Tagged ‘Telemark FIS World Cup’

World Cup Finals and World Championships

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

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

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

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

My 6th podium finish in Thyon, Switzerland

My 6th podium finish in Thyon, Switzerland

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

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

The nations preparing for the opening ceremony in Montchavin

The nations preparing for the opening ceremony in Montchavin

The GB Telemark Ski Team with the Czech Telemark Ski Team

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

On stage at the World Championship opening ceremony

On stage for bib collection at the World Championship opening ceremony

Fireworks

Fireworks at the World Championship opening ceremony

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

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

The race piste in La Plagne

The Classic race piste in La Plagne

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Championship Bronze Medallist

World Championship Bronze Medallist

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

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

Norwegian World Cups and World Junior Championships

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Another round of racing complete, this time in Norway – first Hurdal and then Rjukan. In Hurdal, racing began with a skate-heavy Classic and I am very pleased to say I finished on the podium in 3rd position behind Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR), achieving my first ever World Cup podium in the discipline.

The Classic Podium with

The Classic Podium with Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR)

The following day, we raced the Parallel Sprint which was filmed for the Olympic Channel and Norwegian television and was broadcast on NRK2. I qualified in 3rd place and retained my position in the head to head heats, finishing on the podium once more. I raced Beatrice Zimmerman (SUI) in the quarter finals, Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR) in the semi finals and Guro Kjolseth (NOR) in the small final.

The bib/course selection with Andreja Jovan, FIS referee

The bib/course selection with Andreja Jovan, FIS Race Director

The Parallel Sprint Podium in Hurdal with Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR)

The Parallel Sprint Podium in Hurdal with Amelie Reymond (SUI) and Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR)

Can we all fit up there? Not sure!

The final day of racing in Hurdal was the Sprint event, I finished in 6th place after collecting too many penalties. Once racing was complete, we got packed up and travelled to Oslo to collect the British juniors: Naila Cardwell, Sion Bingham, Alec and Colin Dixon and Jasper Taylor.

Norway's most beautiful mountain; Gaustatoppen

Norway’s most beautiful mountain; Gaustatoppen

The race piste in Rjukan

The race piste in Rjukan

The race days in Rjukan included both World Cup races and World Junior Championship races, which made for a very busy schedule. The World Junior Championship Classic kicked off the racing, followed by the World Cup Classic later that afternoon, I finished in 4th place and skied a penalty-free race which I was pleased with after my Sprint race in Hurdal.

The Classic

The Classic (Photo thanks and credits to Elen Le Bouhellec)

The second race, the Sprint, again commenced with juniors racing in the morning followed by a flood-lit World Cup race. I unfortunately crashed but carried on to finish in 9th place. Louis finished in 17th, Sion in 27th, Alec DNF and Colin in 31st position. Jasper finished in 12th and Naila in 10th place which are both their personal best results!

The final World Cup race, the Parallel Sprint, began as always with the qualification. After finishing in 4th position I was drawn against Spela Micunovic (SLO), then Kim Aegerter (SUI) meeting Amelie Reymond (SUI) in the semi finals and Guro Kjolseth (NOR) in the small final. Guro took the win and I finished in 4th place once more. This race was also broadcast on Norwegian television and this time on the main channel; NRK1 which is brilliant for the sport.

The Smal Final with Guro Kjolseth (NOR)

The Small Final with Guro Kjolseth (NOR) (Photo thanks and credits to Elen Le Bouhellec)

The last day in Rjukan finished with the World Junior Championship Parallel Sprint and a podium for Great Britain! A huge well done and congratulations to Jasper Taylor for his 2nd place! It was very intense viewing and Jasper skied so well, more proof that GB Telemark is on the up!

Jasper Taylor making history for GB Telemark on the World Junior Championship podium

Jasper Taylor making history for GB Telemark on the World Junior Championship podium

A happy GB Telemark Team along with coach and mascot

(L to R) Colin Dixon, Jasper Taylor, Seb Mansart (coach), Sion Bingham, Alec Dixon, Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell, Lenaig Mansart (mascot), Naila Cardwell

The British results from the World Junior Championships:
Naila Cardwell: 14th (CL), 13th (SP), 9th (PS)
Jasper Taylor: 29th (CL), 15th (SP), 2nd!!! (PS)
Sion Bingham: 26th (CL), 23rd (SP), 17th (PS)
Alec Dixon: 27th (CL), 28th (SP), 17th (PS)
Colin Dixon: 30th (CL), 25th (SP), 17th (PS)

The final round of World Cup racing moves to Thyon, Switzerland later this week before we all head to La Plagne, France for the World Championships.

