Tagged ‘Sion Bingham’

The World Championships

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The World Championship event kicked off in style with an opening ceremony in the valley of Rjukan, Norway. The atmosphere was electric and athletes proudly collected their bibs for the next day of racing.

The opening ceremony in Rjukan, Norway. Photo credits and thanks to Nikita Isaev

The athletes gathering at the opening ceremony. Photo credits and thanks to VM Telemark Rjukan

The bib draw. Photo credits and thanks to VM Telemark Rjukan

The British Telemark Ski Team; (L to R) Sion Bingham, Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Colin Dixon, Ben Emsley. Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

The weather conditions were very changeable and the first event, the Classic, was postponed by over 4 hours because of high winds. We eventually set off during the late afternoon. Sadly, I am not proud of my performance in this race, I crossed my skis entering the second skiing section, though managed to recover my balance and continue. I lacked concentration, and my skiing that day was good enough for 7th place. Sion Bingham finished in 29th, Louis Hatchwell in 30th, Ben Emsley in 32nd, Colin Dixon in 35th and Jack Emsley in 38th place.

Preparing to race! Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

The next day was the Team Parallel Sprint; Great Britain faced Norway and lost out. Switzerland went on to take the victory, followed by Germany, France and Norway. Great Britain finished in joint 5th position.

The start gate. Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

Competing against Guro Helde Kjolseth. Photo credits and thanks to Norwegian Telemark

The podium for the Team Parallel Sprint. Photo credits and thanks to Christoph Frank

The following day, I was first out of the start gate with bib 1, though I cannot say that I was the first to cross the finish line. I gave it my best but I crashed out after the jump.

The British and French coaches setting the course. Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

Despite taking a gate to the face, Sion Bingham recorded his best ever World Championship finish of 24th place along with Ben Emsley who finished in 26th, Colin Dixon in 31st and Jack Emsley in 34th position. Louis Hatchwell finished in 33rd place. A true representation of how the British are going from strength to strength.

Sion Bingham styling a tisse in his nose after his nose bleed. Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

The final day of racing was the Parallel Sprint, qualification was not as I expected. I crashed again, this time before the jump and therefore did not qualify. Louis Hatchwell was the only British athlete to make the head-to-head heats; Louis successfully passed the first heat and finished the competition in joint 9th place.

Louis Hatchwell on course. Photo credits and thanks to Tommy Storoygard

Congratulations to the new World Champions; Amelie Wenger Reymond (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER), Trym Nygaard Loken (NOR), Stefan Matter (SUI), Philippe Lau (FRA) and medalists; Martina Wyss (SUI), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jure Ales (SLO), Sivert Hole (NOR), Bastien Dayer (SUI) and Noe Claye (FRA).

The Parallel Sprint podium with (L to R) Amelie Wenger Reymond (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). Photo credits and thanks to Tommy Storoygard

The Parallel Sprint podium with (L to R) Bastien Dayer (SUI), Philippe Lau (FRA), Noe Claye (FRA), Benedikt Holzmann (GER). Photo credits and thanks to Tommy Storoygard

Good bye to retiring athletes; Philippe Lau (FRA), Guro Helde Kjolseth (NOR) and Simone Oehrli (SUI). It has been a pleasure to compete with and learn from them over the years.

I cannot say that these are the championships or results I expected, though I am certain this will teach me a vital lesson I need to learn in order to make the next step. Despite my disappointment, it is always a pleasure to be on the mountain with skis on my feet competing against the best in the world. Thank you to my boyfriend, family, friends, team-mates, coaches, competitors, committees, federations, team and personal sponsors; without whom this journey would not be possible. Now it is time to concentrate on my ski instructor qualifications, spend some time on snow with loved ones and catch up on my university work.

The sun setting in Rjukan, Norway. Photo credits and thanks to Nikita Isaev

If you wish to catch up on all the racing, you can visit the live-stream here and see all the results on the FIS website here.

 

The 2019 World Cup Season

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After Christmas the British team, along with the French, spent time training in La Thuile, Italy. The conditions were amazing and it allowed for some great progress. I was joined by BBC Ski Sunday, who came to film over a few days. This was a really fun and interesting experience where TV presenter, Graham Bell, attempted to telemark in a giant slalom, on a jump and to skate for the first time.

