Tagged ‘FIS Telemark’

The Final World Cups

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We arrived in Rjukan, Norway for a training day prior to the Norwegian round of World Cup racing. The conditions were superb and the set up was as perfect as ever. Rjukan is the location for the World Championships next year so it very much felt like a warm up in preparation. It was just myself and Robbie Houstoun competing from Great Britain and the racing kicked off with an afternoon Sprint. I finished in 5th and Robbie finished in 37th place.

The scenery in Rjukan, Norway

Gaustatoppen in Rjukan, Norway

The race hill in Rjukan, Norway

The race hill in Rjukan, Norway

The following day was the Parallel Sprint event and after a tricky qualification run I was paired against World Cup winner, Simone Oehrli (SUI). Simone took the win meaning I finished in 9th place. Robbie unfortunately didn’t quite make the qualification cut.

Parallel Sprint in Rjukan, Norway

Buckling up for the Parallel Sprint

Out of the start gate in Parallel Sprint

Out of the start gate in Parallel Sprint

Shaking off the previous day, I took the Parallel Sprint start gate once more though this time with a fresh perspective qualifying in 7th place. I met Gøril Strøm Eriksen (NOR), moving on to the quarter finals where I met Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). After winning the first two rounds, I raced Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) in the semi finals and unfortunately missed a gate meeting Guro Helde Kjølseth (NOR) in the small final. I was pleased to finish back on the podium in 3rd place. That race was also broadcast on NRK1, which is a main TV channel in Norway at prime time viewing and a great achievement for the sport.

The podium in Rjukan, Norway

The Parallel Sprint podium in Rjukan, Norway

After the race, we went up to the top of Gaustatoppen and skied powder, it was a real joy and wonderful way to switch off post competition.

Gausatoppen with Canadian telemark team member, Antoine Belanger-Morin and team-mate, Robbie Houstoun

Gausatoppen with Canadian telemark team member, Antoine Belanger-Morin and team-mate, Robbie Houstoun

The summit of Gausatoppen

The summit of Gausatoppen

Amazing snow!

Amazing snow!

The final race day in Rjukan was another Sprint and my 100th World Cup start where I finished on the podium in 3rd place behind Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) and Johanna Holzmann (GER).

The Sprint podium in Rjukan, Norway

The Sprint podium in Rjukan, Norway

The tour then travelled to Murren, Switzerland for World Cup Finals and the World Junior Championships. The first day of racing was the Team Parallel Sprint where myself, Ben Emsley and Robbie Houstoun raced the formidable Norwegians. I managed to win my race though on the whole, the Norwegians took the victory progressing on to take 3rd place. The junior team; Naila Cardwell, Alec Dixon and Sion Bingham also lost out to Norway.

The scenery in Murren

The scenery in Murren

Team Parallel Sprint in Murren with Ben Emsley and Robbie Houstoun

Team Parallel Sprint in Murren with Ben Emsley and Robbie Houstoun

The final Parallel Sprint was a success for me – I took the win after qualifying in 2nd place. This victory gave me enough World Cup points to finish in 2nd place in the Parallel Sprint overall standings. It was a real rush to compete that day and amazing to feel such a strong team affect with my team-mates cheering from the sides.

The start gate in the Parallel Sprint

The start gate in the Parallel Sprint

On course in Murren

On course in Murren

The Parallel Sprint podium in Murren with Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

The Parallel Sprint podium in Murren with Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

Coach Seb was pretty happy with my victory...

Coach Seb was pretty happy with my victory…

The World Junior Championship Parallel Sprint was held the following day where all the British juniors finished in 17th place. Jack Harvard Taylor made his return to the commentary box where I paid him a visit for an interview.

Interview with Jack Harvard Taylor

Interview with Jack Harvard Taylor

The World Junior Championship Classic saw Naila Cardwell finishing in 10th place which is a personal best. The top British male was Sion Bingham who finished in 13th place. The final World Cup Sprint race followed on that afternoon, I finished in 4th place which resulted in 4th place in the Sprint overall World Cup standings. Ben Emsley achieved a career best, finishing in 23rd position. We were joined by Dave Edwards, the current CEO of British Ski & Snowboard, which was a real privilege. Melanie Byrom, the chairman of the Kandahar Ski Club, was also on place to support with many club members.

The GB Telemark Ski Team with British Ski & Snowboard CEO, Dave Edwards

The GB Telemark Ski Team with British Ski & Snowboard CEO, Dave Edwards

The very last day was the Classic, I finished in 6th position which was good enough to finish 3rd in the overall Classic World Cup standings and 4th in the general World Cup standings. Robbie Houstoun finished in the top 20 for the first time with a 19th place. In the World Junior Championship Sprint, Sion Bingham was the top Brit once more finishing in 16th place, followed by Alec Dixon in 21st, Colin Dixon in 23rd and Jack Emsley in 24th place.

My Classic bronze medal in Murren

My tired eyes say it all, happy with my Classic bronze medal in Murren

It has been an incredible season! So proud to have finished with 4 victories across all 3 disciplines, 14 podiums and 2 medals in the overall standings. Thank you to my team, coaches, team-mates, sponsors, supporters, family, friends, federations and committees for making it totally awesome.

