Tagged ‘Training’

Pre-season Continued…

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Pre-season preparations have continued with further camps in Hintertux, Austria and Tignes, France with many French and British team athletes. Conditions were brilliant during our stay in Hintertux for the French committee training camp, to which the British athletes were kindly invited to join. We spent time training in giant slalom and skating, which often proves challenging at the high altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level.

The committee training camp line-up in Hintertux.

The committee training camp line-up in Hintertux

Great conditions in Hintertux

Great conditions

Skate training with the French

Skate training with the French team

GB Telemark have now received their brand new clothing for the season; we are proud to be wearing Dare 2b and absolutely loving it! The kit is very warm and looks great – it’s so nice to finally have a matching team uniform. The team is now more united than ever, the clothing helps to promote team cohesion and professionalism, and as a result we have a stronger bond. A few people have questioned why we have chosen a green and grey colour scheme – we wanted to stand out as there are many nations in red, white and blue on the telemark circuit.  We think these outfits are bold and smart. On behalf of GB Telemark, I would like to say a huge thank you to Dare 2b for providing our clothing, it’s another great step forward for the team.

Enjoying ourselves in our new Dare 2b clothing!

Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell, Tara Parks wearing Dare 2b ‘Welcome to our Mountain’

Tara Parks, Jasmin Taylor in the new Dare 2b clothing

Tara Parks, Jasmin Taylor in Dare 2b

Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Tara Parks

Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Tara Parks

Following Hintertux, the team travelled on to Tignes (after a few days rest) for another training camp. This time, we weren’t quite so lucky with the conditions – there has been more snow fall than I have ever seen before. In total, a meter of snow fell in 5 days on the van in the car park and on the glacier there was approximately 1.5 meters which looks very hopeful for a solid winter base. Unfortunately, it didn’t make for the best training conditions as we lost a few days when the glacier was shut. However, when we were able to do giant slalom, the blizzard which was -17 degrees at its worst, certainly added to the challenge.

There's a lot of snow in Tignes

There’s a lot of snow in Tignes

Snow up to my knees!

Snow up to my knees!

Next time we head out to the mountains, we will be racing in the opening World Cup in Hintertux – not long now!

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.

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!

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!

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:

Pre-Season Training in Tignes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next up – Hintertux World Cup!

Stubaier Training

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I have just arrived home after 2 weeks training at Stubaier Gletscher! The first week was spent getting the legs back – they’re not so easy to find having spent a summer doing other activities and being 2 miles high…! The top of the Stubai Glacier is 3200m and considering my house in Ipswich is barely 10m above seas level, I was feeling the affects.

The second week I joined up with the German Telemark Team for some gate training – there were plenty of familiar faces from Hungry, Italy, Great Britain (team-mate Anna Morrissey) and others! Also, if you didn’t already see it, here’s my article with the BBC.

The Gang! Training with the German Telemark Ski Team

The Gang!
Training with the German Telemark Ski Team

The 2 British girls at the top of Stubai Glacier!

The 2 British girls at the top of Stubai Glacier!

Getting ready to destroy-it!

Getting ready to destroy-it!

The last week was spent playing in the jump park and skiing with the British Disabled Ski Team, which was awesome! I even saw Emily Sarsfield, Peter Whelan and Pam Thorburn from the British Ski Cross Team – so great to see so many Brits out there preparing for the coming season.

Jumping in the Park

Jumping in the Park

Just finish up by saying a massive thank you to Three and Me graphic design (based in Ipswich) who I have been working with this summer to update my website and branding. I think it’s really important to create a professional image and hopefully I have achieved this now with their help. Check them out and contact them if you ever need a graphic designer.

Next stop – the Ladies Ski Club AGM dinner on Thursday night where I’ll be giving a speech on telemark skiing.

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