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05 May 2017

The best season to date for British Ski and Snowboard!

We take a look back at some of British Ski and Snowboards standout moments of the 2016/17 season.

British snowsports athletes have had a hard time at customs control this past season – HMRC have had to raise their quota on silverware being returned from both inside and outside the EU as a result.

Whilst we may still be some way away from the above being a reality it is certainly true that this season British snowsports athletes have had a bumper year for medals. Their performance has been astounding – British Ski and Snowboards best to date.

BSS has gone from strength to strength this season with a result haul that included 15 World Cup podiums, of which two were wins from GB Park and Pipe athletes, three World Championship podiums, three X-Games medals, Great Britain’s best Cross Country World Championships result and the best finish in an Alpine World Cup from a British skier in 35 years. Not too bad for a little island with not too many mountains?

Senja, Norway
Vanessa Fry

When you think of British success on snow this season it’s tough not to think of Dave Ryding. Having started the World Cup Slalom season in blistering form with a flush of top ten finishes it was only a matter of time before he finally got on to the podium – that day came in Kitzbeuhel, where he took second place.

"Very pleased with my skiing of course and also really pleased I could hold my nerve 2nd run... it was a roller coaster of emotions but I've lead a few dry slope races back in the UK so it’s kind of the same thing, right??"

And that wasn’t the end of the Rockets success. Strong results for the rest of the season further cemented his place amongst the world’s top flight. Strong performances from the rest of the alpine squad showed that Dave wasn’t the only light in British alpine skiing – most notably 20-year-old Laurie Taylor’s result at the worlds in St Moritz.

Woodsy

Another british male skier who has been knocking on the door of the elite for some time now is James “Woodsy” Woods. Already holding a bronze medal from a few seasons ago Woodsy headed to X-Games Aspen with gold in his eyes. After a tight final in the Big Air competition, duelling with Swedens Henrik Harlaut the British skier came away the victor.

Woodsy was more than happy with his form when we caught up with the main man in February, but he’s trying not to let the Olympics distract him too much.

Woodsy wasn’t the only GB Park and Pipe athlete to bring home the bacon though. Katie Ormerod made history in becoming the first ever British Female Snowboarder to win a World Cup event in Moscow this January. The 19-year-old from Yorkshire won the Big Air event in a tight field:

Gold

"It was by far the coldest and some of the toughest conditions I've ever had to compete in but an amazing place. I'm stoked to be on the podium with some awesome riders.”

Later in the season Katie brought home an X Games Bronze, taking third place in the slopestyle this time, Katie is a previous winner of the Ski Club's Evie Pinching Award. Izzy Atkin was another of the GB Park and Pipe athletes breaking records. The 18-year-old won gold in the Silvaplana Slopestyle World Cup the first time a Female British skier has ever done that, followed up with a Slopestyle bronze at the FIS World Championships in Sierra Nevada (James Woods taking the men’s bronze too).

Frank Presenting the Cup

The Delancey British Alpine Champs was a great way to end the season and a definite highlight. It is an event the Ski Club is proud to support, with Ski Club CEO Presenting the Ski Club Challenge Cup every year. The standard on display was incredible and showed that the incredibly healthy grassroots of British Alpine Skiing. The family feel of the event with all the athletes coming together, the young guns rubbing shoulders and dicing with the more experienced riders was also evident at The Brits in Laax. The Brits is the British Freestyle community’s annual pilgrimage to the Alps. This year more than ever it was evident that GB Park and Pipe will continue to be a force to be reckoned with. Groms and novices as young as were regularly seen on podiums joining old hands like Katie Summerhayes.

It is evident from actions and statements made by British Ski and Snowboard that these results were no one off. Dan Hunt, the newly appointed performance director of BSS, has set a target of long-term success, with aims for Great Britain to become one of the world’s top five skiing and snowboarding nations by 2030.

These are just a handful of the fantastic results achieved by British athletes this season, for more results head to the BSS website.

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