Last week, we were lucky enough to compete in Plaine Joux, Passy, France. This event was a replacement for the lost races in Krvavec, Slovenia and St Gervais, France.
In my blogs, I mainly report the British perspective, but for more information you can visit FIS Telemark.
I recently recorded a podcast with Josh Madsen from Freeheel Life, you can listen to that HERE. In The Snow recently published an article HERE as well as Ski Press HERE, both articles are linked to our new team sponsorship with Maier Sports.
I was happy to be joined by 5 of my team-mates; Sissi Compton and Louis Blyth (both of them competing in their first World Cup events), Alec and Colin Dixon, and Tim Gough. Max Screawn, from Ireland, is linked to our training program and we consider him as one of us.
The event kicked off with a Sprint race. I finished 5th, Sissi finished in 18th, Louis in 25th, Alec in 23rd and Tim 22nd in place. Max skied well and placed 16th which is a career best.
The following day, another Sprint race, was slightly more complicated with poor weather conditions. We only managed to race the first run, carrying over the second run to the third day. That meant finishing the Sprint race before commencing the Classic later that day. I suppose no one said it would be easy…
I finished 8th in the Sprint, after collecting too many penalties, Sissi was 18th, unfortunately Louis was disqualified for missing a gate, Colin was 25th, Alec was 24th, Tim was 19th (another career best) and Max finished 21st.
The Classic was more positive; I finished 4th, Sissi in 20th, Colin 23rd, Alec in 22nd, Tim in 20th, and Max in 17th place. The World Cup Classic is quite a shock to the system, it takes many years to learn pace and to get the balance between going for it and not burning out too soon.
The final event, another Classic; I finished 6th, again too many penalties from me, Sissi unfortunately did not finish (DNF), Louis in 25th, Colin in 29th, Alec in 27th, Tim in 24th and Max in 23rd place.
Just a special thanks to our coach; Sebastien Mansart, who played a massive role in putting on these replacement races in such a short space of time. He is either a genius or mad… or maybe both!
It is not quite the set of results I wished for but it is a pleasure to be on the slopes, with my team-mates and competitors, competing none-the-less. Thank you to everyone for the continued support and for making it possible.
Now time to work in the ESF for a few weeks, before more training and an action packed March with World Cup Finals, World Junior Championships and the World Championships, all of which are in Switzerland.
We began training on the slopes back in October with our first camp in Hintertux, Austria. This season, Slovenian athlete; Masa Strakl, has been a regular training buddy of mine, along with the French Telemark Ski Team who have always been close by.
I spent time with the Swiss Telemark Ski Team, training up on the Saas Fee glacier. The conditions were often ideal and I learnt a lot throughout my stay – thank you to the Swiss for having me.
I was even lucky enough to spend time with the German Telemark Ski Team in Kaunertal, Austria. We were always vigilant to stay within the rules, and as the season has progressed the restrictions have become, well more restrictive.
The pre-season training was very interesting for me, there were many positive points to not-being-able to return home between camps, and spending time with other teams opened my mind to new ideas. I do of course miss my family and friends very much; I can’t imagine this time has been easy for anyone.
As December arrived, so did my boyfriend Will who, during winter, works at Praz Sports just beyond Chamonix. Coach; Sebastien Mansart, managed to organise training in Flaine and then Plaine Joux within France, although much time was spent cross country skiing as the resorts have remained closed here in Les Houches.
The COVID situation within the UK became more serious recently and further restrictions were placed on Brits leaving and entering the country. This made traveling very complicated for the majority of my teammates.
The GB Telemark Ski Team has a new clothing sponsor; Maier Sports. The clothing provides a high-quality, bespoke fit along with a five-year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship on all products. We are very grateful to Maier Sports for their support; it will now be very easy to spot us on the slopes.
The racing kicked off in Oberjoch, Germany with two races within each discipline; the minimum requirement for a “full” season. The tour has suffered with cancellations of the Slovenian and French part of the circuit, although much work is happening behind the scenes to replace these lost events. We also had competitions in Thyon, Switzerland in the form of two FIS races, which served as the perfect warm up event for the World Cup races in Germany.
