Tagged ‘Great Britain’

Victory in Slovenia

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Following the long trip back from America, the tour moved on to Oberjoch, Germany for more World Cup competitions. The first day kicked off with the Sprint where I finished in 3rd place achieving my 10th podium of the season.

The Ladies Sprint (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) Photos by lkjsdhflakshf

The Ladies Sprint (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GRB), photos by Bernhard Krempl

Louis Hatchwell is still struggling with reoccurring injuries and took the difficult decision to not race in Germany. Sion Bingham skied hard finishing in 26th and Ben Emsley in 31st place. Jack Harvard Taylor returned to his seat in the commentary box adding his expertise and enthusiasm.

Jasmin Taylor off the jump, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Jasmin Taylor off the jump, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Jasmin Taylor in the Sprint, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Jasmin Taylor in the Sprint, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham off the jump in Oberjoch, Germany, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham off the jump, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham on course, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham on course, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Ben Emsley jumping, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Ben Emsley jumping, photo by Bernhard Krempl

The second day saw the Dual Sprint take place, starting a little lower on the Sprint hill. Sion qualified in 25th, meeting Thomas Rufer (SUI) in the knock outs. Ben was 30th in qualification and met Bastien Dayer (SUI) in his first World Cup Dual Sprint – both Sion and Ben finished in 17th place. I finished in 4th place after racing Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) in the semi and small finals. Johanna Holzmann (GER) took the victory and our races then made it to national news coverage on German television.

The spectators in Oberjoch, Germany, photo by Bernhard Krempl

The spectators in Oberjoch, Germany, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Singing with the French National Team, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Singing with the French National Team, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Meanwhile, some FIS races took place in Lelex Mont Jura, France where many of my British team-mates were competing. Congratulations to Alec Dixon who won Saturday’s competition overall. The 2nd Brit was Colin Dixon finishing in 8th with new comers – Jack Emsley in 19th and Ben Silva in 21st also progressing fast. Ben Silva also finished 3rd in his age category – another great achievement. Sissi Compton finished 7th overall, 2nd in her age category and Naila Cardwell unfortunately did not finish (DNF).

Ben Silva on the podium in Lelex Mont Jura, France

Ben Silva on the podium in Lelex Mont Jura, France

Victory for Alec Dixon at the FIS race in Lelex Mont Jura, France

Victory for Alec Dixon at the FIS race in Lelex Mont Jura, France

The second day of competition in Lelex saw Alec finishing in 3rd overall, Colin in 10th, Jack in 16th and Ben in 17th (3rd in his age category once more). Sissi was 6th overall, 2nd in her age and Naila 13th overall, 4th in her age category.

Colin Dixon on course in Lelex Mont Jura, France

Colin Dixon on course in Lelex Mont Jura, France

Louis decided to return home to the UK to fully rehab his ankle but before leaving, we all celebrated Louis’s birthday in Germany. Sion also returned home due to university commitments.

Louis Hatchwell on his birthday in Oberjoch, Germany

Louis Hatchwell on his birthday in Oberjoch, Germany

A celebratory dinner for Louis

A celebratory dinner for Louis

After Germany, we travelled on to Slovenia for the final two days of racing. Unfortunately, the first race was cancelled due to heavy snow fall.

The Sprint race was cancelled following a heavy snowfall in Krvavec, Slovenia

The Sprint race was cancelled following a heavy snowfall in Krvavec, Slovenia

The final day was a Dual Sprint on the pistes of Krvavec. I qualified in 3rd place meeting Magdalena Kopecka (CZE), then Martina Wyss (SUI), then Johanna Holzmann (GER) and finally Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) in the final. I won all rounds and took my first victory in the Dual Sprint. Ben Emsley had the pleasure of racing Bastien Dayer (SUI) once more and finished in 17th place.

There was 35 minute programme, produced by TeleHo, on a Slovenian national television channel. The episode followed the official Olympic Opening Ceremony where 32% of the Slovenian population were watching – a huge percentage and phenomenal step for telemark. You can watch my edit HERE. I am now looking forward to watching the Olympic Games, good luck to everyone competing.

