From having set the joint fastest first run time, Oliver Weeks held on to win the Norfolk Club National in warm dry conditions. Weeks had to withstand first a concerted challenge from Daniel Molloy and then his older brother Michael to win by four hundredths of a second from Michael Molloy with Daniell Molloy taking third overall.
Norfolk will host the All England Championships at the beginning of September so it was interesting to see racers taking advantage of gaining more experience down the slope. Norfolk has a rich heritage in racing and the return, albeit just for the day of the Molloy brothers gave racers an early indication on how the Simon Bannister set course would run.
Weeks and James Sieber posted the fastest first run times with Callum Witts in third, 0.17 behind the leading two. Weeks went slightly faster on the second run but it was Daniel Molloy that broke through the thirteen second barrier to grab the lead after the first two runs with Sieber dropping down to third after failing to finish the second run. Witts moved into fourth and Michael Molloy post identical run times on both the first two runs to take fifth place just ahead of Jonathan Bingham, a ski cross racer that uses the summer to hone his racing skills on the dry slope race scene.
With a Club National being three runs, the best time from the first two runs goes towards the final result. From fifth after the first two runs, Michael Molloy, a past winner of the All England Championships held at Norwich, attacked and posted the fastest time of the day by over two tenths of a second.
Witts, next down, could not better his first run time and slotted in behind him. James Sieber is a strong racer but his power and strength could not help him safely negotiate the last few turns and he crashed out missing the final few gates. Could Molloy take the win after powering onto the podium positions from fifth going into the second run?
Weeks went faster than his first two runs with the second fastest time of the day and edged out Molloy but just four hundredths of a second with Daniel Molloy still to go. Daniel had been the first to go under the thirteen second barrier yet could not match his second run time and dropped down to third place leaving rising talent Weeks in the lead.
With seven racers all within a second of the winners time, Norwich and Bannister’s course set a positive result and some good racing. Racers had to think about the course and use their heads to ski fast. With the likes of ex British Team and Downhill Champion, TJ Baldwin, looking to race at the All England along with the likes of Laurie Taylor, the rising star of the British team, Norwich in September looks like returning the premier dry slope race to its former prestige in terms of appeal to racers.
The age group victories were taken by Alex Ogden (Under 14, 28th Overall); Toby Case (Under 16, 8th Overall); Oliver Weeks (Under 18, Race Winner); Callum Witts (Under 21, 4th Overall); Michael Molloy (Senior, 2nd Overall) and David hatcher (Masters, 7th Overall)
On to Suffolk for the next Club National
Full results are on GBSki.com
Race pictures will be on www.racerready.zenfolio.com from Tuesday