Slovenian & German World Cups

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We arrived in Krvavec, Slovenia ready for the racing to begin with a Parallel Sprint. I qualified in 3rd position, paired against my most regular Norwegian opponent, Mathilde Ilebrekke, in the first round. I won the dual and moved forward to meet Switzerland’s Amelie Reymond but lost out which meant meeting Argeline Tan Bouquet from France in the small final. I won and am proud to say I achieved a 3rd place podium position. My team-mate and only other Briton competing, Louis Hatchwell, finished in 9th place after racing Gaetan Procureur and Nicolas Michel, both competitors from Switzerland. The race was streamed live on the Olympic Channel Facebook page and had over 2.1 million views with more than 350,000 people following the entire race.

Parallel Sprint (L to R) Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

Parallel Sprint (L to R) Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)

The Parallel Sprint race piste

The Parallel Sprint race piste

The following day was a Team Parallel Sprint in which each nation must put forward a team of three racers including at least one girl and one boy. As Louis and I were the only competitors from Great Britain racing in Slovenia we faced a tough task of winning both our runs to move forward. Unfortunately, the strong Slovenian team took the win.

Kruvavec, Slovenia

The beautiful views in Krvavec, Slovenia

Kruvavec, Slovenia

Krvavec, Slovenia

The third and final day of racing in Slovenia was a Sprint and I finished in 3rd place and on the podium once more. It felt great to have skied well with two penalty free runs, and to finish the racing on a high. Louis also had a great day scoring a personal best result, finishing in 16th place.

Congratulations between NOR and GBR

Congratulations between NOR and GBR

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

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

We had a few days between the races in Slovenia before moving on to Germany, so we took the opportunity to visit the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, which was beautiful.

Tourists for the day in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Tourists for the day in Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

The races in Germany were initially set as a Sprint on the first day and a Parallel Sprint on the second, but the snow conditions were unfortunately lacking and so the organisers took the decision to run two days of Parallel Sprint races. The Parallel Sprint ranking is usually decided with a qualification run and this determines which opponent you will meet in the head to head knock outs. On Saturday, I qualified in 4th place and met Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) losing out; Argeline went on to finish in 3rd place. Louis finished in 17th place after racing Elie Nabot (FRA) and Colin Dixon (GBR) qualified for the first time in a World Cup Parallel Sprint meeting eventual winner, Tobias Mueller (GER) gaining great experience to take forward.

Jasmin Taylor in Oberjoch, Germany

Jasmin Taylor in Oberjoch, Germany (Photo credits and thanks to Telemark Weltcup Oberjoch)

The final day Germany started well with a good qualification run putting me in 2nd place. I met Guro Helde Kjoelseth (NOR) in the first round and after a very close race, Guro took the win and went on to finish in 2nd position. Louis had a tricky qualification run and met Sweden’s Olle Collberg, despite skiing very well, Louis narrowly missed out after making mistakes in the skating section.

The race piste in Oberjoch, Germany

The race piste in Oberjoch, Germany

GB Telemark on the chair lift in Oberjoch, Germany

On the chair lift in Oberjoch, Germany

All in all, a great round of racing – many positive points to take forward and work on in training ready for the next World Cup tournament in Norway.

Opening World Cup in Hintertux

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The British Telemark Team, along with our in-van resident US skier, Nicolas Belissent arrived in Hintertux on Monday. We spent Tuesday and Wednesday preparing for the weekend ahead with some gate training. It was great to be joined by my personal sponsors, Kneissl and METRO for a few days too! Thursday was the official World Cup training day where everyone tested the jump and loom for the first time, it was a great opportunity for our newer racers to witness the high international standard.

The racing started on Friday with a Sprint, nerves and tension were running high but all in all, GB Telemark had a great day. I finished in 4th, after skiing into 5th position on my first run and I won the second run! This hasn’t happened before so I feel this is a huge positive from my weekend of racing. My team-mates; Tara Parks finished in 9th place in her first ever world cup race, Louis Hatchwell was 18th, a new personal best, Jasper Taylor finished in 20th and Alec Dixon was in 27th position. Naila Cardwell, Development Team member, did a great job of fore-running and gained lots of valuable experience.

Jasmin Taylor in Hintertux

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

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

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

The following day, another Sprint race, the great snow conditions continued although, we as a team, didn’t have such a good day. I finished in 6th position, Tara in 13th, Jasper in 19th, Alec in 30th and Louis unfortunately crashed out.