The winning moment! Photo by Urban Urbanc/Sportida

The winning moment! Photo by Urban Urbanc/Sportida

Just through the finish line with Johanna Holzmann (GER), photo by Urban Urbanc/Sportida

Just through the finish line with Johanna Holzmann (GER), photo by Urban Urbanc/Sportida

The Parallel Sprint podium in Krvavec, Slovenia with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

The Parallel Sprint podium in Krvavec, Slovenia with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

The podium with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

The podium with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER)

Since the beginning of the season I have had 3 victories, 1 in each discipline; the Classic, Sprint and Dual Sprint. I have finished on the podium 11 times in 14 races across 5 different countries. It’s been a blast! The last two rounds of racing will take place in March, hosted in Norway and Switzerland. That means we have time for some much needed rest and then more training.

You can catch up on all the racing via the live-stream link HERE. Thank you as always to everyone making it happen!

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…

Norwegian World Cups and World Junior Championships

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Another round of racing complete, this time in Norway – first Hurdal and then Rjukan. In Hurdal, racing began with a skate-heavy Classic and I am very pleased to say I finished on the podium in 3rd position behind Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR), achieving my first ever World Cup podium in the discipline.

The Classic Podium with

The Classic Podium with Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR)

The following day, we raced the Parallel Sprint which was filmed for the Olympic Channel and Norwegian television and was broadcast on NRK2. I qualified in 3rd place and retained my position in the head to head heats, finishing on the podium once more. I raced Beatrice Zimmerman (SUI) in the quarter finals, Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR) in the semi finals and Guro Kjolseth (NOR) in the small final.

The bib/course selection with Andreja Jovan, FIS referee

The bib/course selection with Andreja Jovan, FIS Race Director

The Parallel Sprint Podium in Hurdal with Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR)

The Parallel Sprint Podium in Hurdal with Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR)

Can we all fit up there? Not sure!

The final day of racing in Hurdal was the Sprint event, I finished in 6th place after collecting too many penalties. Once racing was complete, we got packed up and travelled to Oslo to collect the British juniors: Naila Cardwell, Sion Bingham, Alec and Colin Dixon and Jasper Taylor.

Norway's most beautiful mountain; Gaustatoppen

Norway’s most beautiful mountain; Gaustatoppen

The race piste in Rjukan

The race piste in Rjukan

The race days in Rjukan included both World Cup races and World Junior Championship races, which made for a very busy schedule. The World Junior Championship Classic kicked off the racing, followed by the World Cup Classic later that afternoon, I finished in 4th place and skied a penalty-free race which I was pleased with after my Sprint race in Hurdal.

The Classic

The Classic (Photo thanks and credits to Elen Le Bouhellec)

The second race, the Sprint, again commenced with juniors racing in the morning followed by a flood-lit World Cup race. I unfortunately crashed but carried on to finish in 9th place. Louis finished in 17th, Sion in 27th, Alec DNF and Colin in 31st position. Jasper finished in 12th and Naila in 10th place which are both their personal best results!

The final World Cup race, the Parallel Sprint, began as always with the qualification. After finishing in 4th position I was drawn against Spela Micunovic (SLO), then Kim Aegerter (SUI) meeting Amelie Reymond (SUI) in the semi finals and Guro Kjolseth (NOR) in the small final. Guro took the win and I finished in 4th place once more. This race was also broadcast on Norwegian television and this time on the main channel; NRK1 which is brilliant for the sport.

The Smal Final with Guro Kjolseth (NOR)

The Small Final with Guro Kjolseth (NOR) (Photo thanks and credits to Elen Le Bouhellec)

The last day in Rjukan finished with the World Junior Championship Parallel Sprint and a podium for Great Britain! A huge well done and congratulations to Jasper Taylor for his 2nd place! It was very intense viewing and Jasper skied so well, more proof that GB Telemark is on the up!

Jasper Taylor making history for GB Telemark on the World Junior Championship podium

Jasper Taylor making history for GB Telemark on the World Junior Championship podium

A happy GB Telemark Team along with coach and mascot

(L to R) Colin Dixon, Jasper Taylor, Seb Mansart (coach), Sion Bingham, Alec Dixon, Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell, Lenaig Mansart (mascot), Naila Cardwell

The British results from the World Junior Championships:
Naila Cardwell: 14th (CL), 13th (SP), 9th (PS)
Jasper Taylor: 29th (CL), 15th (SP), 2nd!!! (PS)
Sion Bingham: 26th (CL), 23rd (SP), 17th (PS)
Alec Dixon: 27th (CL), 28th (SP), 17th (PS)
Colin Dixon: 30th (CL), 25th (SP), 17th (PS)

The final round of World Cup racing moves to Thyon, Switzerland later this week before we all head to La Plagne, France for the World Championships.

