Tagged ‘skiing’

The Final World Cups

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

Rjukan, Norway

Rjukan, Norway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Murren, Switzerland

Murren, Switzerland

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

German & Slovenian World Cups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Youth Olympic Games

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

Practising for the Opening Ceremony

Practising for the Opening Ceremony

The ski jump, the opening ceremony setting

The Opening Ceremony stage from the top

The Opening Ceremony Stage

The Opening Ceremony stage from the bottom

Guro #####

The gang!

Backstage at the YOG

Backstage at the YOG

The crowd waiting..

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

The Opening Ceremony!

The Opening Ceremony! Here come the telemarkers..

We have that after feeling buzz! Magic experience..

We have that after feeling buzz! Magic experience.

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

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

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

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

Jasmin Taylor GBR vs Argeline Tan Bouquet FRA

Jasmin Taylor GBR vs Argeline Tan Bouquet FRA

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

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

Sledging Fun

Sledging Fun

'Eat Britain' soon became a nickname..

‘Eat Britain’ soon became a nickname..

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

#Lillehammer2016

#Lillehammer2016

The Telemark Show in Lillehammer

The Telemark Show in Lillehammer

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

The International YOG Telemark Team

The International YOG Telemark Team

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

World Cup Update | Youth Olympic Games

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Since my last post, we’ve had another two rounds of World Cup races. The first set was in Les Contamines, again in France, and the second round was in Spain. In Les Contamines, the races were combined with the World Junior Championships and the British Team had four junior competitors racing with an additional six senior racers.

Racing the Classic in Les Contamines. Thanks and photo credits to Flo Brooks.

Racing the Classic in Les Contamines, France. Thanks and photo credits to Flo Brooks.

The first of our races was the Sprint, unfortunately I didn’t finish but the following race, a Classic, I scored a personal best result in the discipline which was 5th place.

A travel and training day later, the team arrived in Espot (Spain) ready to race yet another Classic. The course was steep, icy and the jump was fast so our limits were certainly tested. I am pleased to say that I scored another personal best result, this time one better – a 4th place.

Racing the Classic in Espot, Spain. Thanks and photo credits to Lars Ove Wangensteen Berge

Racing the Classic in Espot, Spain. Thanks and photo credits to Lars Ove Wangensteen Berge.

Another two days of racing remained, I finished in 8th position in the Sprint after a tough race and in 9th place on the Dual Sprint. All in all, the races have been another big learning curve with many positives. That’s half the World Cup circuit complete with the next half kicking off again at the end of the month in Germany.

Between then and now, I will be in Lillehammer for the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) as part of an international team representing telemark. We will perform in a demonstration event during the opening and closing ceremonies which is an important, positive step for the sport. I have never been to an Olympic Games so to have this opportunity is very special, I am excited to be here, enjoy the atmosphere and to give my best.

Youth Olympic Games - Lillehammer

Whilst in Norway, we will also have the chance to compete in the Norwegian Championships and do some training, as well as giving telemark taster lessons to the public. Updates are soon to follow!

If you haven’t seen the write up about the British Championships by the East Anglian Daily Times, you can read it 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

Opening World Cup in Hintertux Information

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

Hintertux Live Streaming Information

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

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!

Pre-season in Saas Fee

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Summer was spent off snow in the sunshine doing water sports, which are my favourite activities after telemarking. I spent my holiday learning to surf with Georges’ Surf School in Cornwall, as well as travelling around the UK. I visited Scotland, Birmingham and Manchester for the GB telemark indoor series, which was great fun. In August, I completed my BASI Alpine Level 2 Instructor course so all in all, a brilliant summer!

Learning to Surf with Georges 'Georges' Surf School'

Learning to Surf with George ‘Georges’ Surf School

The Gang! BASI Alpine Level 2 Instructor Course

‘The Gang’ on the BASI Alpine Level 2 Instructor Course

The pre-season training is now well under way here in the beautiful, but rather high (3500m) resort of Saas Fee. The past week has been spent with fellow British Telemark racers; Louis Hatchwell, Sion Bingham and Alastair Cruz, Team Coach Sebastien Mansart, and some French Team members. The snow has been excellent and the weather has been spectacular. We have spent our time free skiing and gate training to get the good feelings back, and I’m very excited for the season. Afternoons have been spent roller-skiing, doing fitness training, and ski preparation.

