Nicole Shering ended her summer racing with 0.03 second win in the final National Championship of the summer. Shering overhauled a near on half second lead that Lauren Vale held to win the race with Jenny Davies taking third with Ellie Jackson and Isabel Evans rounding out the top five.

Tucked away behind a movie set is the Kilternan Dublin ski slope that held the Irish Open Championships. Each year The Ski Club of Ireland put on an event with a welcoming and fun atmosphere which is a massive draw for British racers to make the trip across. It is the last artificial national championship on the calendar and the last chance for top racers to realistically improve their points.

The slope itself is very steep at the top but flattens out towards the finish. The first course had wide aggressive offsets on the steep but the rest of the course straightened out to the finish with relative ease.

On the first run, Pendle’s Eleanor Eaves was in the lead after only a few of the top seeds. Two racers after Eaves was one for the race favourites Nicole Shering. The Snowtrax racer had a smooth top section and was aggressive towards the line. Shering took the lead from Eaves but there were still a lot of the field to go.

Not long after was Aldershot racer Lauren Vale in the start gate. Vale charged through the top section with real determination and managed to maintain her speed throughout the rest of the course. Vale took the lead from Shering with an impressive 0.43 second advantage.

Midland’s Ellie Jackson did slip into third place overall briefly but was eventually narrowly overtaken by Aldershot’s Jenny Davies. Both skiers had smooth runs but weren’t quite in touch with the top two of Vale and Shering.

Vale had a reasonable lead going into the second run over Shering, with Davies the next best placed skier in third.

The second run had a fast top section with a hairpin set on the steep. A long under gate and big distances between the turns towards the bottom, meant it was going to be a fast course.

On the second run, Isabel Evans had a much better run by her standards and moved up a few places in the overall as a result. Another smooth run by Jackson wasn’t enough to beat Evan’s second run time but she took the lead on combined time with just three racers left to go.

Davies was next up, and she was a lot more aggressive on her second run. She took the lead with the fastest second run so far, with just Shering and Vale to go.

Shering knew she had to pull something out the bag with over four tenths to make up on Vale. The Snowtrax racer left everything on the slope with a gutsy second run charge. She took the lead from Davies, but was it enough to win the overall with Vale left to go?

Vale decided to go for a smooth approach and made sure she definitely stayed in. The under 18 skier was smooth at the top and let the skis run towards the finish. Vale wasn’t as fast as Shering on the second run and as a result Shering won the race by three hundredths of a second.

Shering won the Irish Open by a very narrow margin ahead of Vale, with Davies in third place overall. Both Shering and Vale have been tight racing rivals towards the end of this season and it certainly showed in Ireland.

Age group winners were Emma Trust (Under 14, 12th Overall), Ellie Jackson (Under 16, 4th), Nicole Shering (Under 18, Race Winner), Caitlin Lewington (Under 21, 8th), Jenny Davies (Senior, 3rd) and Sally Hodson (Masters).

For full results click here

Picture Nicole Shering competing at the Welsh Champs in September 2017. Credit racer Ready all rights reserved

Peter Davies