Slovenian & German World Cups

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We arrived in Krvavec, Slovenia ready for the racing to begin with a Parallel Sprint. I qualified in 3rd position, paired against my most regular Norwegian opponent, Mathilde Ilebrekke, in the first round. I won the dual and moved forward to meet Switzerland’s Amelie Reymond but lost out which meant meeting Argeline Tan Bouquet from France in the small final. I won and am proud to say I achieved a 3rd place podium position. My team-mate and only other Briton competing, Louis Hatchwell, finished in 9th place after racing Gaetan Procureur and Nicolas Michel, both competitors from Switzerland. The race was streamed live on the Olympic Channel Facebook page and had over 2.1 million views with more than 350,000 people following the entire race.

Parallel Sprint (L to R) Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

Parallel Sprint (L to R) Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

The Parallel Sprint race piste

The Parallel Sprint race piste

The following day was a Team Parallel Sprint in which each nation must put forward a team of three racers including at least one girl and one boy. As Louis and I were the only competitors from Great Britain racing in Slovenia we faced a tough task of winning both our runs to move forward. Unfortunately, the strong Slovenian team took the win.

Kruvavec, Slovenia

The beautiful views in Krvavec, Slovenia

Kruvavec, Slovenia

Krvavec, Slovenia

The third and final day of racing in Slovenia was a Sprint and I finished in 3rd place and on the podium once more. It felt great to have skied well with two penalty free runs, and to finish the racing on a high. Louis also had a great day scoring a personal best result, finishing in 16th place.

Congratulations between NOR and GBR

Congratulations between NOR and GBR

Sprint (L to R) Mathilde Illebrekke (NOR), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

Sprint (L to R) Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

We had a few days between the races in Slovenia before moving on to Germany, so we took the opportunity to visit the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, which was beautiful.

Tourists for the day in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Tourists for the day in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The races in Germany were initially set as a Sprint on the first day and a Parallel Sprint on the second, but the snow conditions were unfortunately lacking and so the organisers took the decision to run two days of Parallel Sprint races. The Parallel Sprint ranking is usually decided with a qualification run and this determines which opponent you will meet in the head to head knock outs. On Saturday, I qualified in 4th place and met Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) losing out; Argeline went on to finish in 3rd place. Louis finished in 17th place after racing Elie Nabot (FRA) and Colin Dixon (GBR) qualified for the first time in a World Cup Parallel Sprint meeting eventual winner, Tobias Mueller (GER) gaining great experience to take forward.

Jasmin Taylor in Oberjoch, Germany

Jasmin Taylor in Oberjoch, Germany (Photo credits and thanks to Telemark Weltcup Oberjoch)

The final day Germany started well with a good qualification run putting me in 2nd place. I met Guro Helde Kjoelseth (NOR) in the first round and after a very close race, Guro took the win and went on to finish in 2nd position. Louis had a tricky qualification run and met Sweden’s Olle Collberg, despite skiing very well, Louis narrowly missed out after making mistakes in the skating section.

The race piste in Oberjoch, Germany

The race piste in Oberjoch, Germany

GB Telemark on the chair lift in Oberjoch, Germany

On the chair lift in Oberjoch, Germany

All in all, a great round of racing – many positive points to take forward and work on in training ready for the next World Cup tournament in Norway.

British Championships & World Cup Podium

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It’s been a while since my last blog, time always seems limited once the season starts. After a snow-less new year in the French Alps, the British (and Army) Championships kicked off in Pralognan La Vanoise, France and the snow finally began to fall. We had the opportunity to train giant slalom with a small jump before the racing started and it gave everyone the chance to get a feel for the snow once more.

The racing began with a Giant Slalom, a discipline which is now ‘extinct’ from the World Cup circuit. It includes a flagged gate section with a jump, no loom or skate so it felt a bit like a training run. The following race was the Sprint and finally we concluded the championships with a Classic. Most mornings, we all gathered on the piste ready for inspection at 06:40am, it was still dark and -20 degrees. The racing was great fun and the perfect warm up event for the World Cup races to follow.

