Tagged ‘Jasmin Taylor’

Since the World Championships

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Since the World Championships in La Plagne, I’ve taken some time to catch up on work for my studies as a part-time student, in Sport and Exercise Science, at the University of Suffolk, although still not quite there yet! There has also been several French competitions, including the French Cup Finals and French Championships. The first of these races was in Morillion which was the French Championship Sprint and I’m pleased to say that I won the race. I was also joined by my team-mates Louis Hatchwell (who finished 3rd in his category), Sion Bingham, Naila Cardwell and Ben Emsley.

On course, Morillion French Championships

On course, French Championship Sprint in Morillion

In the loom, Morillion French Championships

In the loom, French Championship Sprint in Morillion

I had some press coverage recently with In The Snow magazine, the Ipswich Star, the East Anglian Daily Times and on BBC Sport. This is always really helpful as telemark isn’t as well known as other skiing disciplines. We have a very successful, ever growing audience, on the live stream channels produced by Tele-Ho Productions which had over 2 million viewers through the Olympic Channel this season. I like to think all of these aspects are pushing the sport forwards and help to generate a stronger following.

Jasmin Taylor on BBC Sport

Article by Nick Hope on BBC Sport

In The Snow

Article by Patrick Horne with In The Snow

Coverage in the Ipswich Star

Article by Mark Heath in the Ipswich Star

After the race in Morillion, the following weekend saw the French race circuit move to Praloup. The first day was the final French Cup of the season, it was a FIS regulated Sprint race with challenging conditions in the form of fresh snow fall and poor visibility. I won this race and I’m also really pleased for my team-mate, Ben Emsley, who achieved his first podium. Ben finished 2nd in his age category behind French team member and World Junior Champion, Guillaume Issautier. Sissy Compton, young Brit living in France and skiing the French Cup circuit, finished 1st in her age category and team-mate Naila Cardwell, finished 2nd in her age category. Alec Dixon finished 2nd in his age and 4th overall which was good enough to take 3rd place in the overall French Cup standings!

On course in Praloup

On course in Praloup

Praloup

The French Cup Final in Praloup

Jasmin Taylor and Ben Emsley

Jasmin Taylor and Ben Emsley

The last day in Praloup was the French Championship Classic and FIS race. I finished in 2nd place overall behind double French Champion, Argeline Tan Bouquet. Ben finished in 4th position overall and again in 2nd place in his age category which is another personal best result and an awesome way to conclude his first season of telemark racing. Sissy won her category again, Naila finished 4th within her age category. Alec finished in 10th and Colin Dixon finished in 13th position overall, so all in all, a great show from the Brits!

Sissy Compton on her way down the slopes in Praloup

Sissy Compton on her way down the slopes in Praloup

Ben Emsley in Praloup

Ben Emsley in Praloup

I’m now enjoying some down time with friends before starting my BASI ski instructor courses and university exams. A huge thank you as always to the people making this all possible!

World Cup Finals and World Championships

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The final round of World Cup racing was held in Thyon, Switzerland. Thyon is renowned for its punishing Classic race and yet again, this year was no exception. There were two other Brits competing; Louis Hatchwell and Sion Bingham. Louis scored a personal best result finishing in 15th place which is a huge achievement after many difficulties with equipment this season. Sion finished in 22nd place. I came 5th to therefore claim a 4th place in the overall World Cup Classic ranking, which is another personal best result.

Louis on course (Photo credits and thanks to GORAN KROSELJ)

Louis on course (Photo credits and thanks to GORAN KROSELJ)

On day two, we competed in the Parallel Sprint event. I qualified in 3rd position and retained this place after racing Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Guro Kjolseth (NOR) in the head to head heats, achieving my 6th World Cup podium finish. Louis and Sion both finished in 17th position. My overall World Cup Parallel Sprint ranking is now 5th position.

My 6th podium finish in Thyon, Switzerland

My 6th podium finish in Thyon, Switzerland

The final Sprint race was unfortunately not such a success after crashing in the first run, Louis finished in 29th and Sion in 27th position. Yet again, I finished 5th in the overall World Cup Sprint ranking and moved up to a personal best overall World Cup ranking of 4th place. Louis Hatchwell, the only other Brit to complete the entire World Cup circuit, climbed up to achieve a world ranking of 24th position, also a huge improvement from last season.

After a short break, the telemark community travelled on to La Plagne/Montchavin, France for the FIS World Championships. This is a race held once every two years which can also determine the world’s best skiers and is considered as the most important ‘one-day’ event in the telemark calendar. From Great Britain, the other athletes competing included Louis Hatchwell, Sion Bingham, Alec Dixon and Naila Cardwell. This event has a different feel to it – bigger and more prestigious including a spectacular opening ceremony, more media promotion and the highest quality and largest field of athletes competing.

