Max Vaughton posted the best of the British times in the two races that produced the Lowland Championships in Landgraff. With approaching 270 racers across all age groups from Britain, Holland, Belgium and this years organisers, Luxembourg, the strength of competition was impressive. From Mini’s to Masters with U14, U16 and FIS racers in between, many British racers, of which 78 made the trip, took the opportunity to see how their summer training had gone.
With three courses set up each day, one for minis, one for U14 and U16’s and one down the injected side of the course for the FIS age group. While Vaughton was the class act amongst the FIS age group with Charlie Luke and Will Manns donning the slalom boards and catsuit to battle his way into third amongst the British racers.
Kirsty Guest was the leading British girl in the FIS age group with Ciostaidh Struthers and Shannon Potter chasing her home. Alexa Elliff was the best of the Under 16 girls with Ella Sullivan benefiting from a mistake by Isabelle Lander on the first run to take second.
Robert Holmes added to his growing reputation with two stunning runs in the U16 races to battle it out for an overall podium place and fastest of the British racers ahead of Jack Cunningham and Jonathan Marshall.
Charlotte Holmes was fastest British racer on the first run in the Under 14 race ahead of Anna Kamaly-Asl with Sophie Hughes in third. The same three girls held the same position on the second run as well.
In the boys U14 race it was Aiden Urquhart who took Best of British spoils ahead of Kieran Wooley and Zach Metheringham on race one with Woolley Metheringham and William Lennox taking the podium places amongst the British on run two. With ex World Cup racer Belgian Karyn Persyn and Jo Ryding setting the courses that the U14 age group competed on, combining four nations methods of running races proved a challenge for the organisers, not unsurmountable but for some of the races a mind challenge!
Day two saw the same three racers on the podium amongst the British racers in the FIS race – Guest, Struthers and Potter as they tried to put pressure on two racers that train with British racing set ups in the form of Boxie Borchart (British Ski Academy) and Floor van Ameyde (Ambition).
Vaughton again proved how much of an improved racer he is as he took second overall in the race but with Luke and Manns in second and third amongst the British racers in the FIS age group.
Elliff again was best of the British in the U16 British girls but with Lander taking second and Sullivan third.
In the boys U16 race it was all change despite Holmes taking the win as Toby Case took second among the British racers with Seamus O’Brien taking third. It may have taken until the fourth run of the weekend before Case showed his true ability but if he can continue his improvement trajectory, he will be challenging for the Overall wins come the end of the season.
Day two in the U14 race saw Anna Kamaly-Asl win both races ahead of Charlotte Holmes with Niamh Thompson third in race one and Sophie Hughes third in race two. In the boys race it was Aiden Urquhart, Zach Metheringham and Kayne Stanway the top three on run one with Forster swapping with Stanway for third place on the second run. Urquhart and Metheringham placing one and two among the British racers.
With so much racing on the calendar these days, the chat around the bars each night was about reducing the races. With the Lowland races clashing with the British Dry Mat Championships at Hillend, amalgamating and producing a calendar that benefits indoor, outdoor and snow programmes to produce better British racers is the big question that needs to be sorted out. Do we need three different seeding systems to cover racing before racers reach FIS racing. Why can racing from grassroots all the way up to FIS not be standardised so that people know what they are doing. There are so many questions that need answering and yet so little information is being given out for people to comment on. If you have ideas about how the sport in Britain can be improved, let people know!