British racers show their class in Australia as more racers start their season

Glasgow Ski Racing and EDEP’s, Zak and Owen Vinter produced an encouraging early season result in Mount Hotham in finishing fifth and seventh overall in the Australian National Championship Giant Slalom on Tuesday 8 August. Elder brother Zak took fifth in a quality field that saw Australian Harry Laidlaw win comfortably.

Owen Vinter, in his first FIS Giant Slalom, and only his third FIS race ever, showed great form to finish just three-tenths behind his elder brother. Owen came into the race on the back of a third place in Mount Buller on 3 August, a race that saw him score his first sub 100 FIS point result. With Vinter setting a great standard, Charles Rankin, a close rival in recent British Children’s races of Vinter’s, finished fifth in Mount Buller.

Megan Riley placed fourth in the Australian National Giant Slalom at Mount Buller, a result she was happy with but knows there is more to come. Riley posted on her Twitter account “Some interesting conditions and some things to work on but a good start to the season.” Sarah Glasgow was also racing in Mount Buller and Mount Hotham.

The strong Ambition contingent in New Zealand have been racing in Coronet Peak and while Jesica Anderson has been at the forefront of the results, Sarah Woodward and Olivia Foster have been battling down from the higher start numbers to score impressive FIS point results. Woodward scored an impressive 81 FIS point result in the New Zealand Giant Slalom National Championship race on 7 August in taking 14th place from a start number of 55. Woodward has scored solid 80 – 90 point results in the four finishes that she has scored so far in the races in New Zealand, including an impressive 8th place in the Slalom in Cardrona on 2 August.

Abi Bruce started off with an impressive 58 point result in the Giant Slalom in Cardrona on 30 July, a run of DNF’s ended with 15th in the New Zealand Giant Slalom Championship race and then she backed this up with 9th on August 8 in a second Giant Slalom.

Six races into her season and Olivia Foster is putting in some solid results: Her best is still the opening race result in the Giant Slalom at Cardrona on 30 July but the result from Coronet Peak on 7 August backed up her performance. In race two she was four-seconds closer to the race winner so will surely duck under the 100 FIS point bar.

Olivia Ward, Hannah Loeffen-Gallagher, Ciorstaidh Struthers and Katie Stuart are also out racing in New Zealand. With the quality of races improving year on year as more Europeans head south to make use of the races, ski racing is fast becoming a year round sport.

Jessica Anderson posted a sub 50 in the opening race of the New Zealand races but then hit three races in which she failed to finish before placing 8th in the Coronet Peak National Giant Slalom Championship race before hitting fifth place in the second race at Coronet Peak on 8 August. Anderson currently has 32 FIS points in Giant Slalom so will need to up her game a little to make inroads on her current standings. She has the determination and the talent to do this.

The Ambition boys in New Zealand have started to make moves up the results pages with Oli Weeks posting his first sub 100 result in only his third FIS race. Weeks, a multiple race winner this summer in the UK, posted a 91 FIS point result in the Cardrona Slalom on 2 August. Angus Wills started off his summer with a 67 point result in Giant Slalom and has also scored a 91 in Slalom in Cardrona. Also racing in New Zealand are Callum Clarke, Charlie Leach, Ryan Bloom and Robert Dorfman.

In South Africa at the Tiffindell races, Victoria Palla, a 2001 year of birth that has switched over to race for Great Britain from Austria this season scored a hugely impressive best result of 55 in the ten race series that took place, backing it up with a 61, 70, 71 and 78. Palla is a determined racer from Zell am See and definitely one to watch out for.

Thomas Cherry scored a best of 66 and two 70 point results in the men’s series of races in Tiffindell with Mathieu Avent scoring a best of 73 and 88, his two best Slalom results of his career to date. Leading indoor racer from the Summer races in the UK, Sam Carson proved that he can also mix it with the leading racers on snow outdoors as he scored an impressive 77 point result in the last race of the series, his first sub 100 point result – what a way to smash through the 100 point barrier! Morgan Gash added to the list of racers scoring impressive results in taking a 103 result in the final race.


Picture – Owen Vinter competing at the Delancey British Alpine Championships in April 2017

Action shots from the ski racing are available at