The nations preparing for the opening ceremony in Montchavin

The nations preparing for the opening ceremony in Montchavin

The GB Telemark Ski Team with the Czech Telemark Ski Team

The GB Telemark Ski Team with the Czech Telemark Ski Team being serious as always…

On stage at the World Championship opening ceremony

On stage for bib collection at the World Championship opening ceremony

Fireworks

Fireworks at the World Championship opening ceremony

The Championships kicked off with the Team Parallel Sprint where we (Louis, Sion and I) were matched against the formidable German team. The Germans skied fast and took the win, going on to finish in 3rd place behind Switzerland and Norway.

The second day of racing was the (individual) Parallel Sprint. I qualified in 4th position and went on to finish 5th after losing out to Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) who eventually took the bronze medal. Naila Cardwell skied well and finished in 9th position.

The race piste in La Plagne

The Classic race piste in La Plagne

Day three was the Classic event which contained a very long giant slalom and two skating sections. I am very proud to say I finished on the podium with a bronze medal. Naila finished in 17th, Louis in 22nd and Sion in 31st position.

The Classic World Championship podium with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Swiss Telemark)

The Classic World Championship podium with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR) (Photo credits and thanks to Swiss Telemark)

Enjoying my medal with my coach, Seb Mansart and team-mates (L to R) Alec Dixon, Louis Hatchwell and Naila Cardwell

Enjoying my medal with my coach, Seb Mansart and team-mates (L to R) Alec Dixon, Louis Hatchwell and Naila Cardwell

The very last day, the Sprint, was challenging for the race organisers but they did a brilliant job to run the race so smoothly. I finished in 10th place after collecting too many penalties, I gave it the best I had in that moment but it just wasn’t my day. Alec finished in 36th place and Naila in 16th, completing their first ever World Championship races. Sion finished in 39th position.

World Championship Bronze Medallist

World Championship Bronze Medallist

The entire World Cup season and World Championship races have been amazing. It wouldn’t be possible without my family, friends, coaches, supporters, team-mates, competitors and sponsors who make it fun, inspiring and just completely awesome – a huge thank you to all.

Next up, the final French Cup races and French Championships!

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.

Opening World Cup in Hintertux

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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.

Jasmin Taylor in Hintertux

Jasmin Taylor in Hintertux (Photo credits and thanks to Tux Finenberg)

Jasmin Taylor GBR, Mathilde Ilebrekke NOR, Amelie Reymond SUI, Beatrice Zimmermann SUI, Maelle Froissart FRA (L to R) (Photo credit and thanks to FreeHeeler magazine)

Jasmin Taylor GBR, Mathilde Ilebrekke NOR, Amelie Reymond SUI, Beatrice Zimmermann SUI, Maelle Froissart FRA (L to R) (Photo credits and thanks to FreeHeeler magazine)

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.

GB Telemark Ski Team in Hintertux

GB Telemark Ski Team in Hintertux

Jasper Taylor flying off the jump

Jasper Taylor flying off the jump (Photo credits and thanks to Tux Finenberg)

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.

Jasmin Taylor GBR vs Kathrine Reischmann GER

Jasmin Taylor GBR vs Kathrine Reischmann GER (Photo credits and thanks to Tux Finkenberg)

Louis Hatchwell vs Jasper Taylor (Photo credits and thanks to Fux Finkenberg)

Louis Hatchwell vs Jasper Taylor (Photo credits and thanks to Tux Finkenberg)

Jasmin Taylor with GB Telemark coach, Sebastien Mansart

Jasmin Taylor with GB Telemark coach, Sebastien Mansart (Photo credits and thanks to FreeHeeler magazine)

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!

 

Pre-season Continued…

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Pre-season preparations have continued with further camps in Hintertux, Austria and Tignes, France with many French and British team athletes. Conditions were brilliant during our stay in Hintertux for the French committee training camp, to which the British athletes were kindly invited to join. We spent time training in giant slalom and skating, which often proves challenging at the high altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level.

The committee training camp line-up in Hintertux.

The committee training camp line-up in Hintertux

Great conditions in Hintertux

Great conditions

Skate training with the French

Skate training with the French team

GB Telemark have now received their brand new clothing for the season; we are proud to be wearing Dare 2b and absolutely loving it! The kit is very warm and looks great – it’s so nice to finally have a matching team uniform. The team is now more united than ever, the clothing helps to promote team cohesion and professionalism, and as a result we have a stronger bond. A few people have questioned why we have chosen a green and grey colour scheme – we wanted to stand out as there are many nations in red, white and blue on the telemark circuit.  We think these outfits are bold and smart. On behalf of GB Telemark, I would like to say a huge thank you to Dare 2b for providing our clothing, it’s another great step forward for the team.

