On Wednesday 14th December, 11 girls set off for the long trek to Les Deux Alpes, France to race in the Independent Schools Ski and Snowboard Championships. We reached our hotel in the early hours of the morning!
After a good sleep and breakfast the girls were out on the slopes being put through their paces by our ski instructor, Vincent Channel (he trains the girls that race in Flaine). Practising all the technical work required for both Giant Slalom and Slalom races that were happening in two days time. We had so much snow it was unbelievable. After two days of training in severe wind and -10 conditions we were ready for the competition. There were 16 teams registered of which only 4 teams were all girls! The rest of the teams were boys - very stiff competition.
Saturday morning dawned and with an abundance of snow, the Slalom had to be cancelled as it was deemed too dangerous to ski. The girls had the best day of fun skiing in powder snow and came back to the hotel exhausted! So that night we had to go out for Crepes at the best Creperie in town, just to revive the troops. A big thank you to Mr Wright putting up with our noise in the restaurant!
Sunday then arrived and we were in fighting spirit and ready for the Giant Slalom. The conditions were ok for the race, 87 competitors were ready to commit to the course and our first skier down was our Captain Annabel, who brought in a very good time. All 11 girls made it down the course twice in great times, giving us a respectable overall score. It was a little unnerving seeing the boys come down at such fast paces.
In the afternoon we had the parallel slalom. This is a very competitive race where you have two courses side by side and have to race another school - a knock out system.
Our team was split into an A and B team, and the poor B team got a really hard first race against Kings College 2 (boys) team. They all gave their all but we were beaten. The A team also had a tough draw but they managed to beat Kings 3 (boys), The All Stars, Arden 1 (boys). They then got into the Quarter Finals where we drew Arden 1 again. We beat them quite convincingly! We were now in the semi finals where we drew Arden 2 (boys) and we beat them! In the other semi finals it was Kings 1 v Kings 2 and Kings 2 won. The final was between us and Kings 2 (boys). The atmosphere was quite electric; Imogen had lost her voice from screaming! The whistle went and we were neck and neck all the way down with the boys, sterling performances from Iona, Isabella, Imogen, Hana and Annabel. We put up an amazing fight but lost by one metre. Sad story.
We had won silver which was a fantastic result! Gold next year.
That evening was the gala evening and presentation. The A team picked up their silver medals for the Parallel and also Annabel gained the bronze in the Giant Slalom, only 17 hundredths of a second behind the gold skier! We will chase this girl down in Flaine! Congratulations.
Well done to all girls that competed, you were fantastic and maybe next year we will dominate the boys again!