It was slightly more complicated getting into Europe for this season. Now with Brexit regulations, you need a VISA and/or resident permit which allows more than 90 days within a 180 day period; extra difficulties alongside COVID restrictions. Speaking of which, I write this from my 7th day of isolation with COVID-19 but luckily my symptoms haven’t been severe.
Once I made it to Europe, our training camps started like (almost) normal in Hintertux. We were joined by Slovenian athlete, Masa Strakl, who was also my flat-mate before injuring her knee; the worst part of sport. I am missing her and wishing her all the best for a speedy recovery.
We also had athletes from Andorra, Czech Republic and Russia join us, FIS Telemark Social Media Coordinator; Sam Decout and his son joined us for a training camp too.
Since winter has kicked in, we have been training in Les Houches and Flaine, conditions for the most part have been brilliant, but recent rain meant a cancellation (potentially postponed) FIS race in Les Houches. It has been so nice to ski at home again after missing out last year, also to be joined by many more of my teammates is a real pleasure.
My summer consisted of friends’ weddings, training, coaching in alpine and telemark both on the dry slopes and indoor slopes in the UK, and ice hockey amongst other things, so here is a photo dump to summarise…
I also graduated (finally) from the University of Suffolk with a 1st Class Bachelors Degree in Sport and Exercise Science. A special thank you to Manos Georgiadis, who is a very significant person in my life, this degree would not have been possible without him.
This season you can expect to see Tim Gough, Ben Emsley, Magnus McIntosh, Colin and Alec Dixon, Bonnie Price and Sissi Compton in the World Cup start gate, and potentially a few more familiar faces…
As always, thank you to all the sponsors, and to everyone making this possible. I am wishing everyone a Happy New Year – let’s see what 2022 brings!
The World Cup Finals were held in Thyon, Switzerland. The GB Telemark Ski Team included Alec and Colin Dixon, Timote (Tim) Gough and I for this event. Our injured team-mate, Sissi Compton, turned up to show her support and Irish athlete, Max Screawn, joined us throughout the duration of these races. The racing kicked off with a grueling Classic where I finished in 4th, Alec in 21st, Colin in 20th, Tim in 19th and Max unfortunately did not finish (DNF).
The following day and subsequently the final World Cup day (as the Parallel Sprint was unfortunately cancelled due to poor weather conditions) was the Sprint event. Here I placed 4th again, Alec in 20th, Colin and Tim unfortunately did not finish (DNF) and Max in 18th place.
I finished 5th this season in the overall World Cup ranking; 4th in Classic, 5th in Sprint and 7th in Parallel Sprint. It was not my best season but its all part of the game that is sport!
Then the snow began to fall (hence the cancellation of the last race) as we made our way to the World Championships in Melchsee-Frutt, Switzerland. Originally the event was meant to be held in Murren (also Switzerland) but they were eventually unable to hold the event due to reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We enjoyed a few powder days before racing again, not ideal race preparation but the good news was that everyone was in the same boat.
The week also included the World Junior Championships (WJC), as well as the World Championship races. The first event was the WJC Sprint where Tim finished 12th and Max in 9th place. The seniors went up to help slip the course; this is part of the true telemark spirit.
The first World Championship race was the Sprint, I finished in 7th, Alec in 11th, Colin in 18th, Tim in 19th and Max in 12th place. This is a career best for Max, Colin and Alec Dixon, and from Alec – the best ever finish in a Sprint from a British man on the world stage.
Following the Sprint, we had a qualification run for the Parallel Sprint and here, I qualified in 3rd with a solid run. I eventually finished in 5th after being knocked out by silver medal winner Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) in the semi-finals.
Alec finished in 13th, Colin in 17th, Tim in 15th and Max in 14th place. Tim and Max also competed in the WJC placing 11th (Tim, after a huge crash) and 10th (Max, after a close race).
The last race, the Classic, included two skate sections and really finished off the racing in style. I finished 5th, Alec in 11th and Colin in 12th place, both results are career best finishes in Classic for the boys! In the WJC Tim finished in 12th and Max in 8th respectably.
These were not quite the results I was hoping for, it has been a difficult season in so many ways but as always it is a pleasure to spend time on snow and even better to compete, especially with all that is going on in the world right now.
