Cross-Country – Sognefjellet, Norway
Andrew Musgrave and James Clugnet with Austria’s Mika Vermeulen
Freestyle Ski & Snowboard – Genk, Belgium
GB Snowsport are delighted to confirm that the GB Alpine Championships 2023 will take place in Tignes, France next year. Following its successful return to the calendar earlier this year, following a two year covid-enforced hiatus, the GB Alpine Championships will once again be hosted in Tignes with the provisional race programme also confirmed.
The Championships, which will run from 25 March 2023 – 6 April 2023 will once again encompass National Championships, National Junior Championships and Children’s Races, with NC and NJC races from 25 March – 2 April, and the Children’s competition from 2 April – 6 April.
Full details including the official race programme will be shared in the coming months, with race entries expected to open in late-2022.
The 2022 edition of the Championships saw skiers including Owen Vinter, Roy Steudle, Jess Anderson, and Charlie Guest all take victory in NC and NJC races.
For all the latest information on the GB Alpine Championships 2023, visit the Championships hub on the GB Snowsport website.
Header Image: Charlie Guest at the GB Alpine Championships 2022
On 14 August, Dave Ryding, Charlie Guest, Charlie Raposo, Billy Major and Laurie Taylor jointly launched a Crowdfunding Campaign to keep their World Class Programme dreams alive. Within 48 hours, more than 350 donors have raised in excess of £30,000.
To show your support, visit the British Alpine World Cup Ski Team’s GoFundMe campaign page.
On Thursday 4 August, GB Snowsport announced that UK Sport have decided to remove Great Britain’s record-breaking World Cup Alpine Team from World Class Programme funding.
This decision means that five Alpine athletes are looking at collectively finding £800k over the next 8 weeks to allow them to carry on training and keep their careers alive. Preparations for the 2022/23 World Cup tour and World Championships in Meribel-Courchevel, France in February 2023 are already underway with real medal potential which has been demonstrated over the last 12 months.
The athletes losing their programmes are:
The latter three skiers, all born in 1996, are very much at the beginning of their World Cup careers, where the peak male age is 30 and trends higher for smaller racing nations.
“With the depth and talent within British Alpine skiing at an all-time high, it’s extremely disappointing that UK sport have decided to remove this funding, for us now and future Alpine winners from GB.”
Sadly, these results are not taken into consideration by UK Sport, who have chosen to focus purely on World Championship and Olympic results in a cycle that has been dominated by a global pandemic. A small fund has been ringfenced for Dave Ryding but will not be enough to cover coaching.
This is a ‘now or never’ moment for all of the athletes involved in the Alpine programme.
“We have all gone out there onto the World stage and consistently delivered record results over the last 12 months. This is the first time in British history that this number of athletes have achieved top 30 placings in a World Cup season, and we believe this is a trend that is set to continue. We have more than enough potential to be topping podiums for the next 8 years. It was a Brit that ran the first ever slalom race, and 100 years on, we are winning. Now is British Skiing’s time!”
In light of July’s announcement by UK Sport regarding investment into GB Snowsport for the Milan-Cortina Olympic and Paralympic cycle, we have had to communicate the deeply disappointing news to our Alpine, Cross-Country and Para Nordic athletes that UK Sport have deemed the three disciplines to not be investible for World Class Programme funding.
While all three disciplines have been named for potential funding at national squad level, and UK Sport have ringfenced a minimal amount of programme funding for the Men’s Slalom programme and for Para Nordic, neither investment level is sufficient to sustain elite performance at the levels required.
This is a heavy blow to athletes, coaches, technical staff, and GB Snowsport employees who have shown enormous dedication in their efforts to grow Britain’s standing in Alpine, Cross-Country and Para Nordic skiing, not least through the exceptional on-snow performances of so many of those athletes over the past two seasons.
As a Governing Body, we have worked tirelessly to protect the continued development of our Alpine and Nordic programmes, and we fundamentally disagree with the decision not to invest further into those disciplines, particularly at a time when athletes in all three areas have been delivering some of Britain’s greatest ever results on the snow.
We are now urgently exploring all other options to continue these programmes, including new commercial partnerships, reducing costs throughout the organisation, and seeking greater efficiencies within our programmes, but we do anticipate that difficult decisions will need to be made in the coming weeks. Additionally we will be appealing against the UK Sport decisions, and will want to understand relative comparisons of funding support for other sports, whether Winter or Summer, Olympic or Paralympic.
