Saturday, 1 September 2012

Last Indoor Summer camp

This week we ran our last indoor summer camp at Hemel with the English Artificial Slope Squad joining us on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday being given over to our new schools programme.

Working with technical training for the most part and gate sessions in the afternoon, The groups worked through improving through drills and skills and then put this to work in the gates.

It was great to work with a lot of trainees who are new to ski racing and will be doing a lot more this coming season. It was good for the trainees to work with our group of coaches which comprised on current and ex national team members along with some assistant coaches working toward their qualifications and learning as they go.

We will be running an indoor camp during October half term at Hemel as well as our usual glacier training in Tignes from 20th October.

All pictures courtesy of Matt Birch Pictures who worked with us on the final day of the camp

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Rain stopped play

Day seven of our summer camp and the weather caught up with us today. Having had evening thunderstorms a couple of times, we had one on the hill that drove us down this morning after only a few runs. 
The snow was good for our first day on the slalom skis and things were looking good for a good days technical training but the storm came in very quickly, catching a few teams out. 

Amazing double rainbow last night

It’s been a great camp so far and we’ve had good training on the hill with great conditions for GS. The remaining few days will be spent on slalom. We’ve had some great afternoon fitness training and other activities of which there is a great choice in Tignes, all within easy reach on foot.

We’ve all been following the olympic coverage, albeit in French. It’s been great to see Team GB picking up the medals over the last few days and moving into 3rd place on the table. Seeing Andy Murray take the gold, beating Federer at Wimbledon (he could've pulled that forward a month!) Let’s hope we can keep it up!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Summer in Tignes

We have returned to Tignes for our annual summer camp and ten days on the glacier. We're on day four and have had four excellent days of GS training.
The glacier looked worse for wear when we arrived but this was just the view from the bottom. When we got up there, the conditions were great for training. It's a pretty short ride up to the glacier (about 10 minutes) on the funicular.

Great panoramic view from the top of our training piste

One of the advantages of Tignes is the off snow activities during the summer, many of which are free! with an activity card from your accommodation provider. So far we have used the pool, archery, mini golf and are looking at kayaking on the lake and the water jump and new blob jump.

Stunning view to Val Claret across the lake

We have another two days of GS training left and will then run slalom. The trainees return home on the 9th and I then head off to Aosta to sort out some details for our winter programme there.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Impulse and ARA Summer Programme in Full Swing

We got back from a great weekends racing and training a Landgraaf earlier this week and the rest of our summer programme is in full swing.

Impulse Athlete Finlay Davies. 2 podiums over the weekend

As usual, Landgraaf was great and good training for the athletes. In fact, on Friday, we had the whole training slope to ourselves!

We'll be visiting Landgraaf again in September with an adult group and a separate group of children and juniors.
The rest of our summer training is now starting to get booked up. We have a glacier training camp in Tignes, along with our summer indoor camps which can be attended on a daily basis and evening training at on 3 evenings per week. All of this is bookable on our website.

Tignes last Autumn

Monday, 2 April 2012

A good day for Impulse and ARA

well, that's the last day of the champs here in Meribel as far as the Juniors are concerned and a great couple of great results for us here today and overall in the Juniors. Matt Thompson came 2nd Jun 2 and overall in the Slalom but then was on the second step of the podium for the jun 2 and overall combined junior prize. It was a close call for the overall!

Matt Thompson 2nd in the slalom

And 2nd in the overall!

In the Junior one category, Richard Goldsworthy made third place in the slalom, just dropping a place after the first run.

Richard Goldsworthy on the 3rd step of podium in todays slalom

So, a great day with points scores for most of our guys. An unfortunate niggling knee issue resurfacing for our Jamaican team athlete, Chelcie Bird, resulting in a trip to the med centre and a day out tomorrow. She scored her first points of the season yesterday to break her duck and install some confidence.

In Courchevel, our children's racers were in action at the Scottish children's champs with conditions being a little soft. They now move over to Meribel whilst the Juniors head to Courchevel for the next four days.

ONLY FOUR MORE EARLY STARTS!!! - I would say sunrises but, with the predicted rain/snow, it's likely to be cloudy for at least a couple of them.

Checking out the first course under floodlight this morning

Another bloody sunrise!!!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

8 Early starts to go!!

So today saw the Super Combi and Junior Super G at the British champs in Meribel.
With our 5th of 13 early starts, we got off to a good start in the Super G leg but were subject to a few delays during the race making the SL delayed in starting.
Impulse and British team racer Matt Thompson was lying in 3rd place in the juniors after the super g but was unable to capitalise and improve on this as he got caught on the first steep pitch and straddled in the slalom.

Matt Thompson collects 3rd place for the super G

Matt in the slalom leg of the super combi

Good news for the BSA group racing with us this week, Laurie Taylor picked up 3rd place J1 in the super combo with a great slalom run helping him on the way.

That's the speed races finished here now and they've been some of the best that we've had here in my memory. Tomorrow we switch to the tech races with the mens national champs GS and a womens national champs SL. We should be seeing British team member Dave Ryding in action, recently scoring a win in the Slovenian champs and another result with a sub 10 point score.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Back to business for Matt Thompson

It's been a while since I've blogged. what with poor internet etc. but we've had a good few weeks training since the Interschools.
On the third day here in Meribel, we saw the Junior Champs Downhill race. For the first time in several years, we were able to watch a full length DH with the finish at the bottom of the Stade. Great for the spectators with three huge turns from the ridge to the finish.

