Independent Schools Ski Champs draw to a close

The 9th Independent Schools Ski and Snowboard Championships held in a sunny and snow covered Les Deux Alpes has drawn to a close with Hurst College maintaining their dominant position of the event with a clean sweep at the top of the podiums in both the senior male and female events. Kings College Wimbledon took the honours in the Junior Boys, and Wycombe Abbey the Junior Girls. …

Held over four days, the Championships starts with two days of warm up training with ESF Instructors around the slopes of Les Deux Alpes followed by two days of races on the glacier with over 180 pupils competing in Giant Slalom, Slalom and Parallel Slalom disciplines. Teams were entered from Hurst College, Lancing College, Kings College Wimbledon, Whitgift School, Uppingham, Clifton High School, Churchers College, Albyn School, Blundell’s, Bede’s, Steyning Grammar and Wycombe Abbey. The race contained a range of experience with some pupils ski racing for the first time, and other pupils seeing the event as the start of a busy 2014/15 racing calendar.

“Despite the relative lack of snow in the Alps currently, the glacier in Les Deux Alpes presented perfect racing conditions with glorious blue skies, making it pretty much ideal for all the competitors and the high number of supporters. This year was the largest event we have run and it was great to see it well attended by a high number of returning schools, and a good number of new schools coming for the first time.”

The Boys Seniors event was once again dominated by Sam Todd-Saunders from Hurst College, claiming the Gold in both individual events for the fourth consecutive year, hot on his heels in the GS was Charlie Luke for Steyning, and Nick France from Bede’s in the individual slalom. Sam’s younger sister Helen Todd-Saunders won the girls individual slalom, with Bella Slade from Blundells taking the top spot in the Giant Slalom.

In the Junior division Fred Mather from Kings College Wimbledon and Madeline Points from Wycombe Abbey both claimed Gold in the two individual events.

Hurst College claimed gold in the team Giant Slalom and Slalom event, with Blundell’s and Whitgift taking silver and bronze in both the giant slalom and the slalom.

Once again the parallel slalom was the showcase event throwing up a handful of dramas. Run as a head to head team relay, the event creates an amazing atmosphere of friendly yet competitive racing. Whitgift took home the prestigious Junior award, with Hurst claiming the senior prize over Blundell’s in a nail biting best of three final, which required all legs to be run for the Champions to be declared. Blundell’s deserve worthy note for an excellent display of sportsmanship when they were offered the chance of victory through a Hurst disqualification, but instead opted for a re-run of the final leg.

This years event saw Uppingham, Churchers College, Bedes, Albyn and Blundell’s all enter teams in to the event for the first time, all four teams showed great promise with a great mix of both experienced and novice racers . “We have some great holiday skiers, this was most of their first time racing they all relished the competition and the experience of the racing. It’s a great event, and having had this experience we’ll be back next year ready to take home some medals, just you wait! ” commented Nichola Crawford of Albyn School.

The event concluded with a prize giving ceremony with prizes kindly contributed from event organisers Basecamp Ski and Snowboard, and event sponsors Ruroc (providing all the individual golds and silvers with one of their pioneering helmets, and steezy up and coming snow brand Mojo Clothing).

The 2015 event promises to be even bigger with a larger split between Junior and Seniors. Bookings already being taken and the preliminary dates being set as 16th – 21st December 2015.

You can watch all the action with a series of highlighted videos here:

Facebook – All updates and videos are available on the Championships Facebook Page.

Twitter – The event was updated with #schoolskichamps