Tagged ‘seb mansart’

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!

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.

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

World Championships 2015

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Following the traditional opening ceremony and public bib draw in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I was starting number 7 for the Sprint race. The hill changed dramatically in pitch throughout, with a difficult jump dropping competitors into the steepest section. I finished both runs in third place, achieving a World Championship bronze medal for Great Britain. 

World Championship Bronze Medallist - Jasmin Taylor

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

The Team Dual Sprint and Qualification for the individual Dual Sprint followed the next day. The team was paired against Germany and I was racing Johanna Holzmann. In the first run, we were neck and neck entering the loom but I managed to pull away during the skating section to win. Johanna skied well during the second run and entered the loom before me; again I made up time on the skate and finished a few feet behind and managed to win the round overall. It was great to have Junior British Telemark team member, Sion Bingham, racing in Steamboat too. We needed one more British racer to have had a complete team competing. Germany won 2 of the 3 rounds and went through to take third position.

I had a lot of fun racing Johanna meeting very closely in the loom!

I had a lot of fun racing Johanna meeting very closely in the loom! (Photo credit to Ayano Hata from Japanese Telemark)

During the Junior Dual Sprint races, I spent time with Andrew Clarke (FIS Chairman) in the commentary box which was a lot of fun. In my opinion, he really added to the live streaming which made for even better viewing for everyone back home.

The final day, the Classic, was another tough, very long race at high altitude in the dry Rocky Mountain air. I finished in 7th place after a good technical descent and a tortuous uphill skate at the finish.  Places 5 to 7 were all within a second of each other.

I would like to say a massive thank you to my fantastically supportive sponsors, coaches, team, family, friends and everyone that makes it possible. A big thank you to the McKinstry family for welcoming me to their home – I’ve had the best time ever. 

Enjoy the pictures! You can also catch up on all the racing here: http://new.livestream.com/TeleHo/events/3784427

The journey getting here was very long with many issues with my flights, but one massive plus was that I saw New York City.

The journey getting here was very long with many issues with my flights, but one massive plus was that I saw New York City.

World Championships in Steamboat Springs

World Championships in Steamboat Springs (Photo credit to Ayano Hata from Japanese Telemark)

The Sprint Race

The Sprint Race

(L to R) Andrew Clarke (FIS Chairman and founder of British Telemark), Jasmin Taylor (me), Seb Mansart (my coach)

(L to R) Andrew Clarke (FIS Chairman and founder of British Telemark), Jasmin Taylor (me), Seb Mansart (my coach)

What’s next? The World Cup racing starts again this Friday in Thyon, closely followed by another round in Murren (both rounds in Switzerland).

Pre-Season Training in Tignes

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This year pre-season training, in preparation for the first round of the World Cup later this month, was in Tignes – a very high southern French glacier. Myself and development GB team-mate, Louis Hatchwell, arrived last weekend and spent the week with new telemark hopeful Jasper Taylor (yes, another Taylor!) and were also joined by French team skiers Camille Martinet and Clement Bergeretti. Tignes is 3500m above sea level so you can imagine that the air is a little thinner up here which makes training even tougher than usual, especially for us Brits who may as well live at zero-metres altitude.

Hiking in the mountains surrounding St. Foy (L-R) Camille, Jasper, Me, Louis

Hiking in the Mountains around St. Foy (L-R) Camille, Jasper, Me, Louis (Photo courtesy of coach, Seb Mansart)

This was the second of two weeks spent in Tignes and during our first “stage” we (myself and Louis) were joined by a young Scotsman – Sion Bingham, French team skier – Maelle Froissart and GB team skier – Alistair Cruz. Unfortunately, Alistair Cruz snapped his Achilles tendon whilst playing badminton and we are all wishing Alistair well with a speedy recovery.

Here are some more photos from our time in Tignes – enjoy!

Londoner's take the tube to work, well we take the funiculaire or the "Narnia Closet" as Louis calls it...

Londoner’s take the tube to work, well we take the funiculaire or the “The Wardrobe to Narnia” as Louis calls it…

It was a bad weather day so we played badminton - faces say it all...

It was a bad weather day so we played badminton – faces say it all… (L-R) Coach – Seb Manart, Alistair, Sion and Louis

In my mind, this is what paradise looks like. I do mean the mountain, not that bloke (sorry Hatchwell) ;)

In my mind, this is what paradise looks like – I do mean the mountain, not the bloke! (Sorry, no offence Hatchwell)

Next up – Hintertux World Cup!

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