Inspection in the dark

Inspection in the dark

Still inspecting...

Still inspecting…

Giant Slalom
1st James French (World Cup Team)
2nd Jasper Taylor (World Cup Team)
3rd Sion Bingham (World Cup Team)
4th Jasmin Taylor (1st Female, World Cup Team)
5th Louis Hatchwell (World Cup Team)
6th Ed Lees
7th Colin Dixon (World Cup Development Team)
8th Olli Wotton (World Cup Team)
9th Naila Cardwell (2nd Female, World Cup Development Team)
10th Tara Parks (3rd Female, World Cup Development Team)

Sprint 
1st James French
2nd Louis Hatchwell
3rd Jasmin Taylor (1st Female)
4th Alec Dixon (World Cup Development Team)
5th Sion Bingham
6th Fred Thomas (World Cup Team)
7th Colin Dixon
8th Ed Lees
9th Olli Wotton
10th Jasper Taylor

Classic
1st Jasper Taylor
2nd James French
3rd Louis Hatchwell
4th Sion Bingham
5th Olli Wotton
6th Alec Dixon
7th Ed Lees
8th Jasmin Taylor (1st Female)
9th Colin Dixon
10th Ben Atkinson (World Cup Development Team)

It’s awesome to be British Champion for another year – thank you to everyone making it possible. GB Telemark has made a great deal of progress in the last year; new clothing with Dare 2b, a new van courtesy of Aquatronic Group Management and a new training set up with team coach, Sebastien Mansart. The outcome; a new and much improved GB team.

The Great British Telemark Ski Team

The Great British Telemark Ski Team

Playing in the snow!

Playing in the snow!

What a line up!

(L to R) Fred Thomas, Colin Dixon, Jasper Taylor, Naila Cardwell, Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, James French, Ben Atkinson, Olli Wotton, Alec Dixon, Sion Bingham

The new catsuits

The new catsuits (L to R) Naila Cardwell, Alec Dixon, Colin Dixon, Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell, Sion Bingham, Olli Wotton, Jasper Taylor

Team-mate, Tara Parks, is unfortunately missing from these photos due to a bad crash in the Sprint – we are all wishing her the very best for a speedy recovery, she will be missed. Following the British Championships, we travelled on to La Thuile, Italy for the next round of World Cup competition. I finished on the podium in 2nd place behind Amelie Reymond (SUI) and ahead of Mathilde Olsen Ilebrekke (NOR) in the Sprint event.

(L to R) Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Amelie Reymond (SUI),

The podium (L to R) Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Mathilde Olsen Ilebrekke (NOR)

The flower ceremony

The flower ceremony

Jasper Taylor finished in 15th place, Sion Bingham finished in 22nd and unfortunately, Louis Hatchwell crashed out. The second day of racing, a long and tough Classic on the steep Italien piste also went quite well – I finished in 4th position and Jasper again in 15th place.

Straight after the race, everyone packed up and left for Meribel, France for the continuation of competition. Saturday afternoon and evening, we raced in the Sprint event on the main Meribel ‘stade’ under the flood lights. This race was a tricky one for me, I picked up several penalties on the first run so had some work to do on the second run. The second run was going well until a near crash on the last two skiing gates, I just survived and pulled it back to finish in 7th place. It was very close between the British boys; Louis finished in 21st, Jasper finished in 22nd, Sion in 23rd and Alec Dixon in 32nd. New comers, Ben Emsley completed his first World Cup ever despite crashing out and Naila Cardwell finished in 11th place.

The Meribel Stade

The Meribel ‘Stade’

The final day, a Dual Sprint started well for me – I qualified in 3rd place and won my first round of head to head racing. Following this, I was drawn against Mathilde Olsen Ilebrekke (NOR) and lost out, Mathilde went on to take 2nd position and I therefore finished in 5th place. Naila and Louis finished in 9th position, Alec, Jasper and Sion all finished in 17th place.

Filming for the World Championships

Filming for the World Championships

It has been a brilliant week all around for British skiing, congratulations to Dave Ryding and Andrew Musgrave for their amazing performances, you can read the federations write up HERE. It was lovely to have some British support and a sizeable crowd watching live – all in all, a very strong start to the year for everyone.

The racing starts again in Slovenia on Saturday 28th January continuing on Sunday and Monday before moving on to Germany for more racing on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th February. You can watch the live streaming HERE.