Our training buddies, the French, are losing their coach Julien Annequin. He has retired and is passing the baton to former racer, Antione Bouvier, who I am sure will also do a great job. Julien, or Pingu as I call him, will be very missed.
Now time to rest, and take stock of the season. As always, thank you to everyone making it possible, those people include team and personal sponsors, coaches and team, team-mates, committees, organisers, federations, friends and family.
A special shout out to coach, Sebastien Mansart, and his girls for allowing me to stay with them for several months, and to my boyfriend, Will, for taking a massive risk by joining me this winter.
I feel I have learnt so much, both on and off my skis. Who knew there was so much soul searching, work and investment involved in chucking yourself down a mountain.
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.
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!
GB Telemark hosted a dinner at the Cavalry and Guards Club in London to celebrate all that we have achieved so far and to thank everyone that has helped us at some point along the way. The event was hosted by my team-mate, Robbie Houstoun.
Athlete and host; Robbie Houstoun (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Athletes; Alec Dixon, Ben Silva, Sissi Compton and Jack Emsley (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Athletes; Naila Cardwell and Sissi Compton (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Athletes; Robbie Houstoun, Ben Emsley, Ben Silva and Jack Emsley (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
GB Telemark Head Coach; Sebastien Mansart (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
The evening began with drinks and an introduction from FIS Telemark Commentator; Jack Harvard Taylor and Robbie, who invited the guests into the main dining room. All athletes circulated following the starter and main course to socialise with as many of our guests as possible.
FIS Telemark Commentator; Jack Harvard Taylor with Robbie Houstoun watching on (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
An evening to remember (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
The guests arriving and listening to opening comments from Jack Harvard Taylor and Robbie Houstoun (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
We were incredibly lucky to have support from Ben Jeens-Williams, a professional producer who conducted interviews with various guests. We were also joined by Jay Norman, a very talented photographer, who took all these beautiful photos. You can see more of his work on his website here and make sure you follow him on Instagram here. Jay’s photos are also featured on an article by PlanetSKI here. We received some press coverage, written by Nino Severino, in the Ipswich Star and East Anglian Daily Times which you can read here.
Producer; Ben Jeens-Williams with Jack Harvard Taylor (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Athletes; Colin and Alec Dixon talking with newly appointed Chairman of Norwegian Telemark; Per Olav Tangen (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Colin Dixon explaining filming protocol to the Director of the Performance Hub at the University of Suffolk; Nino Severino with Producer; Ben Jeens-Williams (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
PlanetSKI Reporter; Jane Peel (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Jack narrated our evening, introducing FIS Telemark Chairman; Andrew Clarke, also former athlete and team captain. Andrew said a few words and read out a speech written by GB Telemark Chairman, Adrian Pery, who unfortunately was unable to attend.
FIS Telemark Chairman; Andrew Clarke (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Jack Harvard Taylor enjoying his dinner with CEO of the Ski Club of Great Britain; Darren Neylon (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Robbie Houstoun enjoying his dinner (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
The Cavalry & Guards Club (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
My speech (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
I gave a speech at the end of the evening, quite nerve-racking but the great atmosphere and support in the room carried me through.
Something amusing Robbie Houstoun and I (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Team Captain; Louis Hatchwell (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Marguerite Nice from the Ladies Ski Club (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Louis Hatchwell and I listening carefully (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
A beautiful setting (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Jack Harvard Taylor talking with Robbie Houstoun (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
Amazingly, we made just over £6,000 in total. I would like to thank all the guests for attending, all the sponsors and supporters for their generosity, everyone involved with GB Telemark and my teammates for their hard work – without which, this would not have been possible.
Top to bottom, left to right; Jack Emsley, Jasper Taylor, Alec Dixon, Naila Cardwell, Colin Dixon, Ben Silva, Andrew Clarke, Jack Harvard Taylor, Ben Emsley, Sissi Compton, Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor and Robbie Houstoun (Photo credits to Jay Norman Photography)
I am so proud of this team – here’s to another great winter to come!
Following the long trip back from America, the tour moved on to Oberjoch, Germany for more World Cup competitions. The first day kicked off with the Sprint where I finished in 3rd place achieving my 10th podium of the season.
