Roles were reversed on day three in Bormio as senior racers took on Stelvio and ski lifts full of smiles climbed onto Stella Alpina in the shape of the U10s and U12s. Pure pace was also on the agenda as competition sponsors Vitalini ran a popular speed test on Stelvio, assessing the ability of youngsters to tuck and fly down the slope. Course conditions remained exceptional – a slight drop in temperature over the last 24 hours making for sumptuous skiing and a challenging setting on Stelvio testing the best.
And it wasn’t just on our morning cappuccinos that the cream rose to the top, with Zak Vinter imperious in the NJR slalom. A mere 48 hours after making his World Championship debut in Are, the Glasgow Ski Racing ace made a tough course look a lot easier than it was with 46.09s and 48.91s. The 20-year-old, a late entry, was 1.73s clear of the precocious Thomas Lardon and Cedric Pinturault, whose illustrious brother Alexis raced in the same field as Zak in Sweden. Vinter said: “I really enjoy Bormio – it’s a good hill and it was by no means easy out there today. “I haven’t raced with Owen yet this season, either, so it’s good to see him ski and spend some time with the family.” Owen is enjoying an excellent week, building on a FIS top-ten on opening day and an NJR giant slalom gold with 48.88s first up followed by a DNF. On a remarkable day of racing when 60 of the 96-strong field failed to finish, Charles Rankin should be delighted by eighth overall and top Brit at U18 with 1:40.17s combined. Other assured displays came from Rory Farren, first English at U18 with two excellent runs, and Duncan Kuwall who posted exactly 50.51s on both occasions to place 11th.
Among the female field, Sarah Woodward reached the rostrum for the second day in succession, bagging slalom bronze. The 17-year-old’s first-run 47.99s saw her lead at the flip and the only other competitor to better that time was Marika Mascherona, who went on to claim silver. Woodward said: “It’s competitive between the British girls, it’s nice to be pushing each other on. It’s always someone to beat, or someone chasing you. “I thought my first run was really good but there was one error on the second. My coach is happy and I think I skied well today.” Lois Jackson backed up Monday’s NJR U18 giant slalom gold with silver and an overall top ten finish, while second-season FIS racer Shannon Potter roared into 12th.
Families flocked to Stella to watch the U12s and U10s strut their stuff, with goodie bags and hugs galore for the sport’s next generation. Team Evolution claimed both giant slalom gold medals on offer in the ladies races, Emily Magnani and Katie Saunders prevailing in the U10s and U12s respectively. Saunders said: “I was really happy – I got a good first run in the bag, I was a bit skiddy on the second but it was fun. “This is the second time I’ve been to Bormio. It’s a really nice place and slope is very good.”
Kandahar’s Joshua Sundin surged 0.96s clear of the field to earn U10 victory and there was a Carrick-Smith double with Freddy and Zak ending with gold and silver at U12. Sundin said: ““This is the first time I’ve been to Bormio. I like the piste and the snow is good. “I’ve been on snow quite a lot in the past, it’s not too soft, the snow, but it’s perfect.”