BBC Ski Sunday Presenter Graham Bell with Jasmin Taylor in La Thuile, Italy

The training group with the BBC Ski Sunday team before Christmas

The first World Cup race was also held in La Thuile, it is a super steep slope and has hosted many alpine World Cup events over the years. Graham Bell and the Ski Sunday team turned up again, and Graham actually fore-ran the Classic event which proved to be quite the challenge. I managed a 2nd place finish, and 4th the day before in the Sprint discipline.

The first World Cup podium of the season in La Thuile. Photo credits and thanks to Luca Nava

The final steep section, possibly the steepest slope of the tour. Photo credits and thanks to Luca Nava

The prize from the first podium. Photo credits and thanks to Sara Mo Vanacht

The first race was the Sprint, followed by the gruelling Classic where Sion Bingham (30th, 26th), Ben (27th, 23rd) and Jack Emsley (DNF, 29th) were also competing. Louis Hatchwell achieved a career best finish of 12th place in the Sprint discipline but unfortunately did not finish (DNF) in the Classic. Jack Harvard Taylor and Tanner Visnick were in the commentary booth. US athlete, Tanner, suffered a serious ankle injury in training just before the first race. This is a real shame because Tanner is an amazing skier, and was showing real form on the slopes.

Team-mate, Louis Hatchwell, in the hot seat waiting for his competitors to finish, he looks quite comfy. Photo credits and thanks to Luca Nava

Meanwhile, the British Championships were hosted by the army in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France, and from what I have heard they were a real success and well attended. The new overall British Champions are Sissi Compton (British C Team) and Robert Houstoun (British A Team), while Colin Dixon (British B Team) was victorious in the Classic discipline. There were also some great performances from Ben Silva (British C Team), Magnus McIntosh (Magnus had joined us for training in La Thuile), Naila Cardwell (British B Team) and Louis Blyth (Club des Houches).

My team-mates, (L to R) Naila Cardwell, Colin Dixon, Sissi Compton and Ben Silva in Pralognan-la-Vanoise

The British Championship Classic podium: 1st place; Colin Dixon, 2nd place; Robert Houstoun, 3rd place; Louis Blyth

Then the World Cup tour travelled to Pralognan-la-Vanoise where we joined the rest of our team-mates. The first race was the Sprint, I skied clean on the first run taking the lead by over 2 seconds, the second run was very intense but I am proud to have taken my first victory of the season and against Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) who has proven to be one of the best athletes in snow-sport history. This occurred right before the BBC Ski Sunday program was broadcast to 1 million viewers on mainstream TV, and 80,000 viewers on BBC iPlayer back home in Britain. The support and feedback following the article has been overwhelming.

The opening ceremony in Pralognan-la-Vanoise, France. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

A team photo after opening ceremony

Louis Hatchwell on course in Pralognan-la-Vanoise. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

Sion Bingham powering through the run in Pralognan-la-Vanoise. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

Trying to find the front of my ski in France. Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

The flower ceremony with (L to R) Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

The prize giving ceremony and British national anthem with (L to R) Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Agence Zoom

The French hosted race was a World Cup debut for Ben Silva and Magnus McIntosh where they finished 31st and 29th in the Sprint and 34th and 33rd in the Classic. Sion Bingham finished in 22nd and 21st, Jack Emsley 30th and 32nd, Louis Hatchwell DNF and 22nd, Colin Dixon 27th and 29th, and I finished 4th in the Classic. A great weekend of racing! You can see an article from BBC Sport here.

The winning moment caught on camera. Photo credits and thanks to Colin F Shepherd

We then moved onto the third round of racing in the southern French Alps in Pra-Loup. The event kicked off with a tough Classic, I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle from the very beginning so I was very pleased to walk away with 2nd place and team-mate, Ben Emsley achieved a career best of 23rd position. The following day, the Sprint, I took my fourth podium with a 3rd place, and again Ben achieved another personal best of 20th position. The third and final day of racing was the Parallel Sprint, the first of the season. I finished in 5th after crashing out in the loom against Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) who went on to take 2nd place, Ben finished in 17th place after racing Theo Sillon (FRA). BBC Sport caught wind of the action again, which you can see here.

