Six excited Moreton girls and two members of staff set off from Manchester for the British Schoolgirls’ Ski Races last week. First stop was a visit to Champoluc, a lovely traditional town in the Monterosa region of Italy. Two days of strenuous race training followed under the watchful gaze of an Italian instructor provided by Ski2. Heavy snow left plenty of fresh powder and the skies cleared to give unbroken blue skies and sunshine. During their training time all the girls worked to improve their technique, some not having tackled giant slalom gates or a slalom course before. It was a steep learning curve but all the girls rose to the challenge and they left for Flaine more confident in their abilities.
The 59th British Schoolgirls’ Races attracted over 160 girls from 35 schools. Girls from all levels of ski racing – those relatively new to racing, to some of Great Britain’s rising stars took part in the event hosted by the Ladies Ski Club. Moreton Hall has a particularly special link to the races as Lara’s grandmother cofounded the event and brought the races to Flaine in the 1950s.
Blue skies prevailed again on the final day of race training in Flaine. The girls further improved their technique and were able to tackle longer giant slalom and slalom course on the training piste. The girls were really starting to turn the corner from recreational skiers to determined races as fears and anxieties were overcome.
The first race day started at 6.45am and the girls were on the race piste for 7.30am in the freezing cold ready to inspect the course. As the sun slowly inched into view Charlie took to the start gate first for the giant slalom she “Whizzed down the mountain having heaps of fun”! All the girls in both the A and B team had two clear runs down the course with super individual times recorded. The first day finished with the head to head parallel slalom. This is a knock-out competition where three racers from each team race in turn in a relay system against another school. This is a fast and furious race and for many the highlight of the two-day competition. The Moreton A team beat Benenden A team in the first round but were unfortunately beaten by a strong Downe House team in their second race so did not progress to the latter stages.
Slalom was the focus of the second day of racing. A tricky course made for a tough competition but the girls again put up gutsy performances to secure credible times. The racing came to a close with the second parallel slalom in which the B team were narrowly piped on the line in their first round race. Prize giving was followed by a lovely meal in a traditional French restaurant with the teams, parents, supporters and Ski2 staff.
The overall results were:
Georgie 9th – U18 unregistered
Charlotte 3rd – U16 unregistered
Georgie 21st – U16 unregistered
Lara 31st U16 unregistered
Nell 13th - U14 unregistered
Alice 29th - U14 unregistered
Georgie – unplaced (did not finish run one)
Charlotte – unplaced (did not finish run two)
Georgie 7th – U16 unregistered
Lara 27th U16 unregistered
Nell – 9th U14 unregistered
Alice - 24th U14 unregistered