The Ladies Sprint (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GRB), photos by Bernhard Krempl
Louis Hatchwell is still struggling with reoccurring injuries and took the difficult decision to not race in Germany. Sion Bingham skied hard finishing in 26th and Ben Emsley in 31st place. Jack Harvard Taylor returned to his seat in the commentary box adding his expertise and enthusiasm.
Jasmin Taylor off the jump, photo by Bernhard Krempl
Jasmin Taylor in the Sprint, photo by Bernhard Krempl
Sion Bingham off the jump, photo by Bernhard Krempl
Sion Bingham on course, photo by Bernhard Krempl
Ben Emsley jumping, photo by Bernhard Krempl
The second day saw the Dual Sprint take place, starting a little lower on the Sprint hill. Sion qualified in 25th, meeting Thomas Rufer (SUI) in the knock outs. Ben was 30th in qualification and met Bastien Dayer (SUI) in his first World Cup Dual Sprint – both Sion and Ben finished in 17th place. I finished in 4th place after racing Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) and Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) in the semi and small finals. Johanna Holzmann (GER) took the victory and our races then made it to national news coverage on German television.
The spectators in Oberjoch, Germany, photo by Bernhard Krempl
Singing with the French National Team, photo by Bernhard Krempl
Meanwhile, some FIS races took place in Lelex Mont Jura, France where many of my British team-mates were competing. Congratulations to Alec Dixon who won Saturday’s competition overall. The 2nd Brit was Colin Dixon finishing in 8th with new comers – Jack Emsley in 19th and Ben Silva in 21st also progressing fast. Ben Silva also finished 3rd in his age category – another great achievement. Sissi Compton finished 7th overall, 2nd in her age category and Naila Cardwell unfortunately did not finish (DNF).
Ben Silva on the podium in Lelex Mont Jura, France
Victory for Alec Dixon at the FIS race in Lelex Mont Jura, France
The second day of competition in Lelex saw Alec finishing in 3rd overall, Colin in 10th, Jack in 16th and Ben in 17th (3rd in his age category once more). Sissi was 6th overall, 2nd in her age and Naila 13th overall, 4th in her age category.
Colin Dixon on course in Lelex Mont Jura, France
Louis decided to return home to the UK to fully rehab his ankle but before leaving, we all celebrated Louis’s birthday in Germany. Sion also returned home due to university commitments.
Louis Hatchwell on his birthday in Oberjoch, Germany
A celebratory dinner for Louis
After Germany, we travelled on to Slovenia for the final two days of racing. Unfortunately, the first race was cancelled due to heavy snow fall.
The Sprint race was cancelled following a heavy snowfall in Krvavec, Slovenia
The final day was a Dual Sprint on the pistes of Krvavec. I qualified in 3rd place meeting Magdalena Kopecka (CZE), then Martina Wyss (SUI), then Johanna Holzmann (GER) and finally Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) in the final. I won all rounds and took my first victory in the Dual Sprint. Ben Emsley had the pleasure of racing Bastien Dayer (SUI) once more and finished in 17th place.
There was 35 minute programme, produced by TeleHo, on a Slovenian national television channel. The episode followed the official Olympic Opening Ceremony where 32% of the Slovenian population were watching – a huge percentage and phenomenal step for telemark. You can watch my edit HERE. I am now looking forward to watching the Olympic Games, good luck to everyone competing.
The winning moment! Photo by Urban Urbanc/Sportida
Just through the finish line with Johanna Holzmann (GER), photo by Urban Urbanc/Sportida
The Parallel Sprint podium in Krvavec, Slovenia with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)
The podium with (L to R) Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER)
Since the beginning of the season I have had 3 victories, 1 in each discipline; the Classic, Sprint and Dual Sprint. I have finished on the podium 11 times in 14 races across 5 different countries. It’s been a blast! The last two rounds of racing will take place in March, hosted in Norway and Switzerland. That means we have time for some much needed rest and then more training.
You can catch up on all the racing via the live-stream link HERE. Thank you as always to everyone making it happen!
What a start to the World Cup season! The races were held in Hintertux, Austria from Friday 1st until Sunday 3rd December. Proceedings began with the official training day, where competitors test the racing features, and opening ceremony where bibs are drawn publicly for the first race.