We also know that this will be extremely dispiriting for everybody who supports and is involved with British Alpine, Cross-Country and Para Nordic Skiing at every level. We feel it is important to take this opportunity to reaffirm our continued belief in the internationally competitive potential of all three disciplines and our commitment to exploring every avenue available to us.
We are grateful to UK Sport for their continued support of our other disciplines, and expect to be able to build on the success demonstrated on snow over the past four years.
British athletes were back on snow this month as pre-season training kicked up a gear ahead of the resumption of the 2022/23 World Cup programme in October.
During a phased return to the slopes, as each discipline takes advantage of enhanced athlete testing, conditioning, and fitness work, the men’s Alpine squad were into training in Stelvio, while the Freeski and Freestyle Snowboard travelled to Genk, Belgium, for training blocks on cutting-edge Air Bag facilities and to Manchester for UK camps and screening sessions.
Meanwhile, the Ski and Snowboard Cross and Para Snowboard squads have been in Les Deux Alpes for on-snow training blocks, with Ski and Snowboard Cross also travelling into Corsica for bike camp training, while Moguls have banked dry land and water camp training as preparations for the new season ramp up. The Cross Country squad have been put through their paces in Bo, Norway, with a camp taking in the Rollerski World Cup, which saw Andrew Young take fourth place and James Clugnet fifth, with the Para Nordic squad also taking part in the British Rollerski Championships.
For others the preparations continue at home with athletes from the Moguls, Cross Country, and Ski and Snowboard Cross teams helping support Home Nations competitions and development programmes across the country.
“With pre-season now underway, it’s great to see how high motivation is among all the athletes, coaches, and support staff, especially after such a busy last year. For the first time in a long time, it feels like we’ve come out of the stresses and the challenges of managing the pandemic and the preparations for Beijing, and this year really gives us all a fresh start as we lead up to Milan-Cortina.
“We’ve got a lot of training and a lot of hard work still to come, but it’s really exciting to be counting down to the start of the new season.”
Andrew Musgrave and James Clugnet with Austria’s Mika Vermeulen
Image Credits: Jostein Vinjerui, Ben Kinnear
GB Snowsport has confirmed the 42-athlete Alpine squad which will represent Britain for the 2022/23 season, with Charlie Guest, Billy Major, Charlie Raposo, Dave Ryding, Laurie Taylor, and Alex Tilley all once again named in the nation’s World Cup squad.
Coming off the back of a landmark season which saw career-best World Cup results for Guest, Major, Raposo, Tilley, and Ryding, the squad will be looking to build on Britain’s burgeoning reputation on the Alpine circuit following a succession of exceptional performances over the past 12 months.
The new season will mark the first time in Alpine history that Britain enters the season with a defending Alpine Men’s World Cup winner in its ranks, following Ryding’s sensational victory at Kitzbuehel in January in a performance that confirmed Britain’s status as a significant player on the Alpine circuit.
Guest will be looking to build on an impressive season, with the highlight a 13th place finish in Schladming in January, while Raposo will aim to continue the impressive late-season form which saw him pick up World Cup points in back-to-back Giant Slalom World Cup races in Kranjska Gora in March. Tilley, whose season was marked by an astonishing recovery from injury to secure her place at the Beijing Olympic Winter Games, will hope for a repeat of her exceptional beginning to the 2021/22 season which saw her take 13th place in Giant Slalom at Soelden World Cup last October. Major and Taylor, meanwhile, will look to secure more high-profile finishes having taken two Europa Cup (Major) and one National Championships (Taylor) podiums last season, with each also securing top-30 World Cup finishes.
In the Europa Cup squad, Victoria Palla is promoted from the FIS squad ranks after an impressive season which saw her take 11 podiums, including two victories, at FIS, National Championships, National Junior Championships, and National Junior Race levels, where she joins Reece Bell who is working her way back from injury having made her World Cup debut last season. Rob Poth, Roy-Alexander Steudle and Owen Vinter make up the rest of the Europa Cup squad, with Poth having taken victory at the FIS Slalom race in Rogla in March, Steudle securing three podiums including two victories at the GB Alpine Championships in Tignes, and Vinter securing six podiums in March and April at National Championships and National Junior Championships level, including two victories at the GB Alpine Championships.