The GB Telemark Ski Team

The GB Telemark Ski Team

My first World Cup victory

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After spending Christmas at home I returned to Les Houches for training ahead of the next round of World Cup races. The second event in the calendar was hosted by the British in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France. The production was very professional and the organisation team put on a great show. The first day of racing was the Sprint, followed by a long, gruelling Classic. I finished in 3rd place on both days. Naila Cardwell finished in 14th and 17th with Sissi Compton forerunning and also doing GB Telemark proud. Colin Dixon finished in 29th and 36th, Colin’s brother; Alec finished in 24th and unfortunately, did not finish (DNF) on the Classic. Sion Bingham has been skiing really well in training, making big improvements, Sion finished with 23rd in the Sprint and a career best of 20th in the Classic. Ben Emsley, one to watch, finished in 30th place on both days. Former British Champion, James French, finished in 17th and 24th, so very respectable show all round. Louis Hatchwell still suffered from injuries and did not race but was on location supporting. Jack Harvard Taylor was again in the commentary box and there was an awesome turn-out of British supporters – including my parents!

L to R, Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Johanna Holzmann (GER), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

L to R, Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Johanna Holzmann (GER), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

Photo courtesy of Pralognan-la-Vanoise Tourist Office

The top three, photo courtesy of Pralognan-la-Vanoise Tourist Office / Yvan Lastes

Photo courtesy of Pralognan-la-Vanoise Tourist Office

Training buddy, Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) winning her first World Cup. Photo courtesy of Pralognan-la-Vanoise Tourist Office / Yvan Lastes

Some brilliant GB supporters...

Some brilliant GB supporters…

My parents on location in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France

My parents on location in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France

The World Cup tour then travelled to the USA for more races in Suicide Six and Sugarbush, Vermont. This meant that Louis Hatchwell and I missed the British Championships which followed on in Pralognan-la-Vanoise. The full results from the championship are listed here. I would like to note how well Sion Bingham and Sissi Compton have done – now the current British Champions. Ben Emsley has also progressed enormously, last year he crashed out in most race runs and now he’s one of the very best in the country.

L to R, Ben Emsley and Sion Bingham

L to R, Ben Emsley and Sion Bingham

The current British Champions, Sissi Compton and Sion Bingham

The current British Champions, Sissi Compton and Sion Bingham

Meanwhile in Suicide Six, I took my first World Cup victory in the Sprint event. I made a bet with my mum, who has never put a pair of ski boots on, that if I won a World Cup, she would learn to ski. The next morning I awoke to this photo…

My mum down at the Suffolk Dry Ski Centre in Ipswich, Suffolk

My mum down at the Suffolk Dry Ski Centre in Ipswich, Suffolk

First World Cup victory

First World Cup victory

L to R Team Captain, Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Team Coach, Sebastien Mansart

L to R, Team Captain; Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Team Coach; Sebastien Mansart

L to R, Johanna Holzmann (GER), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA)

L to R, Johanna Holzmann (GER), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA)

Louis Hatchwell finished in 18th, remarkable considering everything he has had to contend with recently. The following day was the Dual Sprint; I won the qualification run though in the end, finished 3rd behind Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). Louis qualified in 16th place and eventually finished in 9th place.

The start hut in Suicide Six, Vermont

The start hut in Suicide Six, photo courtesy of Sebastien Mansart

Photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

On course in Suicide Six, photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

Photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

The Dual Sprint small final against Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

Photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

In action, photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

The final racing day in Suicide Six was a Sprint, here I finished in 2nd and with tricky conditions, Louis unfortunately DNF. We had one travel day between races, it was a full on week to say the least. The British teamed up with Czech racer, Kamil Dostal so we were four whilst travelling and sight-seeing. In Sugarbush, I shared an apartment with competitors; Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) and Goril Strom Eriksen (NOR). Argeline asked me to go to the door and outside waiting for me, was former USA telemark racer Madi McKinstry. I lived with Madi during the 2013 season and it was awesome to see her again – we always have so much fun.

L to R, Sebastien Mansart, Madi McKinstry, Jasmin Taylor

L to R, Sebastien Mansart, Madi McKinstry, Jasmin Taylor

The competition in Sugarbush kicked off with a Classic. Again, I took the victory which means my grandma will attempt to ski as well…

Photo courtesy of NSF Telemark

The Classic in Sugarbush, photo courtesy of NSF Telemark

There was a change in the schedule and it was decided that another Classic would run on day two – it’s very rare to have two Classic races in a row. Here I finished in 3rd place and Louis finished in 19th place. The final day, a Sprint, was the closest race of all, though the closeness was not to my advantage. Despite having the fastest second run, I finished 4th after collecting gate penalties. I finished 2nd in the overall point standings for the American races behind training buddy, Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA).

Photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

A nice moment with Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), photo courtesy of Herb Swanson

We flew to and from New York so stopped off to be tourists on our way back. During our stay there, I featured on BBC Ski Sunday back at home, in England. That was pretty awesome!

Flat Iron Building with, L to R, Kamil Dostal, Sebastien Mansart, Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell

The Flatiron building with, L to R, Kamil Dostal, Sebastien Mansart, Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell

Diner in New York

Diner in New York

Times Square, New York

Times Square, New York with Sebastien Mansart

Making good use of my World Cup prizes in New York City

Making good use of my World Cup prizes in New York City

You can catch up on the live-stream highlights here. Now on to Germany, then Slovenia for more races…

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