Mad Dogs & Englishmen
Apparently only mad dogs & Englishmen go out in the mid day sun. Quite what Noel Coward would have made of us Brits spending a summer sabbath inside a gigantic refrigerator is anyone’s guess. One thing that is for sure however is that the song he’d have written about it wouldn’t be half as catchy as his more famous ditty.

So in the middle of summer the mad dogs, or at least those without florescent jackets and clip boards, were left outside in the sunshine whilst the 2009 Snowsport England Grand Prix series took its first tentative steps onto indoor dome racing. That was just about as far as the new adventure went however as, on the hill, events were soon being dominated by two rather familiar figures.

In the ladies race Joanna Ryding proved a class apart from the rest of the field. Leading by almost a second after run 1 the Pendle racer doubled her advantage in the 2nd run to claim her 2nd victory of the 2009 GP series. Lucy Peel did her upmost to keep Ryding honest and in the process capitalised on a Charlotte Davies 2nd run error to claim the overall runners up spot, whilst in 3rd overall Caroline Powell successfully continued her 2009 GP campaign.

In the categories, overall top ten positions were enough for Monica Gash to claim 2nd place in the senior category just pipping Hannah Parker into 3rd. In Jun 2 Charlotte Gould and Rebecca Lyth also profited from Davies’s error to post 2nd & 3rd respectively whilst the Telford duo of Claire Brown and Charlotte Shrimpton claimed 2nd & 3rd in the jun 1 category. The children’s categories were dominated by the Jenkins sisters as Nia not only claimed a superb 4th overall to win the older category but could claim to be the only child to beat her sister and chi 1 victor Megan. Georgia Hallet and Samantha Baxter claimed 2nd & 3rd in the older children category with Yasmin Cooper & Emma Peters both continuing fine 2009 GP campaigns in 2nd & 3rd respectively

In the men’s race Georgie Hunt returned to Grand Prix racing for the first time since 2005 and promptly celebrated the event by winning the race. Hunt’s first run time was just enough to provide him with a half way lead but a stunning second run proved the decisive factor in the day’s proceedings. In the runners up spot Gerard Flahive’s cracking 1st run ensured that Hunt had to fully commit to his 2nd run and also ensured a smidgen of daylight that divided the Hemel powerhouse from the 3rd placed Matt Thompson.

In the categories Andrew Crawford claimed 2nd place in the seniors whilst Andrew Watson and Benjamin Porter finished 2nd & 3rd in junior 2 behind Flahive. Runners up spot in Junior 1 behind Thompson was claimed by Daniel Evans with Max Greenfield in 3rd. In the children’s categories Barney Lewis again proved his capabilities on the indoor surface by claiming a deserved win with home racer Thomas Grant in 2nd and Edmund Fenton-Fowler in 3rd. In Chi 1 George Richardson deservedly claimed a first GP category victory with Callum Begg in 2nd and Ethan Powell in 3rd.

So as Snowsport England’s premier summer series broke new, somewhat chillier ground, it was left to two of our more senior stagers to remind the young guns who will race this surface long into the future that whilst they might not spend so much time in the company of those mad dogs outdoors, when it comes to the white stuff the Ryding’s and Hunt’s of British skiing are most certainly still around and more than competitive.