Landgraaf BASS races growing in popularity with racers

The winter season may not have been over for long but the decision of Snowsport England to continue hosting the BASS races in Landgraaf was welcome. The long slope and an improved quality of field in some of the age groups meant that the development of the concept continued to rise. Innovation is something that has been lacking in the sport … during the summer season over the last few years and while the timing of the race was a little earlier than in previous years, the quality of racer making the trip to Holland has improved year on year. Posting the fastest times on both days was ex-GB Team racer Georgie Hunt and his performances showed the rest of the aspiring racers just how far they still have to go. In the girl’s races Nicole Shering (under 16’s) took the fastest time  on the first day while Cameron Manson was fastest in the second race.

With over a hundred racers heading across the water to Holland, Hemel made up the majority of the field and they are to be congratulated in arranging a large group to go across. It was no surprise that they won the Team evolution Cup for the most successful team.

The Stocker sisters dominated proceedings in the youngest age group, the Under 12 and Under 10’s with Sophie winning on day one and older sister Anastacia winning on day two. Grace Black (day 1, 3rd) and Nia Boty (day 2, 2nd) joined the Stocker sisters on the podium. Day one was a classic slalom course using stubbies while day two saw the stars of the future taking on a Combi course that used part of the bumps slope, including a fun jump at the top that caused a few to struggle on the following gate. No injuries were caused from the jump but it did make for some interesting pictures! (These can be seen on www.racer-ready.ifp3.com).

Oliver Pollitt won both races in the boys Under 12 and 10 age group races with Aiden Urquhart taking two podiums (2nd on the first day and 3rd in the Combi) and Adam Thornton taking third in the slalom and Adrian Yung second in the Combi. Daniel Hutchings was the fastest Under 10 on both days.

With all the remaining age groups racing in age group order down the full sized course, this was a challenge for the course setters. With the field comprising high class racers like Georgie Hunt, a low 30 FIS point slalom skier in his hey day, down to Under 14’s just starting out on the their ski racing career, this was a challenge for the course setters. The race organisers took the bold step of giving newly qualified coaches the opportunity to gain experience in setting some of the courses. Under the watchful eye of Phil Brown from Impulse the likes of Matt Thompson, Nia Jenkins and Niall Flahive were able to gain experience not only in course setting for races but also as part of the jury. This was great to see and valuable experience gained for the future.

The podium for the Under 14 girls was the same on both days with Charlotte Tapsell winning, Siena Horton second and Eleanor Scranage-Harrison taking third. With both Horton and Scranage-Harrison making the jump up from the Under 12’s and proving they could mix it with the older girls, this was a great first experience for them in racing slalom against older racers and through the bigger gates.

In the boys race, Oliver Black won the first day and Byron Appleton took the win on the second day. Charlie Leach placed second on both days with David Williams-Gravener taking third in the first race and Black settling for third in the second race. Run under the same rules as for outdoor snow races – all racers getting a second run and with the second run being run in reverse order, this gave those racers taking part in the BASS races for the first time a great opportunity to understand the format. Alex Davies put in two strong races in his first races to take a fourth and fifth in his first BASS races.

The under 16 races saw an impressive performance in the girls race on the first day that saw Nicole Shering post the fastest girls time as well as the fastest overall girls time. Sadly a mistake on the first run on the second day saw her lose any opportunity of making it a double victory. Shering was one of the most promising Under 14’s last season and with hard work and great training will be challenging in the Under 16 age group this winter. Elise Snow took second in the first race and profited from Shering’s mistake to win the second race. Emily Dean took second place to Snow in the second race while Kirsten Walton took third in the first race and Carys Boty the same place in the second race.

Finlay Davies continued his fine form in winning the first race and almost pulled off a double win but had to settle for second in the second race. Three fastest run times from the weekend in his age group showed that the hard training he has been putting in is paying off. Charlie Luke took second place in the first race with Lloyd Chapman taking third. Chapman raised his game on the first run of the second day to post a time almost a second ahead of Davies and managed to hold on to take the win ahead of Davies with Morgan Gash showing much improved form to back up his fourth place from the first race with a third place. He still had a fair gap to those ahead of him but the technique he has learned from training in Canada the last two winters is paying off.

Cameron Manson was the fastest in the small Juniors, Seniors (of which there were none in the girls race) and Masters on both days ahead of Hannah Cole. Holly Stevens won the Masters race both days with Ally Wang taking second on the first day and Liza Fairfull second on the second day.

Georgie Hunt won the Junior, Senior and Masters group with his fellow Hemel coach Dan Poth taking second on both days. Josh Keane and Daniel Barton both took a third and fourth with Keane only just edging out Barton on the first days racing by five hundredths of a second. Jeremy Whittet and Charley Stocker shared the Master’s age group wins.

In all while there are still a few ideas being bandied around to improve the event for future years, this is a fantastic opportunity for BASS registered racers to gain Slalom points for the winter. Improvements will happen and with the date of the race being moved back to the end of May Bank Holiday in 2015, this should further increase numbers. As with all good events, if you were not there, you missed out! Big hand to the organisers in making this even happen.

Pictures from the racing are on www.racer-ready.ifp3.com

Picture of Adam Thornton competing in the Under 12 Combi race – Picture: Racer Ready

Full results

Day 1 14landgraafday1res3 (1)

Day 2 14landgraafday2res