The British Telemark Team, along with our in-van resident US skier, Nicolas Belissent arrived in Hintertux on Monday. We spent Tuesday and Wednesday preparing for the weekend ahead with some gate training. It was great to be joined by my personal sponsors, Kneissl and METRO for a few days too! Thursday was the official World Cup training day where everyone tested the jump and loom for the first time, it was a great opportunity for our newer racers to witness the high international standard.
The racing started on Friday with a Sprint, nerves and tension were running high but all in all, GB Telemark had a great day. I finished in 4th, after skiing into 5th position on my first run and I won the second run! This hasn’t happened before so I feel this is a huge positive from my weekend of racing. My team-mates; Tara Parks finished in 9th place in her first ever world cup race, Louis Hatchwell was 18th, a new personal best, Jasper Taylor finished in 20th and Alec Dixon was in 27th position. Naila Cardwell, Development Team member, did a great job of fore-running and gained lots of valuable experience.
The following day, another Sprint race, the great snow conditions continued although, we as a team, didn’t have such a good day. I finished in 6th position, Tara in 13th, Jasper in 19th, Alec in 30th and Louis unfortunately crashed out.
The third and final day of racing, the Dual Sprint (or Parallel Sprint) commenced with a qualification run, followed by intense, action packed, head-to-head racing. Louis and Jasper were drawn against each other and despite a great performance from Jasper who qualified in 12th, Louis took the win. Louis then met Ondrej Hegar from the Czech Republic but a mistake after the jump meant he finished in 9th place. Alec raced against Jonas Schmidt from Germany; Alec skied so well but lost out to a formidable Jonas who went on to take 2nd place overall. I was drawn against Kathrine Reischmann from Germany and Tara was drawn against Mathilde Ilebrekke from Norway. I then moved forward to the next round to race Mathilde who took the win and I finished in 5th place, Tara finished in 9th place.
You can catch up on all the live streaming HERE. This year the camera production team, Tele-Ho, have developed further platforms including a Norwegian channel and a Facebook live link which generated 15,000 views alone! Jack Harvard Taylor, former GB Telemark Team athlete, is now the official commentator and in my opinion, has done a fantastic job. Thank you to: the race organisers, production team, GB Telemark sponsors (Aquatronic Group Management, VOLA and Dare 2b) coach, Seb Mansart and team support, Neil Dixon. All in all, a very solid start with many positives – now for some rest and more training before the next races in January!