Tagged ‘Sissi Compton’

A Season Like No Other!

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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.

The Replacement World Cup

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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.

End of Season

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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 training and competing, I am also working my way through my BASI (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) qualifications, aiming to achieve the highest level. This season, I have been working for the ESF (Ecole du Ski Francais) in Les Houches which has been an amazing experience.

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.

GB Telemark Dinner

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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)

There was a raffle and silent auction with prizes from team sponsors; Dare 2b, Point 6 and VOLA, and team supporters; Reusch, Tux Diamant, Ski Bartlett, Christopher Lees, Moose, George’s Surf School, British Ski & Snowboard, Montrachet Fine Wines, Sonia and Norman Chessman from The Place, Young People’s Company and Kate Emsley.

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!

Victory in Slovenia

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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) Photos by lkjsdhflakshf

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 off the jump, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Jasmin Taylor in the Sprint, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Jasmin Taylor in the Sprint, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham off the jump in Oberjoch, Germany, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham off the jump, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham on course, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Sion Bingham on course, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Ben Emsley jumping, 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

The spectators in Oberjoch, Germany, photo by Bernhard Krempl

Singing with the French National Team, 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

Ben Silva on the podium in Lelex Mont Jura, France

Victory for Alec Dixon at the FIS race 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

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

Louis Hatchwell on his birthday in Oberjoch, Germany

A celebratory dinner for Louis

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 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

The winning moment! Photo by Urban Urbanc/Sportida

Just through the finish line with Johanna Holzmann (GER), 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 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)

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!

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