Tagged ‘Ski Racing’

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.

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

Grade 3 MCL Ligament Tear

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Last Wednesday, I tore my MCL ligament in my right knee whilst ski jumping in Les Houches. The initial results were not so clear as there was a lot of swelling and pain making it a difficult case for the physiotherapists in Chamonix to diagnose.  Since then, I have been spending around 6 hours every day at La Clinique du Sport who have done a fantastic job to aid my immediate recovery. Yesterday I went to the hospital for an MRI and an X-Ray, followed by a consolation with a top specialist sport doctor whom has diagnosed me with a grade 3 tear and put me in a full leg cast to allow my ligament to repair.

This Friday, I return home to the UK for further treatment, recovery and rehabilitation. I am so lucky to have such a fantastic team of people around me and with their help I am sure I can return to great form with next winter being the goal.

I now have a long summer ahead of me to work hard and become strong again – thank you to Colchester Physiotherapy for their continued support, which is so valuable to any athlete.

I was supposed to fly to Sweden this Saturday for World Cup races, followed by my biggest race of the season in Norway; the World Junior Championships, in Geilo and the World Cup Finals, in Rjukan. It’s my last year as a junior competitor and my current World Junior Ranking states that I am number one, so not being able to race is quite devastating as I really feel I had a good chance of winning. I have been working with my coach, Sébastien Mansart, all season specially for this set of races, with the goal being World Junior Champion or a podium. I understand that this is all part of sport, all part of the process and I hope to become a better athlete because of it. Although right now, disappointment and grief are my main set of emotions.

Good luck to the rest of the GB Telemark Team and World Cup telemark racers!

Right leg, MCL Grade 3

Right leg, MCL Grade 3


Hintertux: My First World Cup Podium!

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Wow! What a set of races that was in Hintertux…

I arrived last Sunday in Hintertux having traveled from France with the French Team, it was great to have a few days skiing and training before the racing kicked off. Hintertux Glacier is approximately 3250 meters above sea level and living in Ipswich (England) I think I’m around -10 meters so acclimatizing is very important and never easy, even for athletes that live in the mountains!

The World Cups always begin with an opening ceremony – and Hintertux put on a great show.

Hintertux World Cup Opening Ceremony: I took to the stage to collect my bib - lucky number 7!

Hintertux World Cup Opening Ceremony: I took to the stage to collect my bib – lucky number 7

Then it was time to race! On Friday, we had a Sprint and I finished in 7th position and there was also some great racing from the other Brits, Anna Morrissey finished in 10th place, Andrew Clarke in 25th and Andy Salter also skied well – we all qualified for Sunday’s racing.

Hanging on for dear life!

Sprint Race

Day 2 of racing, was again, a Sprint – this time I finished one better in 6th place but was 4th after the first run so felt a bit disappointed to loose my position, but all in all – 6th is not so bad.

Then came the last day of racing (Sunday) which was the Parallel Sprint. I qualified in 7th position (from the first Sprint race) which meant I met teammate, Anna Morrissey in the first round. I knocked her out, to face Laura Grenier-Soliget from France, then met Simone Oehrli (SUI). It was a close race and she had the lead after the first round. It was still all to play for as she wasn’t ahead by much! I kept cool and skied by best, I was ahead over the jump and as I entered the 360, I saw one ski shoot in front of me, at that point I realized she must have crashed. I’m very sorry for Simone and I wish her a speedy recovery but in the same moment I realized that at worst I was in 2nd place on the senior World Cup podium. I felt overwhelmed and elated – the skate to the finish line was very emotional, I think I was laughing and crying simultaneously! (See the video below to see my reaction!)

Racing Simone (SUI) Oehrli in the Semi Final!

Racing Simone Oehrli (SUI) in the Semi Final

Racing the World Chamion, Amélie Reymond from Switzerland!

Racing the World Champion, Amélie Reymond (SUI)

1) Amélie Reymond SUI 2) ME!!! GBR 3) Mathilde Ilebrekke NOR

1) Amélie Reymond SUI 2) Jasmin Taylor GBR 3) Mathilde Ilebrekke NOR

In the final I raced, the almost unbeatable Amélie Reymond, it was a fairly close race but she was still too strong despite my best efforts! An incredible and indescribable feeling when I crossed the finish line, all the hard work was instantly worth it.

Telemark is Magic!

Telemark is Magic! Athletes united!

I’m now back in Les Houches for a few days rest and more training before the next round of World Cups in Les Contamines.

Thank you to everyone for all the kind words, it really means so much. I’ll leave you with this short video.




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