British Ski Academy GBR Series Outdoor 3 Race Report

Words by Eva Pascoe (U18 Dryslope Ambassador)

After record breaking temperatures around the Home Nations in the past week, racers from all over the UK made their way up to the Pontypool slope from 7:30am; the significantly cooler conditions were a welcome relief for all. Whilst the cool air offered a brief rest bite from the heat, there would be little let up in the GBR Series competition, as the atmosphere and buzz of excitement for the racing ahead began to make its presence felt with racers and their families setting up their shelters for the day.

 

As the BSA sponsored GBR Series Race 3 neared its start, following previous competitions in Stoke on Trent and Edinburgh, racers contemplated their positions within the overall standings; Robbie Anderson, Oli Weeks and Joe Grieve made up the top three respectively in the Overall Male standings. Francesca Lee, Nicole Shering, and Nicole Ritchie, made up the top three respectively in the females. With the day’s start list, the Overall GBR Series ranking was potentially set for a significant shuffle this weekend. In the U10 / U12 boys’, Miller Spence, Ollie Stevenson, Ryan Faber, Luca Anderson and Lewis Parton topping the U10 / U12 boys table; whilst Page Spence, Isla Cameron, Agatha Faville, and Ffion Lewis were topping the U10 / U12 girls’ table.  

The day began with a superb course set by British Ski Academy’s, Malcolm Erskine. It started with three offset gates, the fourth gate on top of the jump. This led into a royal flush followed by a right footed banana over the ridge with a hairpin further down the slope. The fastest of the females proved to be Lauren Vale (U18) recording a superb sub twenty second time of 19.78 seconds; Eva Pascoe recorded a time of 21.29seconds, 1.51 seconds behind Vale and Georgia Hyett threatening with just 0.02 seconds behind Pascoe. The male racers absolutely charged the course too with Craig Speed, Harrison Evans and Toby Case all recording sub nineteen second times; the fastest being that of Speed at 18.36 seconds. Characteristically, only 0.38 seconds separated the top three, leaving it all to play for in the 2nd Run.

In the U10 / U12 boys’ and girls’ race, Liam Atkinson recovered from a DSQ on his first run; storming his second run with a time of 22.01 seconds and took the lead for the boys. He was closely followed by Lewis Parton who completed the course in a time of 20.10 seconds, an extremely close 0.09 seconds separating him from 1st position. Geno Hounsham’s best time was 22.69 seconds putting him in 3rd place position. In the girl’s race, Daisy Putman recorded a fastest time of 22.38 seconds, 1.10 seconds ahead of Ffion Lewis in second place. 3rd place was taken by Kitty-Jay Caldwell with a time of 24.02 seconds. An awesome morning of racing from the U10 / U12 racers with many pushing the times of the older guys through excellent technique and competitive spirit.

‘If all the world really is a stage’, racers certainly entertained with some fantastic performances to secure wins in the second run. This stage was set for the second run by another superb course by Robin Kellen. The set consisted of a corridor leading to a verticale, followed by a banana gate over the ridge and into a hair pin after the steep pitch; finishing with a simple corridor over the rollers. As the competition started heating up, so too did the weather. Temperatures began to soar into the high 20’s presenting its own challenges for those volunteers standing on the slope in the full glare of the sun all day.  

The female’s race, concluded with Vale winning overall in the females; an incredible 2.66 seconds in front of Pascoe in 2nd. Hyett recorded a second run time of 22.82 seconds, 3.66 seconds behind Vale, earning her the 3rd overall position. In the male’s race, Speed completed a blistering second run time of 18.59 seconds, 0.84 seconds ahead of his nearest rival Evans for a combined time of 36.95 seconds securing him 1st Overall Male. Evans took 2nd, just 1.10 seconds behind Speed with Case in 3rd with a combined time of 38.31 seconds.

So, the curtains closed and the sun set on a fantastic day of racing.  As competitors left the slope, attention would soon focus on the following morning’s GBR 4 race but not before competitors enjoyed their evening meals and celebratory drinks with friends and family. As always, a huge shout out to our parents, coaches and volunteers, without whom few, if any, of us would be able to race. Thank you.

 
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