The run of impressive FIS point scores by Zak Vinter and Fraser Middleton came to a grinding halt in the Australian National Slalom Championship race in Perisher on 13 August, but it was not a wasted race. Both racers crashed out on the second run of the race, won by comfortably by … Austrian Europa Cup racer Marc Digruber with his compatriot Matthias Tippelreither in second after the expected challenge from Australians Ross Peraudo and Luke Laidlaw saw both crash out on the first run.
Talking after the race, Stephen Edwards, Head Coach of EDEP / Perisher Race Club, whom both Vinter and Middleton are training with down in Australia, was not too upset that neither of the Delancey U18 British Team racers made the finish. Both racers had made the flip for the top thirty from the first run. Edwards explained that “The boys went for it! They have to learn how to compete now. They are ready for the challenge and know you have to put it down twice!”
Edwards explained the mistake that both racers made on the same gate in that theyÂ “Didn’t read the speed they would carry. They both were on fire, came out going into a verticale.” This is all part of gaining experience: there is a big difference from racing the Children’s races to racing in FIS races. With one more race in the series of Australian National and Australian Junior Championships to go, Edwards feels that it was “lesson learned, in inspection need to think about what speed I will have.”
With “amazing conditions” for the races in Perisher, both Vinter and Middleton have started their hopefully long FIS racing careers in a positive fashion. The two will head back to Europe after this training session with points on the board so that they are not starting at the very back in races once the European season starts later in the year. Earlier starts will mean better course conditions.
With the likes of Robert Poth, Euan Kick, Jordan Fellows and others a year ahead of them, the future of British Mens skiing looks bright as the young racers are already putting in competitive results. while Edwards felt that this may have been an opportunity missed by both racers, they will have learned valuable lessons when it comes to inspecting the course and guaging how much speed they would carry at certain points.
Picture: FraserÂ Middleton competing in the Delancey British Children’s Slalom in Meribel, April 2014. Picture: RACER READY – all rights reserved