GB Telemark Ski Team in Hintertux

GB Telemark Ski Team in Hintertux

Jasper Taylor flying off the jump

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

The third and final day of racing, the Dual Sprint (or Parallel Sprint) commenced with a qualification run, followed by intense, action packed, head-to-head racing. Louis and Jasper were drawn against each other and despite a great performance from Jasper who qualified in 12th, Louis took the win. Louis then met Ondrej Hegar from the Czech Republic but a mistake after the jump meant he finished in 9th place. Alec raced against Jonas Schmidt from Germany; Alec skied so well but lost out to a formidable Jonas who went on to take 2nd place overall. I was drawn against Kathrine Reischmann from Germany and Tara was drawn against Mathilde Ilebrekke from Norway. I then moved forward to the next round to race Mathilde who took the win and I finished in 5th place, Tara finished in 9th place.

Jasmin Taylor GBR vs Kathrine Reischmann GER

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

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

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

Jasmin Taylor with GB Telemark coach, Sebastien Mansart

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

You can catch up on all the live streaming HERE. This year the camera production team, Tele-Ho, have developed further platforms including a Norwegian channel and a Facebook live link which generated 15,000 views alone! Jack Harvard Taylor, former GB Telemark Team athlete, is now the official commentator and in my opinion, has done a fantastic job.  Thank you to: the race organisers, production team, GB Telemark sponsors (Aquatronic Group Management, VOLA and Dare 2b) coach, Seb Mansart and team support, Neil Dixon. All in all, a very solid start with many positives – now for some rest and more training before the next races in January!

 

September Training in Hintertux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Piste colour coded beers! (Photo by Tara Parks)

Piste colour coded beers (Photo by Tara Parks)

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

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

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

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

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

Awesome conditions (Photo by Claire Houlton)

Awesome conditions (Photo by Claire Houlton)

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

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

The Hintertux Glacier (Photo by Claire Houlton)

The Hintertux Glacier (Photo by Claire Houlton)

Gate Training

Gate Training (Photo by Ian Johnston) 

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

The Final World Cups

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

Rjukan, Norway

Rjukan, Norway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Murren, Switzerland

Murren, Switzerland

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

German & Slovenian World Cups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

British Telemark Championships

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The season started slowly with very little snow cover in the Alps making training conditions practically impossible but luckily, the snow started to fall thick and fast at the beginning of January. This was just in time for the British Telemark Championships in Murren, Switzerland where we had some free-skiing, powder skiing and even some gate training before our racing began.

Jasmin Taylor Powder Skiing

Enjoying the powder snow..

..maybe a little too much!

..maybe a little too much!

GB Telemark Powder Day

The GB Telemark Team standing in front of the famous Swiss peaks: Eiger ‘Ogre’, Monch ‘Munk’ and Jungfrau ‘Maiden’

The racing kicked off with the Giant Slalom, a discipline which is no longer part of the World Cup calendar – it does include a jump but is missing the usual loom and skate section. Following that we competed in the Sprint, we had great conditions and a brilliantly run race with a very high level of skiing. The final day was the Classic with tougher conditions and poor visibility which made it challenging, but again, the racing ran smoothly with happy faces and a great atmosphere.

Wearing Snow Finel in Murren, Switzerland

Wearing Snow Finel in Murren, Switzerland (Photo copyrights and thanks to Colin Shepherd)

James French, Fred Thomas, Jasmin Taylor, Murren, Switzerland, British Telemark Championships 2016

James French, Fred Thomas and Jasmin Taylor wearing Snow Finel in Murren, Switzerland at the British Telemark Championships 2016 (Photo copyrights and thanks to Colin Shepherd)

I’m very pleased to say that I am now British Champion 2016. Congratulations also to Alistair Cruz, the men’s Champion as well as Fred Thomas, James French, Tara Parks and Naylia Cardwell who all finished with podium positions.

On Tuesday (26th January) the World Cup tour kicked off once more in La Plagne, France with a Dual Sprint. I qualified in 3rd position but was knocked out by Mathilde Ilebrekke (NOR) in the second round of heats who eventually went on to take 3rd place. The following day we raced on the other side of the resort in Montchavin, it was a Sprint race where I finished in 6th position with a very close set of results. During the races, the British Telemark Ski Team were followed by BBC Sport and BBC Look East as well as a reporter from In the Snow Magazine – I will be posting more details about this soon.

The GB Telemark Ski Team in La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

The GB Telemark Ski Team in La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

The Dual Sprint in La Plagne (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

We are now preparing to compete in another round of World Cup races over the weekend in Les Contamines, France before heading on to Espot, Spain for more of the same. It’s a tightly packed, exciting schedule this season and you can watch all the action as always on the live streaming link HERE.

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