The Final World Cups

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Following the races in Germany and Slovenia, the tour moved to Rjukan, Norway. The racing began with 2 days of Sprint races, followed by a team Dual Sprint and an individual Dual Sprint. The weather was superb throughout and the views were spectacular as always.

Rjukan, Norway

Rjukan, Norway

On the first day of racing I finished in 6th place. The second day of racing was very interesting for me – after a tricky first run (9th position) and a good second run (2nd position) I jumped up of 5 positions to get a 4th place. That evening we raced the Team Dual Sprint event under the floodlights looking out across at the Norwegian sunset. In the first round, the British Team (myself, Louis Hatchwell and Alistair Cruz) raced a strong Team Germany. Unfortunately, we didn’t go through to the next round but we certainly put up a good fight with a particularly close match from Louis Hatchwell and one very explosive crash from Alistair Cruz!

Jonas Schmid (GER) vs Louis Hatchwell (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Motten V Eriksen)

Jonas Schmid (GER) vs Louis Hatchwell (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen)

Alistair Cruz (GBR) vs ‎Thomas Orlovius (GER)‬(Photo credits and thanks to Motten V Eriksen)

Alistair Cruz (GBR) vs ‎Thomas Orlovius (GER)‬ (Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen)

The final day in Rjukan ended with (the ‘normal’ individual) Dual Sprint. After a poor qualification run littered with jump penalties (a short course that cannot afford any penalties), I qualified 13th meeting training buddy and fellow competitor Argeline Tan-Bouquet (FRA). I skied fast but Argeline pipped me to the loom and with one less penalty than me, she was too difficult to catch. This resulted in a 9th place finish for me.

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The Sprint in Rjukan, Norw ay (Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen)

After Norway, I returned to Les Houches to empty my suitcase for a final re-packing. At this point I realised that the process of emptying my bag and refilling it hadn’t stopped since before heading to Murren, Switzerland for the first time in early January for the British Championships. I was now returning to Murren for the second time this winter for the World Cup Finals feeling tired but ready to give my best for 3 more days.

The racing kicked off with the Classic, a discipline I don’t consider my strongest yet my World Cup ranking was the best it had ever been. I was lying in 5th place following a 5th place finish in France and a 4th in Spain earlier in the season. The course was set by my coach Sebastien Mansart, it was dynamic with a very intimidating skate at the end. I finished in 7th, stung by penalties but a position good enough to hang onto my new personal best world ranking.

And then comes the Sprint, the best day of my season and probably the best race of my career to date. The run was not perfect (there’s no such thing in fact) and it wasn’t anything way beyond the norm. Everything came together; the speed, just 1 penalty, a clean jump, a strong skate and clear mind – it was good enough for 3rd place after the first run. Knowing my second run is usually always better, I kept it simple and did my best once more and this time it was good enough to finish in 2nd place. That feeling was immense, I felt proud, satisfied, happy and relieved.

(L to R) Jasmin Taylor #2 (GBR), Amelie Reymond #1 (SUI), Beatrice Zimmerman #3 (SUI)

(L to R) Jasmin Taylor #2 (GBR), Amelie Reymond #1 (SUI), Beatrice Zimmerman #3 (SUI)

The very final day of racing; the Dual Sprint. I qualified against Theresa Fichtl (GER) and won, then met the eventual winner, Beatrice Zimmerman (SUI) and lost out finishing in 5th place.

My goal for the season was to be more consistent and I finished between 4th and 6th position 11 times, with 1 World Cup podium. My overall World Cup ranking is 5th place and that has been a goal since the beginning of my telemark career and finally achieving it feels awesome.

(L to R) MC (Kandahar member and team fan),

(L to R) M.C. (Kandahar member and team fan), James French, Sion Bingham, Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Alistair Cruz

Murren, Switzerland

Murren, Switzerland

It’s been a fantastic season and I would like to thank everyone that makes it possible: my sponsors, coaches, supporters, parents, family, friends, boyfriend, university, telemark World Cup organisers and committee, GB team-mates and fellow athletes.

German & Slovenian World Cups

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For the past week we, the British Team (myself, Louis Hatchwell, Alistair Cruz and Robert Houstoun along with coach, Sebastien Mansart) have been to the World Cup competitions in Oberjoch, Germany and Golte, Slovenia. In Germany, the conditions were brilliant; we had perfect sunshine and hard snow and the races were broadcast on German television with an estimated viewing of 3 to 4 million.

