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!
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!
Since the World Championships in La Plagne, I’ve taken some time to catch up on work for my studies as a part-time student, in Sport and Exercise Science, at the University of Suffolk, although still not quite there yet! There has also been several French competitions, including the French Cup Finals and French Championships. The first of these races was in Morillion which was the French Championship Sprint and I’m pleased to say that I won the race. I was also joined by my team-mates Louis Hatchwell (who finished 3rd in his category), Sion Bingham, Naila Cardwell and Ben Emsley.
On course, French Championship Sprint in Morillion
In the loom, French Championship Sprint in Morillion
I had some press coverage recently with In The Snow magazine, the Ipswich Star, the East Anglian Daily Times and on BBC Sport. This is always really helpful as telemark isn’t as well known as other skiing disciplines. We have a very successful, ever growing audience, on the live stream channels produced by Tele-Ho Productions which had over 2 million viewers through the Olympic Channel this season. I like to think all of these aspects are pushing the sport forwards and help to generate a stronger following.
Article by Nick Hope on BBC Sport
Article by Patrick Horne with In The Snow
Article by Mark Heath in the Ipswich Star
After the race in Morillion, the following weekend saw the French race circuit move to Praloup. The first day was the final French Cup of the season, it was a FIS regulated Sprint race with challenging conditions in the form of fresh snow fall and poor visibility. I won this race and I’m also really pleased for my team-mate, Ben Emsley, who achieved his first podium. Ben finished 2nd in his age category behind French team member and World Junior Champion, Guillaume Issautier. Sissy Compton, young Brit living in France and skiing the French Cup circuit, finished 1st in her age category and team-mate Naila Cardwell, finished 2nd in her age category. Alec Dixon finished 2nd in his age and 4th overall which was good enough to take 3rd place in the overall French Cup standings!
On course in Praloup
The French Cup Final in Praloup
Jasmin Taylor and Ben Emsley
The last day in Praloup was the French Championship Classic and FIS race. I finished in 2nd place overall behind double French Champion, Argeline Tan Bouquet. Ben finished in 4th position overall and again in 2nd place in his age category which is another personal best result and an awesome way to conclude his first season of telemark racing. Sissy won her category again, Naila finished 4th within her age category. Alec finished in 10th and Colin Dixon finished in 13th position overall, so all in all, a great show from the Brits!
Sissy Compton on her way down the slopes in Praloup
Ben Emsley in Praloup
I’m now enjoying some down time with friends before starting my BASI ski instructor courses and university exams. A huge thank you as always to the people making this all possible!