The first two days of racing were both Sprint events, I finished 4th and 7th and GB new-comer, Timote (Tim) Gough finished 24th and did not finish (DNF) on day two. Max Screawn, Irish athlete, finished 21st and a career best of 16th place. As you can see below, it was a good day for Switzerland.
The following two days were Parallel Sprint (PS) events; the PS is always so exciting. I managed a 5th and then 9th place after a crash in the first round of racing. Tim and Max unfortunately didn’t qualify within the top 16 men.
A good friend of mine, Matti Lopez (FRA) crashed in the final, finished 2nd but injuring his knee, a small word to wish him well for the future.
The final day was one to remember! Two Classic events after all those races previously, proved to be grueling both physically and mentally. I finished 2nd behind Amelie Wenger-Reymond (SUI) and ahead of Johanna Holzmann (GER) in the first race which felt a real achievement after a tough week. The second race I collected more penalties and finished 6th but was pleased with the day none the less. Tim finished 21st and 20th after skiing very well; Max was 18th and 21st respectably.
It is great to be back in the start gate after such a crazy year. Thank you to all organizers, sponsors and supporters for making this possible. I feel very lucky to be able to do what I am doing.
The remaining races of the FIS Telemark World Cup season have been cancelled due to the corona-virus (COVID-19). The ski resorts and pretty much everything else, have shut down entirely to reduce the spread of this outbreak. That gives time to conclude another year of work, to reflect and look ahead to the next steps.
A few seasons ago an athlete-movement took place, all athletes met to discuss the viewpoint they have, and what they foresee in the future of our sport. This formed an Athlete Working Group comprising of three athletes; myself, Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) and Matti Lopez (FRA). Since then we have attended FIS Congress events in Greece, Croatia and Switzerland doing our best to represent the athlete viewpoint.
There is an official organisation under FIS (International Ski Federation) called the Athletes Commission, and until very recently this only included athletes from Olympic disciplines. I am very pleased to announce that a further two athletes have been added, myself on behalf of Telemark and another British athlete; Jan Farrell from Speed Skiing. This is important as it gives a voice to athletes across a broader range of disciplines. We can share and exchange our experiences to develop further.
Whilst the competition circuit has functioned far from ideally, I managed to collect three World Cup podiums exceeding the former tally to hold a new British record. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that supports, from team and personal sponsors, to family, boyfriend, friends, team-mates, coaches, committees, federations, organisers, and many more.
It has been a while since my last blog, so I thought I would start with a brief summary of what we have been doing! The summer was spent in Ipswich, England, catching up on my studies at the University of Suffolk and preparing physically for the World Cup season.
The GB Telemark training kicked off in a different style this year, we decided to have a team building camp in Brittany, surfing and learning new skills.
We soon returned to the slopes to start technical training, as always, the team is based in Hintertux, Austria, staying at Tux Diamant in Lanersbach.
This season is slightly different for me as it is the first year I have my boyfriend, Will, with me for the winter. He can telemark now (just so you know).
The first races of the season were FIS Cup events (a series of races running alongside the World Cup) with day-one, a Sprint, held in Villars sur Ollons, Switzerland. I finished in 5th and British new-comer, Bonnie Price finished 16th in her first international race. The British boys were also on good form with Louis Hatchwell in 16th, Sion Bingham in 17th, Alec Dixon in 23rd, Ben Emsley in 25th, and Colin Dixon in 26th place.
That same weekend, on day-two, we raced another Sprint held in Les Houches, France which was a British hosted organisation. That day I finished in 2nd, and Bonnie Price finished in 17th place. The field was incredibly strong, with many World Cup athletes present, including the Germans, Swiss, British, French, Russians and Czechs. Louis Hatchwell placed 14th, with Sion Bingham in 19th, Ben Emsley in 21st, Alec Dixon in 22nd, Colin Dixon in 25th and Jack Emsley in 28th place.
Louis Blyth, one of our Development Team athletes finished 8th in the overall French Cup ranking, the results I have presented are based on the FIS Cup ranking (it was a dual purpose event to allow all ages to compete).