Course inspection in Oberjoch, Germany (Photo credits and thanks to 'RSR Ski Racing')

Course inspection in Oberjoch, Germany (Photo credits and thanks to ‘RSR Ski Racing’)

Racing in Oberjoch, Germany (Photo credits and thanks to 'Telemark Race')

Racing in Oberjoch, Germany (Photo credits and thanks to ‘Telemark Race’)

The first day of racing was a Sprint and I unfortunately made a fault in the giant slalom after the jump which meant I had to hike back up the hill. I was determined to finish the first run as I wanted to ski again and in the second run I recorded the 3rd fastest time which gave me confidence. The following day, a Dual Sprint, I finished in 4th place. After a tough qualification, I was paired with Simone Oehrli (SUI), followed by Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR) and won both rounds taking me through to the finals/small finals play off’s where I met Johanna Holzmann (GER). Johanna won meaning I was paired with Guro Kjolseth (NOR) to fight for 3rd and 4th position – it was a close race, but I made an error in the skating where I was disqualified and Guro took the win. The British boys also performed well; Louis Hatchwell was paired with Adne Kristenstuen (NOR) and skied fast but just lost out coming into the loom finishing in 17th place. Alistair Cruz won his first run against Thomas Rufer (SUI) but then had the misfortune of meeting Tobi Muller (GER).

(L to R) Johanna Holzmann (GER), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Guro Kjolseth (NOR), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

(L to R) Johanna Holzmann (GER), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Guro Kjolseth (NOR), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

Enjoying the post race atmosphere (Tara Parks, Robert Housoun, Jasmin Taylor) (Photo credits and thanks to Tara Parks)

Enjoying the post-race atmosphere: Tara Parks, Robert Housoun, Jasmin Taylor (Photo credits and thanks to Tara Parks)

After Germany the tour moved to Golte, Slovenia and racing commenced once more with a Sprint event. I finished in 6th after collecting too many costly penalties in the second run. Again, there are many positives to be taken such as finishing in 5th on my first run and recording the 3rd fastest time on the second run (before the penalties were added).

On the chairlift with my coach Sebastien Mansart having a pre-race chat (Photo credits and thanks to 'RSR Ski Racing')

On the chairlift with coach, Sebastien Mansart, having a pre-race chat (Photo credits and thanks to ‘RSR Ski Racing’)

(Photo credits and thanks to 'RSR Ski Racing')

Racing in Golte, Slovenia (Photo credits and thanks to ‘RSR Ski Racing’)

(Photo credits and thanks to 'RSR Ski Racing')

Pushing to the finish line in Golte, Slovenia (Photo credits and thanks to ‘RSR Ski Racing’)

Unfortunately, the final race in Slovenia was cancelled due to bad weather. After an 8 hour drive we are safely back in Les Houches, France before setting off for the penultimate round of World Cup racing next Tuesday in Rjukan, Norway.

Youth Olympic Games

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A mix of international telemark skiers; German, Swiss, French, Norwegian and British gathered in Norway to present telemark in the Youth Olympic Games. Our time in Lillehammer began with the Opening Ceremony last Friday night and after 3 days of practice on the ski jumping hill we demonstrated the sport in front of a crowd with 16,500 people.

Practising for the Opening Ceremony

Practising for the Opening Ceremony

The ski jump, the opening ceremony setting

The Opening Ceremony stage from the top

The Opening Ceremony Stage

The Opening Ceremony stage from the bottom

Guro #####

The gang!

Backstage at the YOG

Backstage at the YOG

The crowd waiting..

The crowd waiting, our hearts are beginning to pump faster..

The Opening Ceremony!

The Opening Ceremony! Here come the telemarkers..

We have that after feeling buzz! Magic experience..

We have that after feeling buzz! Magic experience.

Straight after the ceremony we travelled to Oslo arriving late but ready to race the following day in the Norwegian Championships. It was a Sprint race with icy conditions, a good course and great atmosphere. I finished in 2nd place behind Beatrice Zimmerman (SUI) and in front of Johanna Holzmann (GER).

