So the 2017 – 2018 season has started with British racers competing in New Zealand, South Africa and Chile and it is not even August yet! Ski racing is more than ‘just’ a winter sport and with races happening all around the globe, here is a round up of how the British racers are getting on in the early season races.
In South Africa at Tiffindell, the numbers of racers has risen from the low numbers last year. New British Under 21 team racer, Victoria Palla, opened up her FIS career with a sub 100 point result in the opening slalom as she finished in fourth place overall. Palla grew up in the Austrian system, she lives in Zell am See but has made the switch to the British system courtesy of having British heritage. Palla was highly thought of by the Austrian Federation and one of three girls in her age group to be recognised as a ‘Future Junior.’ The groundwork that she put in in her early years looks to be paying off and the ambitious racer has set out her stall for the season with a great start to the season.
In the men’s race Robert Trebilcock, Thomas Cherry and Mathieu Avent posted solid early season performances in a much larger field than in 2016. It seems that word has got out about the good penalties scored last year, Trebilcock being one of the beneficiaries from last year. Morgan Gash and Sam Carson have also been racing in Tiffindell. Carson had a nightmare on the first run in the first race but came back strongly in the second race, the South African Junior Championship race to finish just behind Avent. Kai Alaerts from Belgium won both races. For Trebilcock, the trip is over as he explained to Racer Ready that “Unfortunately I have been competing with severe bronchitis so unfortunately I can’t race anymore, no point trying to fight my body which is disappointing.”
In New Zealand at the races in Cardrona, Ambition racers, Jessica Anderson (49 points, 7th place) and Abi Bruce 58 points and 11th place) continued their good form from last season with Sarah Woodward making her entry into FIS races with an 82 point FIS result in 27th. Olivia Ward and Olivia Foster both also posted encouraging early season results. Katie Stuart, Hannah Loeffen Gallagher and Ciorstaidh Struthers were also racing.
Angus Wills was the best of the British Male racers as he fought his way down to score a 67 point result in taking 33rd place. Robert Dorfman, based in America but racing for Britain was the next best British racer in taking 50th spot. Oli Weeks, Ryan Bloom and Callum Clarke, all 2001 year of births, opened their FIS careers with solid performances. Charlie Leach failed to finish the first run. Willis Feasey won the race and scored a 9 point result such is the competition at the start of this Olympic season.
in the second Giant Slalom in Cardona (31 July), Sarah Woodward produced the best British performance in finishing 14th with Olivia Foster taking 20th, Hannah Loeffen- Gallagher 26th and Ciorstaidh Struthers 31st. Bruce, Stuart, Ward and Anderson all failed to finish.
Poor weather meant that the second run of the men’s race had to be delayed until the following day with the slalom that was scheduled for 1 August being cancelled.
In Chile at El Colorado, Lois Jackson finished in 10th in her opening FIS race, a Giant Slalom and followed this up with 6th place in the Slalom. No British Men were racing in Chile.
Image: Jessica Anderson competing at the Delancey British Alpine Championships in April. Credit Racer Ready.
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Copyright Racer Ready 2017