Tagged ‘The M Equipment’

The World Cup, COVID and a Podium

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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.

Fingers crossed for more races very soon!

An Autumnal Update

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We are very proud and excited to announce that Leggett Immobilier, an award winning estate agency based in France, are sponsoring the GB Telemark Ski Team this season, look out for their logo on our van and clothing. They have a great team of individuals working for them and they are in fact recruiting, you can read more about their ethos here.

The happy team at Leggett Immobilier

In other news, the British skiing federation, formally known as British Ski and Snowboard, have now re-branded and changed their name to GB Snowsport. The branding is now consistent across all disciplines. You can follow our team channels on /gbtelemark or @gbtelemark.

We, the British, along with athletes from the Czech Republic, USA and Russia have been commuting to and from the Austrian glacier; Hintertux, every other week since the end of September for a week of training at a time. The conditions have been variable, with hard ice to high winds, snow fall and even the odd, perfect blue sky day. We had the luxury once again of staying at Tux Diamant, a lovely chalet in Lanersbach owned by British brewer, Tim Jones. Tim runs his brewery from the basement of the chalet; the beer is called Tux 1280 and has a piste related scheme.

Very icy conditions on the first training camp, the Blossom ski’s were sharp!

Blue skies and grey snow! Awesome to have US athletes; Cory Snyder and Tanner Visnick with us this season, as well as many new comers…

Chatting with team-mate, Jasper Taylor, about skiing stuff no doubt

When you ski on a glacier in October, it starts to get much busier…

Louis Hatchwell and I, joined on the chairlift by the Russian and Czech athletes…

A new outfit from Dare 2b – thanks for supporting the team once more!

International training camp with athletes from the USA, Czech Republic, Russia and Great Britain

Since the beginning of summer, I have been in talks with Nino Severino, about a new concept for sport in Ipswich. Nino is now the founder and director of ‘The Hub – University of Suffolk’ where elite athletes, of all ages, in the area can receive and benefit from many services related to sport science. I am currently a student at the University of Suffolk and already work with Manos Georgiadis, my psychologist and Marco Beato, my physiologist. If Manos and Marco are anything to go by, this really will be one of the leading facilities in the country as Nino plans to offer everything from sport agents to social media support, fitness testing, movement screening and much more.

Some of the sport science team and athletes from The Hub

Some of the athletes from The Hub, posing for a photo at the Ipswich Town Football Club

Nino Severino, from The Hub with Graeme Mac, from BBC Suffolk

Participating in vision and motion testing with Jose Tomas

I was nominated for the Suffolk Sports Personality Award, which is run by Suffolk Sport. The nominations were reduced down to 8, we were then put up for a public vote to reduce this number to 3, I was very pleased to learn I had been selected. Zoe Newson, a power-lifter and Harriet Welham, a basketball player, were also shortlisted so I was very proud to be in this mix. It was an even bigger surprise when I actually won.

The Suffolk Sport Awards

Chatting to Graeme Mac, from BBC Suffolk on the stage

Manos Georgiadis, from the University of Suffolk and Alasdair Jones, from Colchester Physiotherapy

There might be a small height discrepancy! Photo credits and thanks to Keith Mindham

I am absolutely chuffed to have won and thank you to everyone that voted and supported the event, including sponsor Harrod Sport.

After the Suffolk Sport Awards, we commuted to the glacier for one final camp and we ended the week with a telemark test event. The contest format differed from usual in that there was no timing, but positive points given for telemark, rather than penalties for not having the telemark position. There were 4 jump lines where the furthest jump earned more points and a timed skate section which was converted into points as well. Essentially, you had to ski fast enough to jump a long way and carry speed into the loom and then skate, ski with good technique and skate fast. It turns out that I collected the most points and won the event. It was also great to see so many kids from Andorra, Spain and Russia alongside World Cup athletes from Norway, France and the USA. There were a total of 41 competitors, from 8 nations and with FreeHeeler festival running alongside, there were many telemark skiers on the glacier which is always great to see. Again, thank you to event sponsor; Tux 1280, hosts; Tux Finkenberg and Hintertux Glacier and all the organisers and volunteers involved.

Over the finish line! Photo credits and thanks to Tim Jones

Having a lot of fun! Photo credits and thanks to Tim Jones

Goggles off! Photo credits and thanks to Tim Jones

It was also lovely to have my parents there, they are not often on place for training so this was a special occasion! My Dad took photos throughout the day of the contest, you can find more of his images here and some of my favourites below.

Julien ‘Pingu’ Annequin, French National Team Coach with Sebastien Mansart, British National Team Coach. Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Neil Dixon, making it happen… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

On course… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Colin Dixon (GBR); Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Barnaby Hodge (GBR); Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Skating with Seb watching on… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

The ladies podium and top 10 with Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA) and Goril Strom Eriksen (NOR)! Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

The guys podium and top 10 with Trym Nygaard Loken (NOR), Sivert Hole (NOR) and Raphael Mahlknecht (ITA)! Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

Thanks to Tux 1280 for sponsoring the event; Argeline and I were happy… Photo credits and thanks to Mark Taylor

I now need to get organised for the winter season before heading out to France, there’s a lot to do…