At the end of January, six members of Richmond School Ski Squad flew out to race for the school in the British Schoolboys’ and British Schoolgirls’ races. Olivia Frankland (Year 11), Emily Riley, (Year 11) and Isobel Brooks (Year 10) headed to the girls’ races at Flaine in France. Archie Dolan (Year 11), Ben Webster and James Norman (both in Sixth Form) travelled to Wengen in Switzerland for the boys’ races. Both teams endured some adverse weather, which led to changes in schedules. Although they rarely race on snow (with training being mainly on dry slopes and occasionally artificial snowdomes) and are only experienced at slalom racing, they gained great results in both the slalom and giant slalom events. James commented, “Going to Wengen has been a goal of mine for the past two years. When I got their and experienced it, it was as amazing as I imagined. The instructors were approachable, helpful, funny and knowledgeable. Races were perfectly organised and despite the weather I had a great time.”
In the giant slalom, the girls performed well individually, together coming 22nd out of 47 teams. Snowy conditions for the slalom didn’t put them off. Emily’s speed led to her being an amazing 11th of 73 in the U16 category. Only seconds slower, Isobel and Olivia were impressively placed at 22nd and 28th respectively. Overall Richmond girls were ranked 15th out of 53 teams in their slalom event! They narrowly missed out on getting further in the dual slalom knockout, when they were only just beaten in the first round.
Isobel said: “The trip to Flaine was a fabulous opportunity and an enjoyable experience. The specialist training there really improved our technique for the racing and the races were challenging but a lot of fun.”
The boys gained good times in the giant slalom, despite having no pre-race training due to the weather. Individually they were placed mid-field or higher. In windy conditions in the U16+ slalom, Archie, who has much less race experience than the others but has progressed really well in technique, came a fabulous 44th out of 103 entrants. James, 22nd and Ben, 24th did superbly, being ranked close together with great times. Ben was awarded a bronze medal for coming 3rd in the unregistered U21 category for combined slalom and giant slalom results. Richmond boys were winners of one of the dual slalom events and were awarded the Slalom Plate Trophy!
Taking part in these events was an amazing opportunity and the icing on the cake of successes in races in Great Britain this school year. Archie reported, “It's been fantastic to be part of one of Richmond Schools most successful ski seasons this year. We have all trained hard over the last 12 months and it has really paid off. The competition in Wengen was unforgettable, but the other competitions were also great experiences.”
The ski squad currently train at Silksworth dry slope on Tuesday evenings with emphasis on fun and enjoyment, improving general skiing skills and skills especially relevant to racing. New members are needed to continue with a school team. Pupils of all skiing abilities are welcome. For further information contact Alison Brooks: email@example.com