Atomic Great British Racing Series
Category: Alpine (Skiing)
The new series, which is taking place at a number of indoor and outdoor British skiing venues during the summer months, combines the old English Grand Prix, Welsh Celtic Cup and Scottish set of summer races in one national competition. C.E.O of Snowsport England Tim Fawke describes this new series as an evolution: “The Celtic Cup had been running for about 20 years, the Grand Prix for 32 years and we wanted to bring those series’ into something new and more beneficial for the racers. It was time for an evolution and growth on the GB race circuit.” Robin Kellen, C.E.O of Snowsport Wales agreed: “It’s good to have an identity and it’s great to have one overall British winner. We have also given the series a new diversity including individual parallel slalom, it’s no longer just about two runs down a different course, and it’s consistently developing athletes through a greater variety of competition and training.”
The sponsors for this summer’s series are skiing equipment giants Atomic. UK Marketing Manager Thomas Jarrett Kerr attended the weekends GBR event and explained Atomic’s decision to sponsor the series: “We really want to support British racing, obviously competitive skiing is a huge part of our company, particularly in Austria so we saw this as a great opportunity to bring that focus here to the UK as well. We see it as an opportunity to support the future of British racing. “ Atomic have also come up with a Race Structure to help develop and support young, talented ski racers: “Through the brand we want to mentor younger racers through different stages in their growth. Anyone in the top two tiers of the structure will receive a professional athlete mentor to help them through their training and competing. Finlay Mickel has agreed to be a mentor, he runs the race structure and looks after a team of young British athletes with high aspirations, giving them advice and working to match them to certain retailers.” Atomic and Snowsport England are looking forward to working closely through out the course of the Great British Racing series in order to give equal opportunities to the dedicated racers competing in it.
The entire summer race circuit community is united in their opinion that the Atomic GBR series is a great step forward for British indoor and outdoor skiing and all those involved. It was clear on the weekend that the combining of the English, Welsh and Scottish nationalities in one competitive series has emphasised the already strong sense of community that lies at the heart of the British ski racing. Skiing parent and regular race commentator Georgina Kellen spoke of the endless benefits her children received from learning the discipline of competitive racing, but also of the strong support network that she found as a single parent of two young racers: “My children may not have been winners in the sport, but the discipline, motivation and friendships they learnt and made through skiing have enabled them to become high achievers in many different ways. Parents are as keen to come to these races each weekend as their children are, because here they have a social group that gives them the rare opportunity to socialise in the same places as their children, developing a closer bond between parent and child and creating lasting friendships with other parents.” Jane Gould, whose 19 year old daughter Charlotte achieved 1st overall female racer on Sunday, takes the opportunity to volunteer as an official at each race, describing it as “great, because you get a different perspective of racing, you see it from both the racers’ and the officials’ point of view. I don’t think there is a bad side really, it’s all part of the kids’ experience and I really enjoy it.”
The next race in the Atomic Great British Racing series as at Pontypool Ski Centre on the 14h and 15th of July and is clearly another date in the calendar for racers, parents and spectators to look forward to.
GBR Outdoor Females Official Ranking Day 1
1st Alice Hales
2nd Sophie Ogden
3rd Alexandra Bullock
GBR Outdoor Males Official Ranking Day 1
1st Andrew Watson
2nd Gerard Flahive
3rd James Grant
GBR Outdoor Females Official Ranking Day 2
1st Charlotte Gould
2nd Alice Hales
3rd Ellen Hathway
GBR Outdoor Males Official Ranking Day 2
1st Andrew Watson
2nd Andrew Davies
3rd David Hatcher
On both days the competition was extremely close, with only thousands of a second separating 1st from 2nd place ranking, which made exciting viewing for all spectators and volunteers. No doubt the next race of the series in Pontypool will offer up equal excitement as a competitive Giant Slalom will be taking place, proving that speedy skiing doesn’t only happen on snow!
For further information please contact Tim Fawke on 07968548627 or Tim@snowsportengland.org.uk