Tagged ‘World Championships’

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.

The World Championships

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The World Championship event kicked off in style with an opening ceremony in the valley of Rjukan, Norway. The atmosphere was electric and athletes proudly collected their bibs for the next day of racing.

The opening ceremony in Rjukan, Norway. Photo credits and thanks to Nikita Isaev

The athletes gathering at the opening ceremony. Photo credits and thanks to VM Telemark Rjukan

The bib draw. Photo credits and thanks to VM Telemark Rjukan

The British Telemark Ski Team; (L to R) Sion Bingham, Louis Hatchwell, Jasmin Taylor, Colin Dixon, Ben Emsley. Photo credits and thanks to Neil Dixon

The weather conditions were very changeable and the first event, the Classic, was postponed by over 4 hours because of high winds. We eventually set off during the late afternoon. Sadly, I am not proud of my performance in this race, I crossed my skis entering the second skiing section, though managed to recover my balance and continue. I lacked concentration, and my skiing that day was good enough for 7th place. Sion Bingham finished in 29th, Louis Hatchwell in 30th, Ben Emsley in 32nd, Colin Dixon in 35th and Jack Emsley in 38th place.

Preparing to race! Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

The next day was the Team Parallel Sprint; Great Britain faced Norway and lost out. Switzerland went on to take the victory, followed by Germany, France and Norway. Great Britain finished in joint 5th position.

The start gate. Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

Competing against Guro Helde Kjolseth. Photo credits and thanks to Norwegian Telemark

The podium for the Team Parallel Sprint. Photo credits and thanks to Christoph Frank

The following day, I was first out of the start gate with bib 1, though I cannot say that I was the first to cross the finish line. I gave it my best but I crashed out after the jump.

The British and French coaches setting the course. Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

Despite taking a gate to the face, Sion Bingham recorded his best ever World Championship finish of 24th place along with Ben Emsley who finished in 26th, Colin Dixon in 31st and Jack Emsley in 34th position. Louis Hatchwell finished in 33rd place. A true representation of how the British are going from strength to strength.

Sion Bingham styling a tisse in his nose after his nose bleed. Photo credits and thanks to Nitika Isaev

The final day of racing was the Parallel Sprint, qualification was not as I expected. I crashed again, this time before the jump and therefore did not qualify. Louis Hatchwell was the only British athlete to make the head-to-head heats; Louis successfully passed the first heat and finished the competition in joint 9th place.

Louis Hatchwell on course. Photo credits and thanks to Tommy Storoygard

Congratulations to the new World Champions; Amelie Wenger Reymond (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER), Trym Nygaard Loken (NOR), Stefan Matter (SUI), Philippe Lau (FRA) and medalists; Martina Wyss (SUI), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA), Jure Ales (SLO), Sivert Hole (NOR), Bastien Dayer (SUI) and Noe Claye (FRA).

The Parallel Sprint podium with (L to R) Amelie Wenger Reymond (SUI), Johanna Holzmann (GER), Argeline Tan Bouquet (FRA). Photo credits and thanks to Tommy Storoygard

The Parallel Sprint podium with (L to R) Bastien Dayer (SUI), Philippe Lau (FRA), Noe Claye (FRA), Benedikt Holzmann (GER). Photo credits and thanks to Tommy Storoygard

Good bye to retiring athletes; Philippe Lau (FRA), Guro Helde Kjolseth (NOR) and Simone Oehrli (SUI). It has been a pleasure to compete with and learn from them over the years.

I cannot say that these are the championships or results I expected, though I am certain this will teach me a vital lesson I need to learn in order to make the next step. Despite my disappointment, it is always a pleasure to be on the mountain with skis on my feet competing against the best in the world. Thank you to my boyfriend, family, friends, team-mates, coaches, competitors, committees, federations, team and personal sponsors; without whom this journey would not be possible. Now it is time to concentrate on my ski instructor qualifications, spend some time on snow with loved ones and catch up on my university work.

The sun setting in Rjukan, Norway. Photo credits and thanks to Nikita Isaev

If you wish to catch up on all the racing, you can visit the live-stream here and see all the results on the FIS website here.

 

World Cup Finals and World Championships

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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 4th place in the overall World Cup Classic ranking, which is another personal best result.

Louis on course (Photo credits and thanks to GORAN KROSELJ)

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

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 nations preparing for the opening ceremony in Montchavin

The GB Telemark Ski Team with the Czech Telemark Ski Team

The GB Telemark Ski Team with the Czech Telemark Ski Team being serious as always…

On stage at the World Championship opening ceremony

On stage for bib collection at the World Championship opening ceremony

Fireworks

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 race piste in La Plagne

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)

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

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

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!

