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.