Enjoying ourselves in our new Dare 2b clothing!

Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell, Tara Parks wearing Dare 2b ‘Welcome to our Mountain’

Tara Parks, Jasmin Taylor in the new Dare 2b clothing

Tara Parks, Jasmin Taylor in Dare 2b

Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Tara Parks

Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Tara Parks

Following Hintertux, the team travelled on to Tignes (after a few days rest) for another training camp. This time, we weren’t quite so lucky with the conditions – there has been more snow fall than I have ever seen before. In total, a meter of snow fell in 5 days on the van in the car park and on the glacier there was approximately 1.5 meters which looks very hopeful for a solid winter base. Unfortunately, it didn’t make for the best training conditions as we lost a few days when the glacier was shut. However, when we were able to do giant slalom, the blizzard which was -17 degrees at its worst, certainly added to the challenge.

There's a lot of snow in Tignes

There’s a lot of snow in Tignes

Snow up to my knees!

Snow up to my knees!

Next time we head out to the mountains, we will be racing in the opening World Cup in Hintertux – not long now!

September Training in Hintertux

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This year, we decided to start our pre-season training earlier than usual to give the team a better chance of being successful this coming season.

We undertook our journey to Hintertux, Austria in our brand new, Volkswagen team van – kitted out ready to roll and freshly printed up with our team sponsor’s logos. The contribution made by these companies is essential in allowing GB Telemark to develop and compete at the highest levels. So far, we have Aquatronic Group Management ‘AGM Plc’ to thank for this team vehicle, AGM Plc manufacture, maintain and supply water pressurisation systems.

Sebastien Mansart, Colin Dixon, Jasmin Taylor, Ben Emsley, Claire Houlton, Alex McCarroll, Tara Parks, Ian Johnston

Sebastien Mansart, Colin Dixon, Jasmin Taylor, Ben Emsley, Claire Houlton, Alex McCarroll, Tara Parks, Ian Johnston (L to R)

Along with the support of AGM Plc, Dare2b are providing the new team uniforms and additionally we have VOLA supplying our ski servicing equipment and materials.

We chose Hintertux at this time of year for its snow sure, high altitude, glacier skiing and we took advantage of some new accommodation we hadn’t used before. The ‘Tux Diamant’ chalet, based in Lanersbach and is owned and run by British couple, Tim and Sally. It’s thanks to their generosity and hospitality that we had such an amazing stay, living in luxury and feeling very at home. We enjoyed the sauna, the great location and a well appointed self catered kitchen.

Ian Johnston, Ben Emsley, Tara Parks, Alex McCarroll, Claire Houlton, Jasmin Taylor, Pierre Martinet (Photo by Sebastien Mansart)

Ian Johnston, Ben Emsley, Tara Parks, Alex McCarroll, Claire Houlton, Jasmin Taylor, Pierre Martinet (Photo by Sebastien Mansart) (L to R)

Piste colour coded beers! (Photo by Tara Parks)

Piste colour coded beers (Photo by Tara Parks)

A surprising addition is that a craft brewery was positioned next to the ski waxing room. Their beers are brewed exclusively on location with a view to being sold in the Zillertal valley and further afield. We would like to wish Tim and Sally very success in their new venture.

We had a mixture of both rising and established telemark skiers attending the camp this week. The GB telemark team coach, Sebastien Mansart arrived with former French national team racer, Pierre Martinet and GB development team member, Colin Dixon. Those that travelled with me from the UK (in the awesome new van) were Exeter University OTC telemark team members; Claire Houlton and Alex McCarroll along with BASI ISIA qualified instructor; Ian Johnston, GB development team skier; Tara Parks and new recruit from the Hemel Hempstead indoor race; Ben Emsley.

Ben Emsley, Sebastein Mansart, Claire Houlton (Photo by Ian Johnston)

Ben Emsley, Sebastein Mansart, Claire Houlton (Photo by Ian Johnston) (L to R)

After bad weather at the start of our week which provided much needed snow, we’ve had excellent conditions allowing all participants to make significant progress in telemark racing. Once again, a massive thank you to all our sponsors and supporters that make this possible. We’ve had a great, fun fuelled trip with many laughs and new friendships made.

Awesome conditions (Photo by Claire Houlton)

Awesome conditions (Photo by Claire Houlton)

Pierre Martinet enjoying his time on skis (Photo by Ian Johnston)

Pierre Martinet enjoying his time on skis (Photo by Ian Johnston)

The Hintertux Glacier (Photo by Claire Houlton)

The Hintertux Glacier (Photo by Claire Houlton)

Gate Training

Gate Training (Photo by Ian Johnston) 

We now look forward to returning the Alps in a few weeks time where we will be joined by other members of GB Telemark.

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.

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