The FIS squad will see 31 further athletes representing the country, with eight 2005 born athletes securing squad places for the first time, including George Black, Candice Bomberg, Charlotte Holmes, and Kieran Woolley who all secured podium finishes at the 2022 GB Alpine Championships earlier this year.
“Coming off the back of last season’s results, and particularly Kitzbuehel, I’m going into this season hungrier for success than ever before. Knowing I’ll be out there training and competing alongside the same team members as the past 12 months is a huge bonus; Billy, Laurie and I bring the best out of one another in training and on the slopes, and we all feel stronger athletes for being part of such a talented squad of skiers.
“After getting my first World Cup win it has given me the confidence to believe that there is even more possible in the future!”
“I’m really proud of how I skied last season, and I’m delighted to be back in the World Cup squad again and pushing for more. We’ve got a great set-up around us and some really promising athletes coming through the ranks, which makes this such an exciting time for British Alpine skiing.”
“All 42 athletes named in this season’s Alpine squad are here on merit, and because they represent the present and the future of Britain’s Alpine skiing hopes. Last year, every one of our World Cup athletes had a sensational season, and the athletes in the Europa Cup and FIS squads have got a real benchmark to reach with the performances those guys are delivering.
“Britain’s reputation on the Alpine circuit is higher than it’s ever been in modern snowsport history, and this squad is the best group of athletes to take it to new heights. Every single one of them, and the coaches, support staff, and academies that have supported their journeys so far, deserve enormous credit and warm congratulations.”
Header Image: Dave Ryding at Garmisch-Partenkirchen Slalom World Cup, February 2022. Photo: GEPA pictures / Thomas Bachun
As a season of record-breaking highs and heart-breaking disappointments draws to a close, the British snowsport scene can look back on a year where the history books were rewritten, even as we felt the joy and the despair of an Olympic and Paralympic Games like no other.
In Beijing, British athletes battled covid restrictions, challenging snow conditions, crashes, injuries, and disruption, and returned home with pride, disappointment, new successes, agonising defeats and, from the Paralympic squad, six medals from the Alpine and Snowboard events. But those are results that only tell a fraction of the story.
On the World Cup and World Championships stages, British athletes took 26 podiums with Charlotte Bankes’ Crystal Globe winning Snowboard Cross season and Dave Ryding’s history-making Slalom victory in Kitzbuehel leading the way. Europa Cup contests added another 25, including four for the remarkable Mia Brookes, each a victory, and all before she has turned 16 years of age. FIS level races saw British athletes notch another 12 podiums, including seven victories, in Alpine, Freeski, Snowboard and Ski Cross. World Championships and World Junior Championships, meanwhile, accounted for an additional nine. On podium places alone, British skiers and snowboarders at every level, are showing themselves among the world’s best athletes.
And off the slopes, yet more progress has been made. New partners in Redrow, Fusalp, and Williams Advanced Engineering have helped to grow the sport at home and overseas. More work is underway to champion equality and diversity at every level. Efforts to bring our sport closer to people at home have taken root.
We cannot, though, forget the frustration felt in Beijing. For the Olympic squad to return without a medal was a disappointment given the good form of so many athletes going into the Games, but even among the sense of missed opportunities there were green shoots to be found. Kirsty Muir’s Olympic debut hinted at the promise her talent holds, Makayla Gerken-Schofield’s best-ever Moguls result for a British Olympic skier, and Zoe Atkin’s top-10 in the Halfpipe all showed a core of young talent with their best years ahead of them.
Even as the emotions of defeat were present, so the grit and determination among the team came to the fore, whether in Leonie Gerken-Schofield’s ability to get back up again and put down a run after a fall in the Moguls, Charlotte Bankes’ breath-taking display of overtaking in the Snowboard Cross Team event after her shock elimination in the Women’s competition, or Gus Kenworthy’s determination to finish his Olympic career with a clean run after a bone-shuddering fall in the Halfpipe Finals.
Where Olympic results didn’t deliver a medal, the Paralympic squad was a regular fixture on the podium throughout the Games. Its six medals – one gold, one silver, and four bronze – came through a mix of old hands (Millie Knight and Menna Fitzpatrick both adding to their remarkable Paralympic records) and new blood (medals on debut for Neil Simpson and, for Ollie Hill a first ever British Paralympic snowboarding medal), and built on a World Championships that saw Britain return home with seven medals from Lillehammer.
