The action continued today on the sunny slopes of Tignes at the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships 2017. After a successful day of Downhill training yesterday, the racers tackled the same course for both the National Championships (NC), and National Junior Championships (NJC) Downhill races.
In the Men’s NC Downhill, Billy Major (1.12.21) again reigned supreme, just nudging out Iain Innes (1.12.68) to claim the British NC Downhill title by 0.47 of a second. Innes, who said ‘he could not have skied much better’, took second ahead of Sam Todd-Saunders (1.14.20), who also claimed the prize for the fastest non-British team skier. Ryan Brown was the fastest Under 18 skier, clocking a time of 1.15.62.
The Men’s NJC gave Innes the chance to take some revenge on Major, putting down his second solid run of the day to clock the fastest time of 1.13.54 and claim the NJC Under 21 Downhill title. Behind him was Todd-Saunders (1.14.03) in second and Zak Vinter (1.16.14) in third, whilst Major missed out on another podium after a problem with his boot on course. In the Under 18 category, Ryan Brown (1.15.68) took the NJC Downhill title, ahead of the in-form Scott Buchan (1.16.66) and Leo Karavasili (1.17.06) who took the final spot on the podium.
Billy Major said: “It feels pretty good, it’s always nice to win a British title. I felt good out on the slopes, I just wanted to do better than I did on Tuesday in training and it worked. I’m a bit annoyed about what happened in the second run, I was a bit unlucky really. I hit a rock quite hard and cracked the back of my boot so my foot came out of the binding. From then one, every time I turned my boot would hit the snow so it’s annoying to miss out on the Under-21 podium because of that. I was really up for it after winning the Senior race, but it wasn’t to be.”
Iain Innes said: “I’m happy with my skiing in both runs today, both in the National Championships and the National Junior Championships. I think I put down the best runs I could, although there were tiny areas where I could have perhaps shaved off a little bit of time or maybe held my tuck a bit longer. I’m really excited for Thursday. I know a lot of the big guys are here so I will need to fight against them if I am to get on the podium, but I fancy my chances and I know that if I do good skiing, then I think I’ll be able to pick up some points.”
Ryan Brown said: “I’m pretty pleased, because Downhill isn’t my favourite discipline so I haven’t trained for it much this season. I felt reasonably good on the course. I felt much better on my second run than my first but that’s natural I guess. I’m over the moon to have won the British title, and it means a lot. To know that you are the best in the event for your age is a really good feeling.”
The Ladies NC Downhill produced some exciting racing from the Brits, with Darcie Mead (1.15.83) putting the disappointment of two DNFs from the Super G behind her to claim the title with a storming run. Mead was just fractions of a second ahead of Cara Brown (1.15.99) who was competing in her first Downhill race since her knee surgery. Third place, and also fastest non-British team athlete, went to Natalia Harte in a time of 1.16.68. The fastest Under 18 prize went to Abigail Bruce (1.18.48).
Mead took top spot on the podium again in the NJC, convincingly taking the win and NJC Under 21 Downhill title in a time of 1.16.79 ahead of Yasmin Cooper (1.17.63) who was second and Honor Clissold (1.18.20) in third place. In the Under 18 Ladies category, Abigail Bruce looked impressive as she sealed the win and the NJC Under 18 title in a time of 1.17.45. Behind Bruce was Olivia Ward in second (1.20.70) and Hannah Loeffen Gallagher (1.23.68) in third place.
Darcie Mead said: “It wasn’t as great as I wanted it to be, particularly in the NJC. The NC was much better, I got a lot of confidence from my performances in training yesterday after I had got two DNFs in the Super G on Monday. I wasn’t feeling too great going into it, but I’m happy. It’s my first British Championships back from injury, so it’s good to return and pick up a title. It’s good because I know where I need to improve, but I couldn’t have done anymore today.”
Abigail Bruce said: “My first run today in the National Championships race was pretty average, but I was much happier with my run in the National Junior Championships. I think I skied it well. I just came to the British Champs to try and ski my best in every race. That is always my goal in races. The competition is pretty intense here, so you can never count on a podium. I am trying to compete with the older girls, that is my target here.”
Full results from today are on the British Ski and Snowboard website:
Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships – National Championships Downhill: http://teambss.org.uk/sites/default/files/NC%20Down%20Hill%20merged.pdf
Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships – National Junior Championships Downhill: http://teambss.org.uk/sites/default/files/NJC%20Down%20Hill%20merged.pdf
Tomorrow (Thursday 30 March) will be the Men’s National Championships GS and the Ladies National Championships Slalom
To follow the progress of the Delancey British National Alpine Ski Championships and all the results visit www.teambss.org.uk or follow @teambss on Twitter.
Principal sponsor Delancey has now supported the British National Alpine Ski Championships for 7 years and Chairman of Delancey’s Advisory Board and British Ski and Snowboard president, Sir John Ritblat, has sponsored the sport for 40 years – the longest standing personal sponsorship for a sport. For more information visit www.delancey.com