It was great to see Impulse member Matt Thompson, in his first DH this season, take the junior title and close the gap on TJ Baldwin from when they've raced here in previous years. Matt was closely followed by Roy Steudle, who was faster in yesterdays training run.

Impulse's Matt Thompson on the top step of the podium

The course proved tough for many of the less experienced trainees but most of them performed well with Impulse racer Ed Fenton-Fowler completing his third ever (and toughest) downhill with a decent time.

Unfortunately, with TJ being so far ahead of most of the field and the high penalty, the points were't the best but the guys are just going to have to get faster!
In the spirit of cooperation that many of the clubs need to survive and attend these events, we've had a couple of juniors from BSA staying with us and it was good to see one of them, Laurie Taylor, picking up 3rd J1 in only his second DH!

Laurie Taylor on the podium in 3rd

Well, that's 3 days done of this 13 day programme for the British and Scottish champs. That means another 10 sunrises to view over the three valleys as we need to have early starts in order to make the most of the best racing conditions of the day.
Watching the sun rise over the three valleys......again!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Back to Base

After nearly a week in Les Crosets for the Welsh Alpine Champs, it was back to our base in Aosta late on Saturday.
Sunday saw a days rest for both athletes and coaches with today being business as usual on the hill in Pila.

Getting up this morning, it was cloudy at our place and in the valley but, as we headed up in the gondola for a days slalom freeskiing, we moved above the clouds to a very cold but clear day.
We've had some new snow over the last day or so which has refreshed the pistes and, with the cold temperatures, we had great conditions for training today.

With the cloud moving up the hill and more snow coming in just after lunch, we headed down. It's snowing lightly now at our base at 1250m, so hopefully there'll be some more up at Pila.

Meanwhile, we still have coaches working with the group of Aussie servicemen and women racing at the Combined services in Meribel and with Lambrook and Halliford schools competing at the schoolboys races in Meiringen. Further info and reports on these events in the next few days.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Mixed fortunes in a week of racing

This week has been pretty busy starting with two races at home in PILA on Saturday and Sunday.

The Slalom on Saturday saw some good skiing but none of our guys able to make both runs. That, unfortunately, is ski racing.
Cormac during course inspection for the slalom in Pila
Sunday saw a better day in the GS with both Cormac and Jack getting their best FIS points scores for that discipline.

We then headed over to Champery/Les Crosets for the Welsh Alpine Champs. With a great days slalom training on Monday, we then had the FIS GS race on Tuesday. Unfortunately, with a big delay for timing issues, we lost the second run for the boys as the TD believed that the light wasn't sufficient. This was very disappointing as several coaches believed that the light was good enough to run the boys down the second run.

The FIS Slalom was a better event but, again, our boys failed to finish! So we got our FIS racers to take some experience from forerunning the BASS races on Thursday (Sl) and today (GS). This gave them valuable experience in a race scenario which, hopefully, will help with our next races.

Les Crosets a couple of days ago

It's now back to base in Aosta for training whilst Finlay heads off to Meiringen for the Schoolboys races where Harri will be coaching Halliford School and Lambrook school teams.

Meanwhile, the Australian Defence team did well in Tignes at the RN champs with several podiums for both the men and women, including two golds for one of the male racers, Dan. They are currently training in Meribel ahead of the combined services champs next week.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Aussies, Jamaicans, Irish and some Brit trainees!!

This is a long overdue update, mainly due to a very busy start to the season with huge snowfalls, broken vehicles, delayed opening of resorts etc.

View from the top of Pila today with Mont Blanc on the left and the Matterhorn on the right

The first two weeks of the season, up to and including BARSC, were absolutely hectic, with huge snowfalls (leading to some amazing powder days), one of our vehicles breaking down (now sorted) and almost being snowed into our accommodation.
The BARSC champs saw us pick up several podiums with Max Wheatman, Alex Fitzpatrick, Ed Fenton-Fowler and Two of our Irish Contingent, Erin Flynn and Emily Ainsworth and our Jamaican representative, Chelcie Bird.

The Anglo Scottish races saw one of our Children, Finlay Davies pick up 2nd place in the GS.

The bottom of our road a couple of weeks ago

Sometimes it can go a bit wrong in the powder!

This last two weeks saw us hosting training for the Australian Defence Alpine Snowsports Association. A group of 20 Aussie servicemen and women over here for 5 weeks, including the Royal Navy and Combined Services Champs. A great two weeks was had by this group, working with ski coach Brian Byrne and Boarding coach Donnie Macleod. Donnie has taken weeks out of his own Business in Davos - Synergy Snowsports. They've now gone on to race in Tignes, then Meribel, so good luck to those guys.

Some of the Aussie Defence Team with coaches Donnie and Brian (Centre)
So it's now back to business as usual here at the academy with several trainees and amazing training conditions this week, we feel we've chosen our base resort of Pila well and are looking forward to the rest of the season here.