As one four-year cycle draws to a close another begins, and eyes are already beginning to turn to Milan-Cortina, the venue for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. As plans for that cycle begin to take shape both the current and the next generation of British stars are making an ever-stronger mark.
As a country and as a Governing Body, we are still at the beginning of our journey to become one of the world’s leading snowsport nations. Results aside, the performance standard for British snowsport athletes has increased dramatically in the four years since the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, with the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic squads the strongest a British team has ever sent to a Winter Games. These are the levels that athletes will now have to meet and exceed as Milan-Cortina approaches, and the potential that a new generation of skiers and snowboarders is showing gives us reason for optimism.
In Snowboard Cross, the first Crystal Globe of Charlotte Bankes’ career shows the depth and consistency of her talent, with Huw Nightingale also enjoying a breakthrough season, while Ski Cross prospects are encouraging with Ollie Davies and Max Vaughton both making an impact this year.
In Alpine, Charlie Guest continues to go from strength-to-strength, with repeated forays into World Cup top-20 spots, while Reece Bell’s long-awaited World Cup debut has arrived, and Charlie Raposo has delivered the best British men’s performances in Giant Slalom for decades.
The Para Nordic squad has grown in stature with a series of career-best performances over the season hinting at the potential to come, while in the Para Snowboard ranks new talent continues to break through with Ollie Hill, Nina Sparks, and Jon-Allan Butterworth all bolstering British hopes at the highest levels.
Mateo Jeannesson’s development in Moguls has catapulted him to the top of the podium.
Mia Brookes looks ready to conquer the world after a season which saw her take eight wins and one runner up spot from nine FIS, Europa Cup and Junior World Championship event entries.
The country’s Freeski prospects look encouraging, with Kirsty Muir, Zoe and Izzy Atkin, Connie Brogden, and Tyler Harding all showing promise this year.
The future, then, looks in good hands. But in the present, the 2021/22 season leaves behind a moment that will never be forgotten in British snowsport history. As the man himself said, “I remember in the past comments like ‘Ah, I’ve been beaten by a Brit’, or calling us an ‘exotic’ nation. Those comments have gone pretty quiet now. I’ve always said to the younger generation that it’s possible; I don’t have to say that anymore. I can just put the video on and say: ‘watch that’.”
A victory to showcase a great sportsman’s talent, and to mark Britain’s place on the global snowsport map.
Header image: Charlie Guest at Schladming World Cup, January 2022. Photo: GEPA pictures/ David Geieregger
Britain’s ski fans got a glimpse of the country’s Alpine future this week as the GB Alpine Championships Children’s Week in association with Crystal Holidays saw dozens of young British skiers take to the slopes of Tignes.
Across four days of competition, eighteen different skiers topped the 24 podiums available with Sylvia Curtis (U10 Girls Kombi, U10 Girls Giant Slalom), Tia Freshwater (U14 Girls Giant Slalom, U14 Girls Super-G), Hamish Blyth (U14 Boys Giant Slalom, U14 Boys Super-G, U14 Boys Slalom), Darcy Davies (U12 Girls Giant Slalom, U12 Girls Slalom), and Zak Carrick-Smith (U16 Boys Giant Slalom, U16 Boys Super-G) each taking multiple victories across the week.
Returning after a two-year covid-enforced absence, the GB Alpine Championships Children’s Week saw a dedicated team of race organisers deliver a full race programme for around 100 U10/U12 and approximately 200 U14/U16 athletes, with strong support from academies and parents adding to the atmosphere across the week. U14 and U16 podiums each saw monetary prizes courtesy of Children’s Week sponsors Crystal Holidays, with presentations made by a range of industry figures including President of Ski Club of Great Britain, four-time Winter Olympian and Ski Sunday presenter, Chemmy Alcott.
As with the Senior Championships, the competitors during the Children’s Week faced a range of slope conditions offering technical and race management challenges which will prove invaluable in their continued development on the Alpine racing circuit.
