ESSKIA English Finals – Norwich 6 – 8 October 2017

After the success at the English School Ski Association regional qualifiers in September, three of our teams headed to Norwich for the English Finals at the weekend. After leaving school at lunchtime, the team arrived at the ski slope in Norwich for a practice session to familiarise themselves with the slope in preparation for an exhilarating next two days of racing. The team then retired to their hotel overlooking the Norwich City Football pitch at Carrow Road, drawing inspiration from such a hallowed sporting ground.

There was an early start on Saturday with the U12s and U14s raring to go for the morning’s competition. The U12 team (Liam Foley, Tommy Harrison, Fred Bidwell and Adam Cornick) faced some tough competition with the Year 4’s, Liam and Tommy racing against boys up to three years older. The U14 team consisting of Johnny Kay, Theo Austin, Alex Lancaster and Luke McCool put down some strong performances resulting in silver medals meaning that the team are ranked second in England for their age group – an excellent achievement.

The afternoon saw the First Team competing in the U19 category, again with most of the team racing against boys two to three years older than them. Diaco Abrishami, Ben Hummel, Matty McCool and Daragh McHale narrowly missed out on medal places, achieving a commendable fourth place overall.

After some ski prep and a team briefing, the two senior teams headed back to the hotel for an early night ready for the Open Championships on Sunday morning with the chance to qualify for the British Finals held in November in Wales. A much tougher course was set and with all age groups competing against each other, we knew that the competition would be much tougher. With the pressure on and the boys all determined to not only complete the course but also record a fast time, a few small mistakes were made but the majority of the boys put in a strong performance. At the time of writing, the results have not yet been published and we await to hear if the teams have qualified for the British Finals.

A big thank you for valuable contributions from Mr Willatt who turned up on Saturday to show his support to the Ski Team, Emily Evans for coaching and providing race support and Mr Hindocha who excelled in his role of Gate Judge, really making it his own. A thanks must also go to the parents for their continued support on race days.

All of the boys gave their very best effort and have gained valuable experience which they will no doubt take forward into their next round of competitions.