Nicole Shering and David Hatcher had contrasting races at the Eastern region Club National at Welwyn Garden City. Shering was comfortably the fastest girl on the slope in going under ten seconds on all three runs, no other girls managed that while Hatcher fought off the close challenge of Gerard Flahive to take the win. In the girls race, the top five was Shering, Megan Skipper, Lauren Vale with Emily Goddard showing a return to form in taking fourth ahead of Charlotte Blyth. Hatcher edged out Flahive for the win with Oliver Weeks, Jonathan Bingham and Toby Case being the top five.
It may not have been the biggest field of the summer but the quality of racers was reasonable in the men’s field. David Hatcher had missed the GBR race in Scotland the previous weekend and with both Callum Witts and Declan Huppach not scoring, his decision had not been in vain. At Welwyn, Hatcher overcame the stern resistance of Gerard Flahive. Flahive may not race as much as he used to but he showed the younger racers that he can still fight it out at the business end of a race. Quantity of races done does not equate to quality of results! Flahive gave the likes of Oliver Weeks, a multiple race winner this season already a lesson in using power to eke out speed down a short course.
While the likes of Weeks and Case will go on to bigger things hopefully on the alpine snow scene, it is great to see Bingham, a rising talent on the ski cross scene, using the summer mat race scene as a place to keep learning race craft. Alpine really is a breeding ground for many of the other skiing disciplines. You only have to see the likes of how Shannon Potter switches successfully between the disciplines to understand the importance of Alpine in the grand scheme of things, something some miss out on.
The battle between Hatcher and Flahive was great to see and hopefully younger races will have learned from watching the preparation they put into their performances. Ski racing is a social sport but there is also a time and a place for making sure the performance put in is the best you can.
It is back to the Indoor GBR series next weekend.
The Girl’s age groups were won by Emma Trust (Under 14, 9th Overall), Nia Boty (Under 16, 6th Overall), Nicole Shering (Under 18, Race Winner), Charlotte Blyth (Under 21, 5th Overall) and Emily Goddard (Masters, 4th Overall)
The Men’s age groups were as follows Ryan Bunton (Under 14, 23rd Overall), Toby Case (Under 16, 5th Overall), Oliver Weeks (Under 18, 3rd Overall), Jonathan Bingham (Under 21, 4th Overall), Gerard Flahive (Senior, 2nd Overall) and David Hatcher (Masters, race winner)
Action shots from the racing are on www.racerready.zenfolio.com