British Ski Academy GBR Series Outdoor 5 Race Report

Words by Nicole Shering

GBR 5, the last race of the series was held at Chatham slope last weekend and proved to be a very exciting race, especially the second run. It was all to play for with the overall standings being so close in the females and males. As many people are aware, Chatham Ski Slope had only recently changed the matting back to denex, allowing this race to happen, which gave everyone a fair chance.

The first run on Sunday was set by British Ski Academy’s Malcolm Erskine which consisted of a fast top section followed by a wide corridor, an undergate and another corridor to finish. The hot weather made this challenging towards the bottom as racers instantly lost speed when coming over the final roller.

There were just 2 racers in the under 10 male category, Ryan Faber who finished in 1st place with an impressive time of 20.81, challenging some of those under 12’s at the same time and Caspar Mellon-Hendry who finished 2nd with a time of 24.19.

In the under 12 females, Amber Fennell put down 2 outstanding times to finish 1st with her fastest being 19.24, Ffion Lewis came 2nd with 19.79 and Daisy Putman finishing 3rd with 19.85. Not only was Amber 1st under 12 female, she also was the fastest overall racer out of male and females by just under half a second. In the under 12 Males race, Adam Cornick finished 1st with two consistent runs of 19.88 and 19.72. Lewis Parton came 2nd,  0.49 behind Adam with a time of 20.21. Just 3 hundredths separated 2nd, 3rd and 4th place with Liam Atkinson finishing third in 20.22 and Geno Hounsham in 4th with 20.23.

The first racer out of the top 15 females to take to the course was Lily Martin, she had a solid run with a time of 18.80, which set the mark for the rest of the top racers. The fastest females after the first run proved to be Nicole Shering 17.68, followed closely by 17.73 from Lauren Vale and Jenny Davies who recorded a time of 17.96. This meant the top three females were separated by just 0.28 so it was all to play for on the second run. Lily Martin ended up 4th after the first run. Another racer fighting for a  podium finish was Eva Pascoe, who completed her run in 18.95, putting her into 5th position. This concluded the top 5 females after the first run. The male racers smashed this course set by Malcolm, especially Craig Speed, an under 21 racer, who got a time of 16.45 and Callum Witts with 16.82. In 3rd place was Toby Case completing his run in 17.19 seconds. It was also close between the rest of the top 15 field, with Harrison Evans at 17.20, Josef Huppach 17.22 and Thomas Upton with 17.27. Threatening the top racers after the first run were Jack Feneley with a time of 17.47 and William Austin at 17.66.

The second course was set by Frazer Buchan, a coach at BSA. He set a fast top section followed by a verticale into a hairpin, a tight wide corridor, undergate and a fast lower section to finish. As the weather heated up, so did the competition with the temperatures reaching 30 degrees, making it nearly unbearable for both the racers and officials who were on the slope for the majority of the day.

There was not much movement in the top 5 females after the second run with Ella Giles finishing 5th with a second run time of 20.21 and Eva Pascoe in 4th with 19.82 as unfortunately Lily Martin straddled the verticale at the top of the course, consequently being disqualified. Jenny Davies then set the mark for Lauren and Nicole with an impressive time of 18.82, a second faster than Pascoe. Vale  then came down with a solid run of 17.89, again just under a second quicker than 3rd place but Shering went quicker with 17.52. She had a combined time of 35.20, Vale 35.62 and Davies 36.78, wrapping up the female race in the GBR series. The males second run proved to be very dramatic as 7 out of the top 10 males after the first run made mistakes, all being out of the hairpin in the middle of the course which forfeited them an end result in the top rankings. The top 5 at the finish were Craig Speed in first with an impressive combined time of 33.42 and 1.61 seconds ahead of 2nd place, Jack Feneley with 35.03, 3rd went to William Austin with 35.64, 4th Joseph Thompson with 35.75 and finishing off the top 5 was Chris Moore with 35.82. This concluded the 2018 GBR series so now racers wait to hear for the overall results for the series.

Thankyou to all the volunteers that help out at these races which allow them to go ahead and make the day run so smoothly. Without all the hard work of John Ali, Andrew Atkinson and their team prior to the race, we wouldn't have had a slope ready in time for this weekend so for that we are all very thankful.

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