Among those to take podium places were fourteen skiers previously named in the British Children’s Ski Team for the 2021/22 season, with Harry Black (U16 Boys Slalom – 3rd place), William Freear (U16 Boys Super-G, U16 Boys Slalom – 2nd place), Emerson Proctor (U16 Boys Giant Slalom, U16 Boys Super-G – 3rd place), Maisie Blyth (U16 Girls Slalom – 1st place, U16 Girls Super-G – 2nd place), Olivia Howeson (U16 Girls Super-G, U16 Girls Slalom – 3rd place), Hannah Skinner (U16 Girls Super-G, 1st place), Emily Turner (U16 Girls Giant Slalom – 3rd place), Hamish Blyth (U14 Boys Giant Slalom, U14 Boys Super-G, U14 Boys Slalom – 1st Place), Freddy Carrick-Smith (U16 Boys Slalom – 1st place), Zak Carrick-Smith (U16 Boys Giant Slalom, U16 Boys Super G – 1st place), Molly Butler (U16 Girls Giant Slalom – 1st place), Ryan Faber (U14 Boys Giant Slalom – 3rd place), Tia Freshwater (U14 Girls Giant Slalom, U14 Girls Super-G – 1st place, U14 Girls Slalom – 2nd place), and Isabelle Sullivan (U14 Girls Giant Slalom – 3rd place, U14 Girls Slalom – 1st place) all featuring across the week.
In the Women’s Slalom races, Victoria Palla took the U21 International title ahead of the Swiss pair of Anina Zurbriggen and Marine Fatton with a time of 2:00.80 enough to hold top spot by a margin of 12 hundredths of a second from Zurbriggen in second. Switzerland also provided the top-2 positions on the U18 International podium through Annie Farqet and Lara Briguet, with Australia’s Phoebe Heaydon in third.
Palla’s result also saw her name on the Mappin Salver ahead of Gieslle Gorringe and Sophie Foster, while the British U18 SNSC Cup went to Charlotte Holmes with Amy Stokoe and Candice Bomberg joining her on the podium.
Reflecting on her GB Alpine Championships performances afterwards, Holmes said:
“I’m really happy. It’s never really about the trophies or the winning, it’s just skiing with my teammates and racing and having fun. Today’s ski conditions were really nice, and it’s just a really special event.”
The Men’s competition saw an all-international U21 International podiu led by Canada’s Raphael Lessard, with Nathan Levecq of France and Luc Roduit of Switzerland in second and third. Frenchman Martin Christ took the U18 International win, with Britain’s Aidan Urquhart and Jack Upton in second and third positions.
The SCGB Salver went to Ed Guigonnet ahead of Robert Holmes and Ted Slade, while the British U18 Scottish Ski Club Quaich trophy saw Urquhart take victory with Upton in second and Toby Jennings in third spot.
“My racing today was pretty good, I was pretty happy with how I skied. Conditions were really good today. Making the top-30 on the first run was really, really helpful. I feel like I could have pushed it a bit more, but still I’m happy with the result.”
The Men’s and Women’s British Combined victories went to Ed Guigonnet, who took the Aberdeen Millennium Trophy, and to Charlotte Holmes taking the Snowsports Scotland Trophy. Meanwhile the Inter-Club Patterson Trophy went to Evolution, who scored significant race points through Charlotte Holmes (U18), Lois Jackson (U21), Aidan Urquhart (U18), Robert Holmes (U21), and Kieran Woollley (U18).
Header Image: Charlotte Holmes at the GB Alpine Championships 2022
As difficult weather in Tignes continued to challenge skiers at the GB Alpine Championships, Victoria Palla took the National Junior Championships Slalom with a superb display of Slalom skiing. Registering a time of 1:35.46, Palla came in more than a second ahead of Switzerland’s Marine Fatton in second with Kiara Derks of the Netherlands further back in third spot.
Candice Bomberg and Lois Jackson joined Palla on the British podium, taking second and third in the race for the SCGB Salver, while Bomberg was crowned the ESC Cup winner ahead of Charlotte Holmes and Honor Bartlett.
The Boys’ National Junior Championship Giant Slalom podium was a strictly international affair with Luc Roduit of Switzerland taking the U21 International Title ahead of France’s Auguste Aulnette and his compatriot Baptiste Sambuis, in a podium which saw less than a second between the three leaders.
Ed Guigonnet took the British title and with it the Walter Hutchinson Challenge Cup with Owen Vinter and Toby Jennings coming in second and third, with Jennings’ time of 2:00.28 enough to secure him the Dragon Ski Club Cup ahead of Max Laughland and George Black.
Header Image: Giant Slalom, Ed Guigonnet wins the British NJC – Walter Hutchinson Challenge Cup at the 2022 GB Alpine Championships in Tignes, France, March 2022. Photo: GB Snowsport/ Amelia Steele