It was also great to have Leggett Immobilier, GB Telemark, sponsor on place to support us.
The British (Army, and Navy) Championships were held in Pralognan-La-Vanoise, France. The organisation was impeccable and the standard of skiing was higher than ever. Thank you so much to the British Army for putting on such a great event. The first race kicked off with the Giant Slalom (GS), a discipline now extinct from World Cup competition. This was followed by the Sprint, and then the Classic discipline.
The overall results for the women were as follows;
The overall results for the men were as follows;
If you would like more information or to see the full results, click here. The team is bigger than ever, there is a lot of young talent coming through with the likes of Harry Fletcher, Louis Blyth, Sissi Compton and many more!
The British hosted event was the opening World Cup race of the season. It was amazing to have so many Brits in town supporting us, including my parents and god-parents! The two-days were both Sprint events and on day-one I finished in 4th, Louis Hatchwell in 20th, Ben Emsley in 22nd, Sion Bingham in 24th, Jack Emsley in 26th, Colin Dixon in 28th with DNF (did not finish) from Jasper Taylor and Alec Dixon. New-comers, Bonnie Price and Max Carnegie were the race forerunners.
Day-two of competition I found myself on the World Cup podium in 3rd place, this took my World Cup medal tally to 30 which means I now hold a British record. You can read an article with Planet Ski here and News Chain here. Bonnie Price finished 19th in her first World Cup event, Sion Bingham in 22nd, Jasper Taylor in 23rd, Alec Dixon in 24th, Louis Hatchwell in 26th, Ben Emsley in 29th, Jack Emsley in 32nd and Colin Dixon in 33rd place.
We then moved on to Samoens, France for the French hosted leg of the tour. There we skied two back-to-back Classic events, followed by a Sprint. I placed 6th, Jasper Taylor scored his first top-20 of the season with 18th, Sion Bingham 24th, Jack Emsley finished 25th, Colin Dixon 27th and DNF Ben Emsley who suffered a huge crash on course.
In day-two of Classic racing, I had more success finishing 2nd, always good to be back on the podium. Jasper Taylor placed 19th, Sion Bingham 22nd, Ben Emsley 23rd, Jack Emsley 24th with Colin Dixon in 26th position.
In the final race, I finished 5th, Jasper Taylor skied very well into 17th, Jack Emsley scored a personal best (PB) of 21st place. Unfortunately it was a DNF for Ben Emsley, Colin Dixon, Sion Bingham who all happened to fall on the same gate, all boys walked away injury free.
Thank you to Leggett Immobilier, team sponsor, for coming along to support us on location. It was also great to have Irish athlete; Max Screawn, join us for the duration of these races as one of our own! He made an awesome World Cup debut with 21st, 28th and 19th place finishes, very respectable.
Now the tour travels on to Rjukan, Norway for the next round of competitions!
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
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.
Jasmin Taylor, Louis Hatchwell, Tara Parks wearing Dare 2b ‘Welcome to our Mountain’
Tara Parks, Jasmin Taylor in Dare 2b
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
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!
I have returned home from the British section of the Telemark World Cup held in Rauris in Austria. Sadly, because of a lack of snow the Slovenian round of the World Cup has been cancelled.
World Cup Opening Ceremony – Drawn Bib No 3
The first day of racing was the Sprint where ended in 5th position after the first run but moved down to 6th place after the second run after gathering too many penalties at the jump.
(R to L) Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Simone Oehrli (SUI), Ida Elisabeth Gresaker (NOR), Amelie Reymond (SUI), Mathilde O. Ilebrekke (NOR), Argeline Tan (FRA)
Second day of racing was a long Classic where I finished in 8th position.
On the Edge
Following my results last season and in the British Championships earlier this month I am delighted to announce my most recent sponsorship deal with Trowers & Hamlins.
Trowers & Hamlins is an international law firm with offices throughout the UK, Middle East and South East Asia. It is with their support that I have been able to improve my training and my equipment which all makes a massive difference on results and it feels great to compare with other seasons knowing you’ve done better than the year before.
