Written by British Ski and Snowboard
Last week saw a historic end to a fantastic 2014/15 season for British Ski and Snowboard, as Billy Morgan landed the world’s first Quad Cork on a snowboard. After the success of our British athletes at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in 2014, expectations for this winter season were high across all of the snowsports disciplines and the British Ski and Snowboard Teams didn’t disappoint.
Winter 2014/15 delivered many highlights, including podiums at World Championships and international competitions for the GB Park and Pipe athletes, British Alpine skier Dave Ryding challenging for top 20s on the World Cup circuit on a regular basis, top 20 World Cup results for two of our Cross Country skiers, a Bronze medal for Jaz Taylor in the Telemark World Championships, some outstanding performances at Europa Cup level in Moguls and Aerials, and a PB for Jan Farrell as he changed Speed Skiing classes.
For the skiers in the GB Park and Pipe Team, Katie Summerhayes had one of the performances of the season to take the Silver medal at the World Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Championships in Kreischberg. She then topped this with two Silver medals at last week’s AFP World Champs in Whistler in Slopestyle and Big Air. After a season of pushing limits and battling a hip injury, James ‘Woodsy’ Woods had a fantastic end to the winter, also taking Silver in Big Air at the AFP World Champs. Earlier in the year, Woodsy took 5th at the X Games in Aspen with the ‘run of his life’. GB Park and Pipe skier James Machon achieved a career best this season, with his 8th place in Ski Halfpipe at the World Champs in Kreischberg.
It has also been a monumental season for the rising stars for the GB Park and Pipe team. 17-year-old Molly Summerhayes, sister of Katie, had a phenomenal result, taking the Ski Halfpipe title at the World Junior Freestyle Championships in March. Teammate, 16 year old Isabel Atkin was also turning heads with a third place finish in the European Freeski Open in Laax against a strong international field.
For the GB Park and Pipe snowboarders, Billy Morgan stole the show this season with his quad cork, which became an internet sensation last week. There were also impressive results from 17-year-old Rowan Coultas who made two World Snowboard Tour podiums, finishing 2nd at the Slovakia Snowboard Festival Big Air and 3rd in the Red Bull Nanshan Open.
Snowboarder Aimee Fuller also secured a podium finish at Spring Battle at Absolut Park where she took Bronze. Jenny Jones has had a whirlwind season since her Bronze medal in Sochi over a year ago, and competed towards the end of the season at the iconic Nine Queens event alongside the world’s best female ski and snowboard stars, including Aimee Fuller and Katie Summerhayes.
In Alpine Skiing, Dave Ryding showed the rest of the world he is a force to contend with on the elite circuit, after two top 20 finishes in Slalom World Cups – 16th in Madonna di Campiglio and 17th in Are, and three more top 30s. He is now in the top 100 overall in the world, hoping to start next winter season in the top 30 seeds for Slalom.
The Delancey U21 Alpine squad athletes have also had some outstanding performances in both North America and Europe. Jack Gower impressed on the Nor-Am speed circuit this year scoring his best ever FIS point results in Downhill which should put him inside the top 5 in the world for his age group. Charlie Raposo also performed well in the US with career best results in the Nor-Am GS races and podiums in FIS races at the beginning of the season.
Delancey British Ladies Giant Slalom and Slalom Champion Alex Tilley has had a fantastic season, improving her GS World Ranking from over 200 at the start of the year to a remarkable 31st as we round off the season. Alex performed well at the World Alpine Championships, with her best result coming with a 24th in the Slalom. Team mate Charlie Guest had a tricky season after breaking her back at the end of 2014, but she made a remarkable comeback to compete in the World Alpine Championships in Colorado in February.
Delancey U21 British Alpine Team athlete, Cara Brown made her World Cup debut in the Super G in Val d’Isere, with a 36th place finish and had the honour of forerunning the men and women’s downhill at the recent World Cup Finals in Meribel. After some strong performances over the season, she rounded it off by claiming the Overall Women’s Delancey British National Championship title in Tignes earlier this month. Rising star Max Baggio took the overall Delancey British National Alpine Championships title, winning the Victor Ludorum Trophy.
In Cross Country, Andrew Musgrave has far exceeded anything ever achieved by a British Nordic athlete when he was the fastest skier in a World Cup race at the Tour de Ski and he also finished 3rd in the Norwegian Championships in the 10km in late March. Musgrave is considered one of the brightest talents on the World Cup circuit at present and is being closely followed by teammate Andrew Young who is having his best season to date, including a top 20 finish in a World Cup race in January in Val Mustair.
Telemark skier Jaz Taylor pulled out a fantastic performance at the Telemark World Championships in Steamboat Springs to win a Bronze medal, Great Britain’s first ever at a Telemark World Championship event. This was soon after her return to skiing from a knee injury. Jaz also performed well on the World Cup circuit, including a 4th place in Hintertux in December and a 5th place in Thyon in early March.
Aerials skier Lloyd Wallace has had the season of his life after landing his first ever triple in Aerials competition in 2014 and went on to finish 2nd place in the overall Europa Cup standings (the first time we have ever had a British athlete in the top 3). Lloyd then claimed Bronze at the World Junior Freestyle Championships in Valmalenco.
British Moguls Skier Ellie Koyander has also had an incredible season on the Europa Cup Circuit, finishing in 2nd place of the overall cup standings. Ellie had a phenomenal seven podium finishes this year including a win in the Dual Moguls in Are, Sweden, the final Europa Cup of 14/15.
Jan Farrell, British Speed Skier, beat his own personal best result earlier this month with a time of 231.660km/h, 20km/h over his previous record, narrowly missing out on the British record. This rounded off Jan’s first FIS World Cup season in S1 category, in which he finished 6th.
In Snowboard Cross, Zoe Gillings had a season of regeneration, focusing on her fitness and training. Zoe did return to competition towards the end of the season, however, taking 1st and 3rd at the Europa Cup Snowboard Cross races in Lenk in late March. Stephanie Gehrig’s best results of the season were a 16th place in the World Cup in Veysonnaz and a 13th place in the Europa Cup in Bad Gastein.
For the British Ski Cross team, Liz Stevenson made it through to the World Cup Finals in Megeve, claiming 11th position in the final race of the World Cup season with Pam Thorburn just missing out on the Finals. Ed Drake started the year with some consistent results but his season was cut short after a crash at the Arosa Ski Cross World Cup which left him out of action. Emily Sarsfield spent the season recovering from knee surgery, and is hoping to make it back to full fitness for next winter.
Great Britain took a strong team to European Youth Olympic Festival in Vorarlberg and Lichtenstein in January with Cross Country’s Duncan Gibb being nominated as Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony. Kirsty Guest brought in Alpine’s best result with a top 30 in Giant Slalom and SBX’s Glen Ironside finished in 13th place; a great first taste of the Olympic experience for all of these athletes.
British snowsports results from the 2014/15 season show how far British Ski and Snowboard has come since its formation in 2010 after the demise of Snowsports GB ahead of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The national governing body for snowsports in the UK now has a strong team delivering on performance as well as key funding from UK Sport for some of their programmes. British Ski and Snowboard wouldn’t be where they are without sponsor Delancey who helped them form in 2010 and have continued their support ever since, now acting as Headline Sponsor across all disciplines. British Ski and Snowboard are also indebted to sponsors UVEX for their generous support of money and world leading safety equipment