Last season there were 21 World Cup races, this season had just 12 although it is a World Championship year, these races are counted separately.

Awaiting the start of the Parallel Sprint in Pra-Loup. Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

On the podium in Pra-Loup, France with (L to R) Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and Jasmin Taylor (GBR). Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

Following these races in Italy and France, we had a short one week break which I spent back in Les Houches. It was so nice to see my boyfriend, Will, who came to visit and we enjoyed some powder skiing together.

Will being shy, or just looking at how much snow there is…

An amazing view of Mont Blanc from Les Houches, France

Some bad news struck in the form of team-mate, Sissi Compton, getting injured. Sissi broke her ACL whilst training, but everyone is behind her wishing her well. She will be back stronger than ever.

The next round of racing in Oberjoch, Germany kicked off with a Sprint where I finished 3rd, Louis Hatchwell DNF, Alec Dixon 31st and Ben Emsley in 30th place. Then the Parallel Sprint where I qualified in 4th place. I raced Johanna Holzmann (GER) in the semi-finals where I suffered one of the biggest crashes in my career, I had to race the small final with borrowed poles and my training skis because of the damage which had occurred to my equipment. Full of adrenaline, I won the dual against Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) taking 3rd place. Luckily the German team doctor was on location to treat my arm after the race which had swollen to twice the size. The boys all finished in joint 17th place.

The Sprint podium with (L to R) Johanna Holzmann (GER), Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Martina Wyss (SUI), Simone Oehrli (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Stefan Hess

Louis Hatchwell racing in the Parallel Sprint. Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

The crowd in Oberjoch, Germany. Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

Ben Emsley on course. Photo credits and thanks to Stefan Hess

Jasmin Taylor (GBR) vs. Johanna Holzmann (GER). Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

I think it was at this moment I realised that this might hurt… Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

Slightly worse for wear… Photo credits and thanks to Guro Helde Kjølseth

The aftermath of the crash… A huge thank you to Sebastian Sinz, the German Team doctor who was on location to generously provide his help and expertise!

The Parallel Sprint podium with (L to R) Johanna Holzmann (GER), Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). Photo credits and thanks to Bernhard Krempl

Both races were broadcast on mainstream German TV with over 2.5 million viewers on each feature. There was another BBC Sport article published (see here) and a report on the local BBC news channel back home.

Feeling slightly worse for wear, battered and bruised we travelled on to Krvavec, Slovenia for World Cup Finals and the World Junior Championships. There were more junior women, than junior men which is a really positive sign for the sport. Again, we started with the Classic event where I took my final podium of the season, a 3rd place, taking my total to 29 World Cup podiums equalling the British record set by Free-skier, Gilly Curry in 1994. There was an article published by Planet Ski here and one by BBC Sport here. This podium places me 2nd in the World Cup Classic standings, earning me a silver medal. Louis Hatchwell finished in a respectable 20th place.

The race hill in Krvavec, Slovenia

On course in the Classic. Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen

Louis on course in the Classic. Photo credits and thanks to Morten V Eriksen

The prizes in Slovenia. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

The World Cup podium earning me a joint British record with Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI). Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

A silver medal in the World Cup Classic standings with with Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and Johanna Holzmann (GER). Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

Alec and Colin Dixon did not compete in the World Cup Classic, reserving their energy for the World Junior Championships where unfortunately, Alec DNF but Colin placed in 16th position.

Alec racing in Krvavec, Slovenia. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

Colin on course. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

Qualifications for the Parallel Sprint were held the next day, picking up too many penalties, I found myself in 8th place. Louis crashed and therefore didn’t qualify; Alec qualified in 32nd and Colin DNF. The following day, Alec finished in joint 17th place and I finished in joint 5th place. In the World Junior Championship Parallel Sprint, Colin finished 17th and Alec in joint 9th place. This 5th place result puts me in 4th in the World Cup Parallel Sprint standings.

(L to R) FIS Chairman; Andrew Clarke, Jasmin Taylor, Coach; Sebastien Mansart. Photo credits and thanks to Argeline Tan Bouquet

The very last day, a Sprint, tensions were running high with overall rankings vulnerable and not yet in the bag. I finished in 4th behind Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). This 4th place just behind Argeline meant I maintained 2nd in the World Cup Sprint standings, another silver medal. Not only that, I have a new world ranking within the top 3, my goal for the season earning me a bronze medal in the Overall World Cup standings. Great Britain finished 5th in the Nations Cup standings, our joint best result.