Norwegian Championship (L to R) Jasmin Taylor GBR, Beatrice Zimmerman SUI, Johanna Holzmann GER, Argeline Tan Bouquet FRA

Norwegian Championship (L to R) Jasmin Taylor GBR, Beatrice Zimmerman SUI, Johanna Holzmann GER, Argeline Tan Bouquet FRA

The following day we raced in the Dual Sprint event, I finished in 4th place after close races with Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA).

Jasmin Taylor GBR vs Argeline Tan Bouquet FRA

Jasmin Taylor GBR vs Argeline Tan Bouquet FRA

We left straight after the racing on Sunday and travelled back to Lillehammer. The following day we gave telemark taster lessons to the public and even had the chance to train a little bit for ourselves. There was a piste set up for Dual Sprint races which meant we had the opportunity to train the start gate, jump, loom and skate.

Aside from the skiing, we also had a lot of fun sledging, watching hockey, and going to concerts, dinners out and generally just enjoying this unique experience.

Sledging Fun

Sledging Fun

'Eat Britain' soon became a nickname..

‘Eat Britain’ soon became a nickname..

Our final task; the telemark show in the centre of Lillehammer – that was epic! The crowds gathered once more and we raced a Dual Sprint on a very straight, flat but fun course. We had to jump over the road which ran through the town centre and wait for passing pedestrians, the music was loud and the energy was electric. You can see the video HERE.

#Lillehammer2016

#Lillehammer2016

The Telemark Show in Lillehammer

The Telemark Show in Lillehammer

The Youth Olympic Games have been truly magical, thank you so much to the Norwegian federation for hosting us and to the Swiss for taking care of the international team organisation. I feel I’ve learnt so much, really enjoyed myself and have great memories that I will never forget.

The International YOG Telemark Team

The International YOG Telemark Team

Now I’m travelling back to the UK before heading to France. We head to Germany at the end of the week for the next round of World Cup racing!

News from Opening World Cup

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I have just returned home again to Ipswich after competing at the opening World Cup in Hintertux, Austria. The event kicked off with the opening ceremony on Thursday night, starting with a parade through the village which ended up in the town centre. We heard speeches from the local organisers and Andrew Clarke (FIS Chairman), this was then followed by a public bib draw where I selected bib number one meaning I was first to start the racing the following day.

A parade through the village

A parade through the village

The parade continued...

The parade continued…

The Opening Ceremony!

A GB Telemark Ski Team ‘selfie’ at the opening ceremony: Jasmin Taylor, Alec Dixon, Sion Bingham, Louis Hatchwell, Colin Dixon, Robert Housoun, Jasper Taylor

For our first race, the Sprint, we had perfect conditions; great weather and snow with an excitable and tense atmosphere. The first run I skied into 5th position but following my second run, which didn’t exactly go to plan, I ended up in 9th place.

The Sprint with perfect weather and snow conditions

The Sprint with perfect conditions

Jump Inspection

Jump Inspection

The second day, the Dual Sprint, began with qualification. I was drawn against Maelle Froissart (FRA) and after an extremely close race, I won by 0.01 of a second. Following this, I met World Champion, Amelie Reymond (SUI) and was beaten by 0.72 seconds after a rather close match in the giant slalom. I therefore finished in 5th position.

Jasmin Taylor GBR vs Maelle Froissart FRA

Jasmin Taylor GBR vs Maelle Froissart FRA

Jasmin Taylor GBR vs Amelie Reymond SUI

Jasmin Taylor GBR vs Amelie Reymond SUI

The third and final day of racing, a Sprint race again, I finished in 8th position on the first run, then 4th place on the second run resulting in 6th position overall.

You can catch up on all the racing from the past few days HERE and watch the daily round-up videos via the links below.

It was great to have such a big British team competing this year with coach, Sebastien Mansart and so many British supporters in the crowd too – all makes for great fun and magic memories.

The team wearing Snow Angel Ski Wear jumpers

The team wearing Snow Angel Ski Wear jumpers: Louis Hatchwell, Fred Thomas, Jasmin Taylor, Jasper Taylor

Opening World Cup in Hintertux Information

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A brief but informative blog post with all the timings of the coming races posted below. The events will be broadcast on a live stream hosted here: http://livestream.com/TeleHo/events/4443534

Hintertux Live Streaming Information

For the British viewers, please note that these are European timings and also, that there’s a big team of British athletes competing in these races so I hope you enjoy the show!

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