ĎEvans, What Happened To The White Stuff?
Inghams Grand Prix - Race 1 Norwich
So, only twenty two days
after the nationís best young ski racers had packed away their reserves of
snow wax and wiped the final flakes of frost off the buckles of their boots the
Summer ski racing circus headed into Norwich, heart of East Anglia, the most
complete medieval city in England and home to a dry slope ski facility that is
anything but medieval. Indeed a ski facility that is quite possibly the finest
in the UK.
Race One of the Inghams
sponsored SSE Grand Prix Series featured a field eager to make an early mark on
a competition sure to be fiercely fought over the coming months and with course
setters Sally Bartlett and Malcolm Erskine looking to provide the racers with
courses to both test abilities and reward their talents hopes were high for a
great dayís racing.
In the Girls race Charlotte
Evans took a firm grip on events with a stunning 1st run, producing a
time that only Norfolk based racer Laura Garden and Alessia Thomas-Jackson ever
looked close to matching. However with Charlotte Davies, Georgia Hood, Alice
Thelwell and Hannah Parker all within ĺís of a second it was clear that any
mistakes that the leaders made would be heavily punished by the chasing pack.
Not that the pressure ever
looked like phasing Evans. As Thomas Jackson (3rd) and then Garden (2nd)
turned the screw with fine second run times Evans reacted magnificently to blitz
the opposition producing the only sub-14 second run from a female and deservedly
claim overall victory.
In the senior categories
Alice Thelwell (5th overall) took the spoils in the ladies race with
Emily Goddard 2nd & Lesley Mearns 3rd. In Junior 2
category overall winner Charlotte Evans claimed victory, overall runner up Laura
Garden claimed 2nd with Hannah Parker in 3rd. Alessia
Thomas-Jacksonís 3rd overall was good enough to take 1st
in Junior 1 category, with Georgia Hood (4th overall) in 2nd
and Emily Whitelock 3rd
As ever the childrenís
categories were also closely fought competitions. Caroline Powellís top ten
overall finish proving a time too far for her rivals to match although Alexandra
Greasby pushed her all the way to claim 2nd with Alice Baldwin in 3rd.
Georgia Hallet claimed the children 1 category, with Klara Hommel 2nd
& Lauren Holdsworth in 3rd.
In the males race hopes were
high of a battle royale between at least one or two of the heavyweights of the
menís plastic racing scene. Indeed if you can get Benn Hall, Marc Telling,
Andy Roose & Stuart Riches all at the top of a hill at the same time then
you truly wouldnít expect anything less than a shoot out of the highest
velocity. They didnít disappoint.
Indeed with Oliver Robinson,
Nicholas Robinson and Bradley Morgan joining the party the top six finishers
were separated by only 0.14 seconds. 380 metres of dendix matting covered in 25Ĺ
seconds of exhilarating power and finesse separated by nothing more than the
thickness of a piece of cling film.
Indeed with Marc Telling and
Andrew Watson (7th overall) leading after run 1, it took a stunning
second run 12.61s to fire Oliver Robinson not only down the hill but also up the
leaderboard. Robinsonís magnificent second run time providing a buffer of 0.10
seconds to second run specialist Benn Hall in 2nd and a further 0.01s
to first run leader Marc Telling in 3rd. With Stuart Riches and
Nichols Robinson unable to be separated in 4th another 0.02s back and
Bradley Morgan yet another 0.02 seconds behind the assembled masses at the
bottom of the slope had witnessed a breathtaking conclusion to a fantastic race.
In the categories overall
winner Oliver Robinson claimed the senior male prize, followed home by Marc
Telling in 2nd & Matthew Bruton 3rd. Junior 2, the
most fiercely fought of all categories with seven racers in the top ten, saw
Benn Hall prevail whilst Riches and Nick Robinson sharing 2nd and a
magnificent 12th place overall saw Michael Molloy claim the honours
in the Junior 1 category followed home by Cardiff team mates Ian Williams in 2nd
& Andrew Davies in 3rd.
In the childrenís
categories Ashley Breese proved that age was no barrier to talent claiming the
children 1 category one place ahead of children 2 victor James Grant. Jake
Morgan (2nd) & Jody Baxter (3rd) completed the podium
in the older category whilst Daniel Poth (2nd) and James Sieber (3rd)
joined Breese on the Children 1 podium.
And so twenty two days after
the curtains closed on their winter season the racers climbed back onto their
plastic waxed skis and waged battle on the edge of Angliaís green and pleasant
land. Clearly there are no mountains upon Englandís flattest of flatlands but
this weekend witnessed just how our sport can produce and flourish without one.
Two weeks and counting to Round 2 at Pendle, if itís half as exciting and
hotly contested as this one itíll be a must see.