World Championships 2015

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Following the traditional opening ceremony and public bib draw in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, I was starting number 7 for the Sprint race. The hill changed dramatically in pitch throughout, with a difficult jump dropping competitors into the steepest section. I finished both runs in third place, achieving a World Championship bronze medal for Great Britain. 

World Championship Bronze Medallist - Jasmin Taylor

(L to R) Mathilde Ilebrekke NOR, Amelie Reymond SUI, Jasmin Taylor GBR

The Team Dual Sprint and Qualification for the individual Dual Sprint followed the next day. The team was paired against Germany and I was racing Johanna Holzmann. In the first run, we were neck and neck entering the loom but I managed to pull away during the skating section to win. Johanna skied well during the second run and entered the loom before me; again I made up time on the skate and finished a few feet behind and managed to win the round overall. It was great to have Junior British Telemark team member, Sion Bingham, racing in Steamboat too. We needed one more British racer to have had a complete team competing. Germany won 2 of the 3 rounds and went through to take third position.

I had a lot of fun racing Johanna meeting very closely in the loom!

I had a lot of fun racing Johanna meeting very closely in the loom! (Photo credit to Ayano Hata from Japanese Telemark)

During the Junior Dual Sprint races, I spent time with Andrew Clarke (FIS Chairman) in the commentary box which was a lot of fun. In my opinion, he really added to the live streaming which made for even better viewing for everyone back home.

The final day, the Classic, was another tough, very long race at high altitude in the dry Rocky Mountain air. I finished in 7th place after a good technical descent and a tortuous uphill skate at the finish.  Places 5 to 7 were all within a second of each other.

I would like to say a massive thank you to my fantastically supportive sponsors, coaches, team, family, friends and everyone that makes it possible. A big thank you to the McKinstry family for welcoming me to their home – I’ve had the best time ever. 

Enjoy the pictures! You can also catch up on all the racing here: http://new.livestream.com/TeleHo/events/3784427

The journey getting here was very long with many issues with my flights, but one massive plus was that I saw New York City.

The journey getting here was very long with many issues with my flights, but one massive plus was that I saw New York City.

World Championships in Steamboat Springs

World Championships in Steamboat Springs (Photo credit to Ayano Hata from Japanese Telemark)

The Sprint Race

The Sprint Race

(L to R) Andrew Clarke (FIS Chairman and founder of British Telemark), Jasmin Taylor (me), Seb Mansart (my coach)

(L to R) Andrew Clarke (FIS Chairman and founder of British Telemark), Jasmin Taylor (me), Seb Mansart (my coach)

What’s next? The World Cup racing starts again this Friday in Thyon, closely followed by another round in Murren (both rounds in Switzerland).

World Championships!

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Just arrived back in Les Houches after competing in my first ever World Championships in Espot, Spain. The US Team and I arrived in Barcelona straight from Oslo (World Finals) and feeling tired and needing some recuperation we enjoy the sun just before yet another day of travel on the way to Espot.

With the USA Telemark in Barcelona enjoying life!

With the USA Telemark in Barcelona enjoying life!

Traveling with the German, USA and Canadian Team to Espot

Traveling with the German, USA and Canadian Team to Espot

The World Championships (as do the World Cups) kick-off with the Opening Ceremony, but this time it was even better. All the nations gathered by their flags only to be led through the village by drummers and various another costumes to watch a massive firework display, music and to be introduced one nation at a time. Magic moments!

The Opening Ceremony in Espot

The Opening Ceremony in Espot

Enjoying Life!

Enjoying Life!

Following the US Team in procession!

Following the US Team in procession!

The racing began with the Classic and unfortunately,  I didn’t finish but it gave me chance to recover (slightly) and prepare myself for the qualification the next day. In the qualification we had 2 runs to qualify (top 8 qualify  and first run I was in 10th – wasn’t too pleased, so tried to re-focus for run 2 and managed to qualify! I was in 8th and was paired with Amelie Reymond (World Champion). She won, but it was still good experience for me.

The following day was the Team Duel Sprint and the British were paired with the French Team. I raced Laura Grenier-Soliget (good friend and room-mate for the week), she won the first run and I won the second, but overall the french were too strong and GB were knocked out.

Tough Competition! Racing Laura Grenier-Soliget from France

Tough Competition! Racing Laura Grenier-Soliget from France

The last race was the Sprint, we had bad weather conditions and personally I was feeling exhausted. Nearly 3 weeks of solid racing and traveling had taken their tole! I did my very best but messy skiing cost me too many penalty’s. I wish I could have finished on more of a high but I have to see the bigger picture and remember the good results, the struggles from this season, the amazing people and great memories that come with it. Now for some French Cups, Championships, training, fun and much needed rest!

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