That's a wrap...

Finishing on a good note...

26 February 2012 AT 15:50:54

The weather still sucked today, the warm temperature and rain meant another day of salting on the slopes of Hinterreit. The slalom held up pretty badly as some parts froze and some parts broke up. By the time the top 15 were down, it looked like 100 had skied it. 

Anyway, Imogen skied a smart first run to place well inside the top 30 (17th), a little far out mainly due to the slope than the skiing. She then skied a ver smart 2nd run, carrying speed off the steep where others struggled to record her 2nd best slalom result to date. A great way to end the long stint out here.

Max Asquith had to hang on by the skin of his teeth to get down the first run, he let his skis run, got thrown about like a nutter but fought the whole way. The 2nd run was in even worse condition but he did the same again to record his 2nd best slalom result also. To make any sort of result starting at the back on a day like today was incredibly difficult, so all credit to Max for sheer determination and fighting spirit.

Our latest guests also left today - Sebastian Cartes and his team from Chile. We wish them good luck in Topolino!


Back to reality...

Post English Update...

24 February 2012 AT 17:24:49

What have we been up to you might ask...? Well first off it didn't get a mention on here but both Ella Ward and Izzy Taylor narrowly missed out on podium spots in the English Childrens Super-G, Ella by 0.04 and Izzy by 0.5.

Since we arrived home, the guys had some time off, we got the digger in and moved most of the new snow, dug out the car park and took the helicopter for its first flight. Yep an ambition helicopter, that's right, as i've said before there seems to be no regulating authority deciding what we can and cannot write on here so..... never let the truth get in the way of a good story - We have a Helicopter.

Then Jenner races came along (Bertchesgarden), where we had a bit of a history lesson about a certain man's hideout, and took part in the race with the longest turnaround known to man. Jenner also had what seemed to be a Fisher-Price gondola that could only take 1 racer up at a time.

Following that we have had some great days training at Hinterreit where we were joined by SSWSC (Colorado Team), who ended up staying at Haus Tirol with us for the Hinterreit races, they are coming back for the CIT races tomorrow and Sunday also.

Now we have the Chilean Childrens Team here, training with us today.... the team including the biggest 98 birth i think i have ever seen. They are here training for Topolino races coming up. Sebastian Cartes (Head Coach for Chile Childrens Team), likes the place so much he is now talking about a colaboration between us and La Parva ski club - should bode well for the future.

News just in that Max Asquith will be able to start in Hinterriet CIT races now following the withdrawal of a few others, awesome news after a hard week of training for Max. 

Fingers crossed for tomorrow, lets hope Imi and Aza can get some results over the next 2 days.

The happy bunch.....

Ash running around like a headless chicken..... No pig trotters left sadly so we opted for the head.....

Worlds smallest Gondola......

Back on form!!!

Fair few junior titles....

15 February 2012 AT 22:33:46

Today went pretty well overall, Aza didn't make sub 150 but he gave it a damn good shot to get his 2nd DNF of his FIS career.

The other juniors had a mixed day, my course took a few people out with some tight turns and a jump over the last roll. Barney didnt make it past the first pitch, Peter got caught out lower down and Thomasine's ski came off. On the other hand Vi won Jnr 1 girls over some strong skiers making 85 points in the process, Kieran won Jnr 1 boys, and scored a 107, and Imi made her 2nd best result of the winter (59) winning Jnr 2 girls at the same time. Roy Steudle, even with a huge error up top, managed to hold onto 2nd place for jnr 2 boys... so we just missed out on a clean sweep.

Rumour has it Izzy finished 3rd in the Children's GS today too.....! A pretty good day for the Taylor family!

Last race tomorrow for the juniors, lets hope we finish on a high.

(pics will follow soon).

Peace Out.



14 February 2012 AT 15:01:49

Today went ok.... We had a few podium places with Violet placing 2nd Junior 1, Kieran 3rd Junior 1 and Ashley 1st Junior 2 but overall this was not the best day for the juniors. We didnt do badly at all, most of the guys still made bPB's or 2nd results but at the same time, there were no real 'wow' moments - the guys skied ok but not to the level they have shown in previous days and not to their own expectations.

I'm shooting off back up to set 1st run for tomorrow, lets hope that brings us back to form and kicking butt.

Sorry for the lack of pictures, i was at prize-giving but a combination of a ridiculous queue in the pizzeria, an hour long break before prize-giving and Ashley's mates driving past him meant our athletes were not. We applauded the gap where they should have been and apologised after.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow - Aza is going to make under 150. I can feel it.


Smiley face for another good day.

13 February 2012 AT 21:06:34

Today was another good day for Ambition. Thomasine Nilsone Wrede destroyed her personal best with a result of 74 points in GS. Luke Riddell and the other boys also had results but not with the same level of skiing they are capable of - they were all much better on the 2nd run technically but had left themselves with a lot to do from the 1st.

The Ambition Children also had some positive results that i was happy with and Benn will post that seperately. 

Onto the actual English Championships tomorrow!

Roy Steudle in action today. Skiing into 1st GBR position.

Off to a good start!