Saas Fee

Saas Fee

(Left to Right) Alastair Cruz, Louis Hatchwell, Sion Bingham

(Left to Right) Alastair Cruz, Louis Hatchwell, Sion Bingham

In between training blocks, I will continue my studies at ‘University Campus Suffolk‘, as well as seeing friends and family, and enjoying some rest days! I am also working on a video to explain the basics of telemark racing, so keep your eyes peeled for that… Thank you Sarah Ayling-Bate!

World Cup Round-up 2014/15

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Following the World Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (USA), the World Cup race circuit travelled to Thyon and then Murren in Switzerland before concluding in Rjukan, Norway where I finished 7th in the Classic, 6th in the Sprint and 5th in the Dual Sprint. In Thyon, I achieved another 5th place in the Sprint race.

It was great to be joined by team mates Jasper Taylor, James French and Fred Thomas. Ex-telemark team athlete Jack Harvard Taylor supported and provided commentary on the live streaming.

(L to R) Seb Mansart, Jasper Taylor, Jasmin Taylor, James French, Fred Thomas, Jack Harvard Taylor

(L to R) Seb Mansart, Jasper Taylor, Jasmin Taylor, James French, Fred Thomas, Jack Harvard Taylor

The Murren World Cup event was a fantastic experience. I was joined by sponsors, good friends and the fellow Kandahar Club members who were all out in force cheering me on. The famous James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” was filmed in Murren and the Piz Gloria revolving restaurant overlooking the Swiss Alps was a spectacular venue for the post-race banquet.

The "James Bond" revolving restaurant over looking the three famous peaks. Once translated into English, they are called (L to R) "the ogear", "the monk" and "the virgin".

The “James Bond” revolving restaurant over looking the three famous peaks. Once translated into English, they are called (L to R) “the Ogre”, “the Monk” and “the Virgin”.

The Jump in Murren

The Jump in Murren

The tour then travelled to Rjukan, Norway in the region of telemark for the final round of racing – this is where the sport originated.

Sprint Race in Rjukan, Norway

Sprint Race in Rjukan, Norway

Jasmin Taylor (GBR) Vs Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

Jasmin Taylor (GBR) Vs Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)

The Jump in Rjukan

The Jump in Rjukan

The highlight of the 2014/15 season was undoubtedly the bronze medal at the World Championships and with a full World Cup tour completed I’m looking forward to taking everything I’ve learned and building on this success for my 2015/16 World Cup campaign. Thank you to – my sponsorssupportersteam, family, friends and everyone that makes it possible.

The World Cup season is complete!

The World Cup season is complete!

If you missed any of the racing and want to catch up, follow this link.

Opening World Cup 2014-15

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The World Cup season 2014-15 has officially begun and the first round of races in Hintertux (Austria) have proved to be a promising start. Every year the races improve and with most of our competitions being live streamed, family, friends and supporters can watch from wherever they might be in the world, which is a huge boost for the profile of the sport and source of encouragement for those competing.

The opening ceremony was a fun start to the weekend, with everyone coming together for a traditional parade through the village, nation-by-nation.

The Opening Ceremony - Nations United

The Opening Ceremony

The first race of the season was a Sprint on a technical course which was an exhilarating experience. Nerves and tension always run high at the start of the season, however I finished in 4th position. The weather conditions eased and everyone seemed a little more relaxed for the following race which was another Sprint. I finished in 7th position and my team-mate, Louis Hatchwell finished in 31st.

Day 1 - Women's Podium (L to R) Me, Argeline Tan (FRA),

Day 1 – Top 5 Women (L to R) Me GBR, Argeline Tan FRA, Amelie Reymond SUI, Thea Lunde NOR, Simone Oehrli SUI

The final race was the Parallel Sprint, with the seeding decided by the previous days Sprint. Ranked 7th, I was paired with Guro Kjølseth from Norway and after winning the first round, I then faced Johanna Holzmann from Germany.

My first run didn’t start well as I caught my pole in the start gate but the race continued and we headed for the jump. Johanna was then disqualified after crashing out just after the landing. On the second run, after a good start I got my skis crossed a couple of gates before the loom which meant disqualification. I finished in 5th place.

The GB Telemark Team Fan Club!

The GB Telemark Team Fan Club!

All in all, Hintertux has been a solid, interesting start to the season and I can’t wait for the next round.

Here are all the video clips from the three days of racing and pre-race interviews:

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