Ireland hosted the last national dry slope Championship races of the 2016 artificial calendar. The venue showed off a pristine new clubhouse that was serving food all day and the atmosphere was both relaxed and friendly. Both the local Irish racers and British teams were ready to battle it out on one of the fastest slopes on the dryslope circuit.
Brian Byrne set the first course, with the main feature being the tough wide offsets on the top steep section of the slope. Not only was the course fairly hard but also the torrential rain was another factor during the day.
In the female race, local racer Emer Pisarnik took the lead for the majority of the first run with a solid time of 15.93 seconds. It wasn’t until the very last few racers that Pisarnik’s time would be challenged.
Manchester racer Sarah Lambden took a very risky tight and straight line through the course but her bravery paid off with the lead and a time of 15.10. This was a great run for a racer that hasn’t been racing all summer.
Next up was top seed Jenny Davies. She had a much rounder line but was visibly pushing through the mid section of the course. She got a time of 15.29, which meant she would have to really charge to challenge Lambden on the second run.
Shering was the last of the top seeded girls to challenge the first run. It was an aggressive run but she didn’t quite take the risky straight line like Lambden did. The Snowtrax racer slotted into second position with a time of 15.19 and had a good chance of challenging Lambden in the second run. It was all set up to be an exciting second run between the top three!
The second course was set by Conor Columb and had a under gate after the top steep section. It was a slightly straighter set towards the bottom of the course compared to the first run.
Pisarnik got the home crowd going with another solid run. The Ski club of Ireland racer flowed effortlessly through the course and got a time of 15.37 giving her a combined time of 31.30 seconds. She managed to take the lead ahead of Chatham’s Lauren Vale.
Davies was next to take on the second run course. The Aldershot racer was attacking the top section with a lot of aggression and was trying to cut a straight line. Unfortunately for the top seed she clipped her boot on the undergate and had hit the ground hard. She gradually picked herself up and completed the course, but her overall chances were over.
Shering flew out the start gate and carried great speed into the middle section of the course. Clean punchy turns combined with a tight line got her an impressive time of 14.92, giving her a combined total of 30.08. This time was definitely going to be hard to beat!
Lambden lacked the same aggression as Shering on the top section of the course but her tight line helped her keep a reasonable amount of speed for the rest of the course. She finished with a time of 15.68, giving her a combined time of 30.70, which meant Shering had taken the overall win by seven tenths of a second.
In the male race, Callum Witts was of the top 15 to take on the first run. The Pendle racer had a clean accurate run and got a time of 14.35. Daniel Molloy, Kaigan Witts and Toby Case were all in the 14-second bracket but half a second behind Callum Witts.
Midland’s Oliver Weeks used a mixture of aggression and a very tight line to maximise his speed through the course and was rewarded with a faster time of 14.31. It was going to be a great dual for the second run between Weeks and Witts for the overall top spots.
Last down was Aldershot’s Craig Speed. He managed to power through the top section and drive all the way through the course with a lot of aggression. The timing failed to deliver so there was an anti climax to the end of the first run. After a big delay before the second run, Speed was eventually given the back up time of 14.05, giving him the lead going into the final run.
Pendle’s Callum Witts was the first challenger on the second run to come down. The under 21 racer had another accurate but fast paced run. He took the lead from Molloy with a time of 14.28, giving him a combined time of 14.28.
Weeks really turned on the style for his final run. The Midlands racers really left everything on the line for his second run and got a blistering time of 13.92. This gave him the lead by four tenths over Callum Witts with a combined time of 28.23.
Last up was Speed and he was gunning for his first national overall win of the season. The Aldershot racer was trying to push a lot on the top section but took a lot rounder line than Weeks. He finished with a time of 14.22 and a combined time of 28.27, narrowly missing out on the lead by four hundredths of a second. Weeks took the overall ahead of Speed in second with Pendle’s Callum Witts in third.
The race was fantastic for both the racers and spectators, which was mostly down to the great hospitality of the Ski Club of Ireland!
U10 Amber Fennell (MID)
U12 Abigail Putman (TSN)
U14 Emma Trust (ASR)
U16 Lauren Vale (CHT)
U18 Nicole Shering (TSN)
U21 Emer Pisarnik (SCI)
SEN Sarah Lambden (MSR)
MAS Sally Hodson (WWS)
U10 Harri Hodson (WWS)
U12 Steffan Hodson (WWS)
U14 Joseph Thompson (NOR)
U16 Oliver Weeks (MID)
U18 Craig Speed (ASR)
U21 Callum Witts (PND)
SEN Daniel Molloy (NOR)
MAS Benjamin Clark (BRO)