I was starting the racers from the top of the hill which gives a very different perspective from the one seen by the spectators in the restaurant. Until you are out on the slope you do not really appreciate the challenge the competitors are about to undertake.
The club race welcomed racers from Hemel Club, Welwyn dry ski slope and The Snow Centre. Seasoned racers as well as those racing for the very first time, it is this that makes the event so special.
We all know that ski racers don’t get the chance to race the course for practice. They only slip it and try to remember the lines they need to take and terrain that may catch them out.
At the start, there is great comradery and laughter between the athletes as they line up but you can also sense the nerves starting to build the closer to the start they get. As they climb their way up the steps to stand on top of the start ramp I see their faces change. Focused determination and concentration from athletes who have raced many times and fear from some of the first-time racers!
This is why I congratulate all the competitors of every age and experience that took part. Standing up high on the start ramp, now on their own, preparing themselves for the start of a race down a course that they have never raced before, where tenths or even hundredths of seconds count, with judges and spectators watching. READY, GO. Every single competitor I set off with those simple words, didn’t let those nerves get the better of them and pushed through the start gate triggering the timer and getting the best time that they could.
The club gave out some great glass trophies for the top three males and females in each age group and in addition this year, there were gold, silver and bronze embroidered Hemel Ski Race Club caps for the U8’s to the U18’s.
Perpetual Trophies where given to the top three fastest overall male and female racers and the top three fastest U12/10 boys and girls. A big well done to the winners.
For me, I truly believe you are all winners whatever age or ability, for going through the start gate on GO, you should all be very proud. It shows great spirit, determination and character.
I hope you all continue to learn and improve through training at the club and we see you and more club members at this and other races in the future.
Thank you to the coaches, to Ski Bartlett (if you don’t know them they supply everything for skiing & racing) for the Energiapura kit bags given out as prices, to Team Evolution Racing who gave out goodies and to everyone else who supported the event.
Special thanks to Steve Lambert who organises so much, to Ollie who builds the start ramp and to all the other volunteers that make the day possible.