6 February 2023
Miss Alison May, Teacher of PE
Woldingham certainly made its mark at the British Schoolgirls’ Races in Flaine, France, 29-31 January. In ideal conditions for ski racing, good snow and freezing temperatures, our six-strong team - Oksana v R (captain), Sophie V-E, Grace C, Alice M, Mimi G and Megan v R - rose to the challenges of the giant slalom and slalom courses to achieve Woldingham’s best-ever results in these championships.
The team was very fortunate to be trained and mentored by François Simond, a former World Cup and Winter Olympian for France. With one day of race training, followed by two days of competition, it was a packed programme.
Congratulations to all our skiers for competing with such competence, positivity and attack, whether they were in the first half of the running order and able to take advantage of the good course conditions, or had to face the challenges of the more rutted and icier later runs.
|Giant Slalom:||Slalom:||Combined results:|
|Megan 6th (U14)||Oksana 1st (U16)||Oksana 1st (U16)|
|Oksana 2nd (U16)||Grace 22nd (U16)||Grace 17th (U16)|
|Grace 21st (U16)||Alice 25th (U16)||Alice 20th (U16)|
|Alice 23rd (U16)||Sophie 9th (U18)||Sophie 9th (U18)|
|Mimi 29th (U16)|
|Sophie 13th (U18)|
In the head-to-head knockout A team parallel slalom event, Oksana, Megan and Sophie won their first race convincingly, and were only just pipped to the flag by Mayfield in the second round.
Congratulations to all our skiers, especially to Oksana for winning the Junior Slalom Cup (1st non-registered skier U16) and the New Flaine Cup (1st non-registered U16 combined), and to Oksana, Megan and Sophie for their bronze medals for finishing in 3rd place in the Giant Slalom non-registered team event.
All our skiers were a pleasure to take to the Championships and a credit to the school.
Flaine was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I found the courses harder in slalom than giant slalom (GS) because of gates, such as verticales and bananas, which made it more confusing. On the other hand, the GS course was not easy either - you had to find the exact balance between speed and carving. I learned from François that to improve I needed to put more pressure on my legs so instead of nice carving turns, to go straight for the gate, and not to wait but just go into it. This meant much more pressure on the outside ski but also much more speed.
I loved the feeling of competing on the course and I also loved the parallel races and my teammates’ faces and screams when we got through the first round.
Being selected as one of the six skiers representing Woldingham at the British Ski Race Championships in Flaine is the biggest highlight of my years at Woldingham so far. I learnt so much from our instructor, François, and loved all the racing, even in the really cold and icy conditions. I am so proud that, as a group, we achieved the best-ever results for Woldingham at the Championships. I also loved getting to know the rest of the team; we all got on so well and it was great to have their support. I would like to thank Miss May for all her hard work in planning our trip and both her and Miss Chan for escorting us. Our success would not have been possible without them. I would love to be on Team Woldingham for 2024.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Flaine. My skiing definitely improved and François’ lessons were very beneficial and fun. Everyone was so supportive and it was really nice to be back in the mountains. I can't wait to try out for next year.
François was an amazing coach and really helped me improve my technique. My favourite part was celebrating with the team after prize giving.
I loved the ski races. The trip was so much fun and I made really close friends. The snow was amazing and I already miss it so much – I can’t wait to go again. Miss Chan’s cooking in the evenings was a highlight too.
I really enjoyed the experience of ski racing. François was an amazing coach, helping train us on the first day. It was great making new friends throughout the competition.