Since returning home to Les Houches (Chamonix Mont-Blanc) I have been catching up on recovery, training and having had a “big dump” of snow last night – myself, coach (Seb Mansart) and training buddy Clément Bergeretti headed up the mountain to enjoy today’s powder.
Seb Mansart & Clément Bergeretti hitting the powder
I am delighted to announce Landwood Group have kindly agreed to become a major sponsor. Landwood are a leading northern-based chartered surveyors, asset managers and auctioneers with offices in Manchester, Birmingham, London and Leeds.
Their Managing Director, Mark Bailey’s decision to sponsor me has given a massive boost to my season and gone a long way to covering costs for training and World Cup races.
I am currently at home in Les Houches, training for the next round of World Cup races in Les Contamines next weekend. I have upgraded my equipment with help from telemark expert, Jeremy Fournier. Jeremy has a specialist telemark shop (TAITO TELEMARK) in Chamonix and prepares all my Kneissl ski mountings. As part of my fitness training I spent a day this week hiking near Anncey with telemark friends – Clément Bergeretti (French Team) and Olle Collberg (Swedish Team).
Take a look at our pictures.
I took just over an hour and a half but we climbed over 800 vertical meters. The view from the top of Mont Baron.
Olle Collberg from the Swedish Telemark Ski Team enjoying the Scenery.
Before Christmas last year, Neil Mcquoid (from Racer-Ready Magazine) sent me an application to enter Stylist Magazine‘s “Fair Game Awards” (a campaign to raise awareness in women’s sport). The application involved explaining my story and trying to convince them why to choose me. By winning, we would receive a £2000 bursary and kit from Adidas, an on-going relationship for many years to come with Stylist Magazine, as well as many other great things like; photos, lunch and business cards – see www.moo.com for those! Anyway, Ian Findlay from SnowSport England and Dave Edwards from BSS both received an email from me asking for a governing body reference. I sent it to both of them thinking I’d use the first one that came back as I’m pushed for time but they were both very punctual and I ended up sending 2 applications.
Time passed and then earlier in the season, I had a phone call from Stylist Magazine explaining that I had won! It’s such an incredible honor and I feel so proud to have been chosen (as well as 5 other girls – who you can see below). We were all told that there were 1000’s of applicants which makes it all even more overwhelming.
Thank you so much to Stylist Magazine and Adidas for selecting me as well as Neil, Ian and Dave.
Meet the winners of the Fair Game awards. Introducing the five athletes to receive a £2,000 bursary from adidas…
From left: Fair Game judge Guin Batten from the Youth Sport Trust (which supported Stylist’s Fair Game bursary), Stylist acting editor Susan Riley, Jasmin, Fran, Nekoda, Nicky Waller from Adidas and Adele (Alex was away training)
This is the world-wide brand – Surefoot and yesterday we were lucky enough to have an appointment in the London store. Surefoot provide customer foot-beds and liners for ski boots (and many other types of foot wear) and they are renown for their expertise.
The London Surefoot Store
Jack getting his feet measured in over 400 places!
Getting very Technical…
Thank you message from Andrew Clarke from the previous years in the “Best of FIS World Cup 2009/10″ book
(from left to right, top to bottom) Phil Lau , Phil Lau, Mattias Wagenius, Chris Lau, Amélie Reymond and Andrew Clarke
Finally all finished after several hours in the shop! Love them, thank you so much to Surefoot!
Thank you so much to the technicians for the liners, being so helpful, patient and welcoming. Now we look forward to skiing them in! AND also another big thank to Mountain Boot Company for providing the Senior Telemark Ski Team with Scarpa boots!
If you want to visit the store you can visit the Surefoot website HERE, follow them on Twitter HERE and see their Facebook page HERE.
BBC Radio Suffolk
I was on BBC Suffolk Radio earlier this week discussing the coming Telemark World Cup season and you can listen to it on I-player approximately 28 minutes in (the link is below)!!
Today I attended the Rotary Club of Ipswich East and delivered a speech on my skiing career. The club have very kindly donated some money towards my season and for that I am very grateful! Below there is a picture of me and the president with my ‘Rotary coaster’ and cheque. A massive thank you once again to everyone at the club, it really does mean a lot.