Hara. Lloyd Chapman just held off Danny Dakin in the closest finish between two racers, 0.01 seconds. Yasmin Cooper tried to pull back the win in the girls UNder 16 but despite a fast second run, Olivia Petrick-Bradley held on to win the race. Jazmine Butcher took the honours in the Under 18 / Under 21 age group ahead of Daisy Perez and Marta Hooljberg.

If the racing in the two main races was impressive, it was the Under 10’s and under 12’s that really caught they eye. With three runs and the best two times combined to count, this gave the pocket rockets the opportunity to really have go. Many did crash and they got up and went round again to have a another go: These racers really are the future and all they want to do is go fast… and have fun! The more fun they are having, the more likelihood there is that they will want to continue being involved in the sport. This is something that needs to be fostered and encouraged!

Siena Horton won the Under 12 age group from Sophie Foster and Rebecca Chastney. Juliette d’Othee took the spoils in the younger age group from Tate halstrap and Emilie Jennings with Sophie Stocker in fourth. In the boys race, Oscar Park won the younger age group from Max Laughland and Toby Jennings. James Gillett took the honours in the older age group from Ted Slade and Louis Masquallier.

Tomorrow it is Slalom for the older guys and girls and Giant slalom for the younger…

Pictures of the racing are now up in the recent events drop down on www.racer-ready.ifp3.com

PIcture: Erika Heginbotham competing in the Under 16 Giant Slalom before she crashed – Get well soon Erika! CREDIT RACER READY