A silver medal in the Sprint World Cup standings with Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

A special moment. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

A silver medal in the Sprint World Cup standings. Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

The Overall World Cup podium earning me a bronze medal with Johanna Holzmann (GER) and Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) Photo credits and thanks to Goran Kroselj

The final day in Krvavec was spent in the commentary booth with Monica Huszcz Delevaux where I watched Alec finish in 16th and Colin in 12th in the World Junior Championship Sprint event. The races were broadcast on Slovenian mainstream TV which is again, hugely beneficial for the sport.

A team photo in Krvavec, Slovenia with (L to R) Colin Dixon, Alec Dixon, Sebastien Mansart, Jasmin Taylor. Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

Still a team photo… Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

At least it was a team photo… Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

Now I return to the UK for a few days rest before travelling back to France for more training in preparation for the World Championships later this season in Rjukan, Norway. As always, thank you to everyone making it possible: boyfriend, family, friends, coaches, team-mates, university, organisers, committees, federations and fellow athletes.

The Final World Cups

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

The scenery in Rjukan, Norway

Gaustatoppen in Rjukan, Norway

The race hill in Rjukan, Norway

The race hill in Rjukan, Norway

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

Parallel Sprint in Rjukan, Norway

Buckling up for the Parallel Sprint

Out of the start gate in Parallel Sprint

Out of the start gate in Parallel Sprint

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

The podium in Rjukan, Norway

The Parallel Sprint podium in Rjukan, Norway

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

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

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

The summit of Gausatoppen

The summit of Gausatoppen

Amazing snow!

Amazing snow!

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

The Sprint podium in Rjukan, Norway

The Sprint podium in Rjukan, Norway

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

The scenery in Murren

The scenery in Murren

Team Parallel Sprint in Murren with Ben Emsley and Robbie Houstoun

Team Parallel Sprint in Murren with Ben Emsley and Robbie Houstoun

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

The start gate in the Parallel Sprint

The start gate in the Parallel Sprint

On course in Murren

On course in Murren

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

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

Coach Seb was pretty happy with my victory...

Coach Seb was pretty happy with my victory…

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

Interview with Jack Harvard Taylor

Interview with Jack Harvard Taylor

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

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

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

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

My Classic bronze medal in Murren

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

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

The GB Telemark Ski Team

The GB Telemark Ski Team

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!

Summer & Autumn Update

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Summer seems to have passed so quickly! Once the 2016-17 racing season finished, I took some time working towards my BASI qualifications. I need to collect ‘tours’ high in the off-piste mountainous areas. Who better to recruit for the job than coach, Sebastien Mansart and former national French team telemark racer, Laura Grenier-Soliget!

At the start! Laura Grenier-Soliget and Jasmin Taylor

At the start of the ‘Col du Tour Noir, Laura Grenier-Soliget and Jasmin Taylor

Jasmin Taylor and Laura Grenier-Soliget

At the summit of ‘Col du Tour Noir’, Jasmin Taylor and Laura Grenier-Soliget

At the top, having a much needed lunch!

At the top, having a much needed lunch!

GB Telemark Ski Team coach, Sebastien Mansart and Jasmin Taylor

The ‘Col du Tour Noir’, GB Telemark Ski Team coach, Sebastien Mansart and Jasmin Taylor

Chamonix Mont-Blanc 'Col du Tour Noir'

The ‘Col du Tour Noir’ decent, Chamonix Mont-Blanc

Once home in the UK, I completed my end of year exams for university, at the University of Suffolk. Following that, I went to visit Anežka Přibylová, telemark racer from the Czech Republic in Prague and went to Greece ‘island hopping’ on holiday with my boyfriend.

The views in Prague

The views in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Anežka Přibylová and Jasmin Taylor

Prague, Czech Republic, Anežka Přibylová and Jasmin Taylor

Mykonos, one (of very few photos) with Will

Mykonos Island, Greece, one (of very few photos) with Will

Mykonos

The famous windmills in Mykonos, Greece

'Stadio' Athens, Greece

‘Stadio’ Athens, Greece

During summer, I was featured on ‘ITV Anglia’, a regional news channel in the UK where I spoke about telemark and the season just passed.

