Over 150 girls from 36 schools descended on the French resort of Flaine this week to take part in the 60th edition of the British Schoolgirls Races, organised by the Ladies Ski Club.
Each year the British Schoolgirls Races get bigger and better, with places in the event in high demand. With all the girls, teachers and parents eager to do well and have a good time, the 2019 edition witnessed an unparalleled atmosphere both in the start gate and at the finish line.
Despite heavy snowfall the night before the first day of racing, the event went well, with a GS and Slalom running across the two days. The British Schoolgirls Races has always welcomed girls of all levels to race, from their first ever event in Gstaad in 1959 to the modern day. The 2019 edition was no exception, featuring girls who ski once a year, to experienced racers who regularly compete on the ski racing circuit. Everyone got their time to shine on the Flaine race piste – from the under 14s up to the under 21s.
On day one the Giant Slalom saw tricky conditions for racers, but all the girls did well, with some competitive racing on show. The overall victory went to Tilly Black from Millfield with Lucy Bingle Williams from Hurst College in second and third place went to Giselle Gorringe from North London Collegiate School. The Best School team prize went to Ipswich High A with North London Collegiate School A in second and New Hall A taking third place.
The Slalom was the main event on day 2, with the sun making an appearance to thaw out the racers. After taking third in Monday’ GS, Giselle Gorringe got the bit between her teeth and put in two solid runs to take the victory for North London Collegiate School. Second place went to Kathryn Bailey of Ipswich High and Isabelle Lander from New Hall finished in third. Tilly Black was on course to take her second podium of the event after putting down the fastest first run of the day, but unfortunately she couldn’t stay in the course for her second run and was a DNF. The Best School prize went to North London Collegiate School A with New Hall A in second and Downe House A in third.
The prize giving on Tuesday evening saw a whole host of prizes awarded to the girls, with trophies and medals for all age groups in the registered and non-registered categories. As well as prizes for the GS and Slalom, there were awards for the two races combined. The Combined individual prize went to Giselle Gorringe (NLCS) with Kathryn Bailey from Ipswich High in second and Isabelle Lander from New Hall in third. And for the Combined Best School Award, North London Collegiate School again stood on top of the podium, with New Hall A in second and Downe House A in third. Other stand out performances included two wins in the GS and Slalom for Molly Butler in the under 14 category and Isabelle Lander in the under 18 category. For the non-registered racers, Tate Halestrap in the Under 14s, Madeline Points in the Under 18s and Sacha Nokes in the Under 21s all claimed victories in both the GS and Slalom. A full list of results can be found on the British Schoolgirls website.
This year saw four new teams take part in the event, Clayesmore, Cranleigh, International Institute de Lancy, Kingsley School and Prior’s Field School, all of whom had a great time.
Andrea Scott a PE teacher at Prior’s Field School said of the event: “The organisation has been fantastic, exceptionally efficient. Our girls have just been overwhelmed by the whole experience – they have just loved it. It’s not just the racing its been the whole experience. Everyone has made us feel welcome and the atmosphere is incredible. We will definitely be back!”
“We had some challenging snow conditions this year, but our excellent on-snow team including the local Flaine Club des Sports team ensured we were able to run successful races” said organiser Anne Taylor. “This year was a special one with the event celebrating its 60th anniversary, and I hope we can continue to run such a fun event for another 60 years. I also want to thank our sponsors for their unwavering support – they ensure this event can happen and we can’t thank them enough.”
The British Schoolgirls Races also welcomed a new sponsor for 2019, Vision in Education, who joined long term sponsors Chelski, JDX, MPI Brokers, Ski Club of Great Britain, Uvex and Erna Low in supporting the event. The sponsors ensure that all the girls can take part in a well organised and fun event, and ensure it will continue to be a firm fixture on the ski racing calendar.
All the results from the races can be found on the British Schoolgirls Races website. www.britishschoolgirlsraces.co.uk and a selection of images and videos can be found on the official Facebook page www.facebook.com/BritishSchoolgirlsRaces