Public Bib Draw – Opening Ceremony in Hintertux
The GB Telemark Ski Team had the pleasure of training alongside CDC Performance this autumn. This ski academy is owned and run by Chemmy Alcott (now Crawford) and Dougie Crawford, former alpine British Champions and many-time Olympians. Chemmy arrived in time for the opening ceremony and was there to support the team on our first race day. Amazing to think that when I was 12 years old at the British Ski Academy, she was my hero – now here I am, racing World Cup myself with her watching me!
Chemmy Alcott and Jasmin Taylor
Getting some advice on media from Chemmy Alcott
The World Cup start wasn’t perfect – Louis Hatchwell had a crash in training and injured his ankle. He was unable to compete but joined former GB team-mate, Jack Harvard Taylor, in the commentary box. They had a lot of good feedback – you can watch all the action from the races on Tele-Ho or Tux Finkenberg. There are also many photos and videos on Facebook with Tux Finkenberg resort page and FreeHeeler magazine.
An injured Louis Hatchwell in the commentary box
The first race back, the Sprint, was a good day for me! I finished on the podium in 3rd position behind Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI) and Johanna Holzmann (GER). Team-mate, Alec Dixon, also had a great day finishing within the top 30 in 27th position.
Jasmin Taylor on course in Hintertux
Flower Ceremony in Hintertux – Johanna Holzmann (GER), Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), Jasmin Taylor (GBR)
Prize Ceremony in Hintertux
The second day of racing, also a Sprint, I finished in 5th place. Naila Cardwell had a great first run placing her in 15th position but had some issues on the second run and unfortunately did not finish. Again, Alec made the top 30 finishing in 28th place. Colin Dixon was 34th and Ben Emsley, despite crashing, finished in 37th position.
Ben Emsley on course in Hintertux
Alec Dixon across the finish line in Hintertux
The final day, the Parallel Sprint (also known as the Dual Sprint) was intense! Both myself and Alec qualified from the British team. Alec skied well but was paired against a formidable Jonas Schmid (GER), who went on to take 3rd place. I qualified in 4th position, drawing Theresa Fichtl (GER) in the first round. Theresa skied fast beating me to the loom where she crashed – fortunately she was not hurt. I therefore progressed to the next round where I met Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI), a closely fought race where I took the win, moving on to race Simone Oehrli (SUI) in the semi-finals. I then progressed to race Johanna Holzmann (GER) in the final, again another close call but Johanna took the win and I finished in 2nd place.
Jasmin Taylor (GBR) vs Beatrice Zimmermann (SUI)
Johanna Holzmann (GER) vs Jasmin Taylor (GBR)
Podium in Hintertux – Jasmin Taylor (GBR), Johanna Holzmann (GER), Simone Oehrli (SUI)
Thank you to Dare 2b and Aquatronic Group Management (AGM) for supplying this seasons kit – girls are in red and boys are in blue! There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes; from organising kit, to travel and training arrangements, committee and sponsorship meetings all in the hope of moving forwards for ourselves and the sport.
Naila Cardwell, Sebastien Mansart, Ben Emsley, Jasmin Taylor
Jasmin Taylor, Naila Cardwell, Ben Emsley, Louis Hatchwell
Thank you to all the race organisers, live-streaming production team, tourist board, coaches and athletes for making it happen! The next races will be in Pralognan La Vanoise, France – the British hosted World Cup event. Now it’s time for a short rest and then more training!
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 4thplace in the overall World Cup Classic ranking, which is another personal best result.
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
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 GB Telemark Ski Team with the Czech Telemark Ski Team being serious as always…
On stage for bib collection at the World Championship opening ceremony
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 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)
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
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!
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 (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 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
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 (Photo credits and thanks to Tux Finkenberg)
Louis Hatchwell vs Jasper Taylor (Photo credits and thanks to Tux Finkenberg)
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!
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; 3747m altitude at it’s highest
Louis Hatchwell, Sebastien Mansart, Robert Housoun, Sion Bingham, James French, Jasper Taylor, Alistair Cruz
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.
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’
It’s not long now until the opening World Cup in Hintertux, Austria. Let the count down begin!