This year, the British Telemark Indoor series reverted to a festival where I had the opportunity to coach. The festivals were held in Manchester and Glasgow, both a great success and a lot of fun!

In physical training, I used my local gyms; The Gym Ipswich and CrossFit ISC as both facilities provide a unique environment. My physiotherapist, Alasdair Jones, from Colchester Physiotherapy has also been a fantastic asset as always.

Jasmin Taylor, Alasdair Jones from Colchester Physiotherapy

Jasmin Taylor, Alasdair Jones from Colchester Physiotherapy

Trying to stay upright on my slackline with Alasdair Jones

Trying to stay upright on my slackline with some help from Alasdair Jones

Since September, life got crazy-busy again with university work pilling up and training on the glacier in Hintertux. We have a wonderful place to stay; the Tux Diamant chalet. The spacious, modern chalet is owned by a very warm, accommodating British family who also run a top quality craft brewery from the basement. Not everyone can say they prepare their skis in a brewery! Their beer is colour coded like the pistes of Hintertux and has an awesome story. They are sponsoring the festival surrounding the opening telemark World Cup in Hintertux, which kicks off on 1st December. Keep your eyes peeled for TUX 1280 beer!

Having breakfast in the Tux Diamant chalet, Sebastien Mansart and Louis Hatchwell

Having breakfast in the Tux Diamant chalet, Sebastien Mansart and Louis Hatchwell

The 'TUX 1280' beer, "BEER WITH ATTITUDE BREWED AT ALTITUDE"

The ‘TUX 1280’ beer, “BEER WITH ATTITUDE BREWED AT ALTITUDE”

The training this camp was particularly awesome because we got to share a training lane with both the French and Norwegian national teams.

Norwegian, French and British National team coaches, all working alongside one another

Norwegian, French and British National team coaches; all working alongside one another!

Fantastic conditions in Hintertux, Austria

Fantastic conditions in Hintertux, Austria

Heading up for training with telemark family!

Heading up for training with telemark family!

An international mix of telemark skiers at start!

An international mix of telemark skiers at start in Hintertux, Austria

I can speak with confidence on behalf of the British when I say, we all had an awesome week and cannot wait to get back on snow! Thank you as always, to the individual sponsors and team sponsors, without whom none of this would be possible.

The GB Telemark van provided by Aquatronic Group Management (AGM)

The GB Telemark van provided by team sponsor, ‘AGM’ Aquatronic Group Management

The GB Telemark boys, Sion Bingham, Louis Hatchwell, Ben Emsley

The GB Telemark boys, Sion Bingham, Louis Hatchwell, Ben Emsley

Free skiing in Hintertux, Austria

Free skiing in Hintertux, Austria

The views in Hintertux, Austria

The views in Hintertux, Austria

Now back home to catch up on studies! Until next time…

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!

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.

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

Pre-season in Tignes

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I have now returned home to Ipswich from an intense week of training on the French glacier, Tignes. The conditions were excellent and it was great to ski with fellow GB telemarkers and coach, Sebastien Mansart. Our time was spent free-skiing, training giant slalom, hiking (on the one bad weather day), roller-blading and playing Frisbee.

Tignes Glacier, at it's highest is 3747m altitude

Tignes Glacier; 3747m altitude at it’s highest

Louis Hatchwell, Sebastien Mansart,

Louis Hatchwell, Sebastien Mansart, Robert Housoun, Sion Bingham, James French, Jasper Taylor, Alistair Cruz

Enjoying a hike on the bad weather today!

Enjoying a hike on the bad weather day!

The daily routine of skiing and sport was usually followed by dinner and cards which seemed to be our idea of team bonding.

Playing Skipbo

This got pretty competitive…

We were joined by the French Telemark Ski Team on the final two days and we made the most of our time by playing sport all together in the afternoon by the lake.

The 'Tignes Lake'

The ‘Tignes Lake’

It’s not long now until the opening World Cup in Hintertux, Austria. Let the count down begin!

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