Chris Corr produced two runs that saw him capture the Welsh Championship title in Pontypool. The anticipated clash between Corr and home favourite, Tom Hales, evaporated on the first run after Hales made a small mistake on the ridge. …While he carried on and battled to the finish, a lot of time had been lost and after the two runs David Hatcher took second with fast improving Declan Huppach from Pendle taking third place. Michel Prins from Holland took fourth with Callum Witts taking fifth overall.
Corr was in a class of his own over the two runs. The Loughborough University student is renown for his aggressive and battling style and fighting for every single hundredth of a second down the course, many younger racers could learn from desire to eek out any advantage he can gain from the course. With only three racers going under nineteen seconds on the first run: Corr, Hatcher and Callum Witts, the battle after these three was intense and a great advert for dry slope ski racing. The likes of Andrew Watson, Georgie Hunt, Adam Lee and Dave Ryding from the last decade or so may have won, but the new generationÂ of racers are proving to as entertaining as their predecessors.
It was great to see four Dutch racers make the trip across to provide some international competition for what many see as a strange event that the British and Irish do. There are dry slopes in Europe and hopefully this will be the start of an era of International competition.
Dutchman Prins was seventh after the first run and first of the racers to have gone under twenty seconds in the first run. Prins put in an improved second run that took the lead and put the pressure on some of his younger rivals. Olly Farr was next down and could not live with the pressure that Prins had forced and dropped off the leadership. Ben Clark from Bromley was next up and while he had been frustrated with his first run, Clark could only get into second place behind the Dutchman.
Declan Huppach over the last two years has improved rapidly both with his determination and his technique and this was great reward for his efforts. Huppach went faster than Prins and extended his lead over the rest in the finish. With a half second deficit to chase on the leading three, Huppach put his all into the second run and once in the finish, could just watch and see what those in the start could do.
First up was Callum Witts, another to have made great improvement this summer. Witts, sadly for him, could not match the speed that he had generated on the first run and dropped downÂ the leaderboard.
If there was to be a Welsh victory in the Welsh Championships, then all hopes now rested on David Hatcher. Hatcher has a unique style that sees him fight for every hundredth. It may not appeal to the coaches watching but Hatcher is after getting down the course as fast as possible. By the time he crossed the line he had a lead over Huppach’s combined time of over a second but would this be enough to beat Corr who waited at the start?
Corr fought from the moment that he triggered the timing and despite a small mistake, he pushed it out of his mind and looked to improve and get even faster. The lead after the first run was 0.35 seconds and when the clock stopped on the second run he had extended this by another 0.35 seconds to grab a well deserved win.
Tom Hales who had lost over two and a half seconds to Corr on the first run recovered to take seventh place overall and third place in the Senior age group. This was a great testament to the adage of never giving up!
There were age group wins for Oliver Weeks (Under 14); Declan Huppach (Under 16); Callum Witts (Under 18); Chris Corr (Under 21); David Hatcher (Senior) and Michel Prins (Masters).
Picture: Chris Corr on his way to winning the Welsh Championships in Pontypool. Credit RACER READY, all rights reserved
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