First day of racing for the kids in Bormio

13 February 2012 AT 20:50:04

Well, considering the severly bad luck we had at the last race we went to, today couldn't have been much different really! We saw some awesome skiing from every single one of the kids today, and whilst it wasn't always consistent, there was still some pretty good stuff going on. Two podiums today to top it off too, with Anna coming 2nd in CH2 and Ella skiing two of the best runs I've seen from her to end up 3rd in CH1 against some stiff competition.

Special mention has to go to Izzy too though, who came back from a pretty spectacular crash on the first run (makes for some great video) to ski a blinder second run with the 4th fastest time. Two runs like that on Wednesday from her and she'll be well up there!

We even had Rick (our resident teacher) on hand today today take some snaps of the guys in action, and whilst we've got plenty of sweet shots, I'm afraid our internet is only giving me time to upload one... So here's a shot of Anna ripping it up today.

A short morning of GS training on Oga tomorrow before we race on Wednesday again!



Another good day at the office....

12 February 2012 AT 18:12:17

Max Asquith came on the radio before his first run today and said 'i'm gonna make you proud', i replied with 'i am already just make sure you ski fast!'.

That sums up how i feel about the team right now, we are at the stage where i feel the ball is really rolling for a number of the Ambition Juniors, we have worked damn hard since last April and the benefits we are starting to see are awesome. I am proud, i take pride in the work i do and i am proud to work with the athletes we have here this season, i really do not care about the exact positions now, i am more interested in the rate of improvement, which at the moment is incredibly fast. 

Today it was Beth Widdup's turn to claim a spot on the Jnr 1 girls podium (3rd), while Imi took 5th overall with a blistering second run. Violet also showed some great skiing in the top half of the 2nd run. In the boys race, Barney and Kieran made the top 30 (kieran from bib 50), and while Barney completed the 2nd run to make his best slalom points (81), Kieran sadly fell and did not complete - a shame but i am not too worried as he is now skiing fast each and every run.

Onto tomorrow NJR GS....

1-2-3 for A-M-B

Barsc Super-G goes well for Ambition.

11 February 2012 AT 22:31:02

So the older Ambition boys showed the rest how to do it today when Brad, Roy and Ash took all 3 places on the GBR podium for Ambition.

We had an awesome day with so many of the guys making PB results - the one to note for the future however was Kieran Norris, he skied into an aweomse 6th GBR position to make his best result to date (84 points). When i got to the bottom i told him it was ok but i'd seen him ski better..... good news considering he was still fast with the run he had.

In a tough sport, it is great that the hard ward the Ambition athletes have put in has been rewarded, also for all the parents putting the time and finance behind their offspring - to get some hard results on the board is a great feeling all round.

The athletes are tired, they are pushing hard and the team spirit is awesome at the moment.

We are both proud and happy and that is from all the staff.

Great to see a few old faces too - Ed and Bev Stephens coming out and supporting the team.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow!

Setting the scene....

few pics from setting this evening....

10 February 2012 AT 22:04:59

Making way for the machines in a hurry.... Emily, Jo and Chris..

Getting the piste ready for our fresh tracks....

Jut directing traffic.......

Back in the Borm...

Good to be back...

10 February 2012 AT 13:55:21

Well we are here now and i'll come onto today in a moment but first wanted to post the training times from the GS training on Wednesday.

We had a great week of training in Hinterreit and Leogang this week, it has been damn cold so the quanitity has been relatively low but the quality of skiing has been good and i am very positive about this weeks racing as a result.

Today we ran the SG training in Bormio which was very successful. Approximately 55 athletes took part, we started on time, did 3 training runs and were finished at 11.30. All the nets are in place so i am hoping tomorrow will be the a great day for British racing when we start and finish on time. 

We have had a tough program leading up to the English and with today's training finishing on time, the athletes have had plenty of time to get the skis prepped and actually have an afternoon off. Something they have been in need of. Peter and Barney also skied today and while it is even colder here than in Austria, they managed to make it through the morning without many problems.

Tomorrow will be the BARSC SG Race, lets hope the Ambition athletes can stamp their authority on a piste that they know very well.

Me and Jutty will be off up to re-set at 4.30pm. Today's course ran pretty well, going off the larger side of the Cuik jump - something i have not set on the Stelvio piste before - lets hope the re-set runs just as well.

I could have done with a set of boot heaters today that's for sure!!!

Set and ready....

Last day of slalom before English Champs...

07 February 2012 AT 21:15:52

Today went pretty well, the junior team that started 15 strong in October was down to 7 today....!! Every cloud however - we made the most of the smaller group and it was an especially good day for Thomasine Nilson-Wrede who was pretty fast down Hinterreit. The slope is solid there and you pick up speed so quick, its awesome to watch! Noel Baxter joined us with Jimmy (physio) and Alex (tech) for a few runs while he comes back from a knee op, great for Kieran, Max and Luke (the last 3 boys standing) to compare their times to see where they are at.

The guys were especially excited about meeting Julia Mancuso though who posed for a few pics with the Ambition girls after training, Jutty had a question for her but im not sure he got round to asking.... might of been one for her and Vonn though.

Lets see who can come up with the closest guess and to what Jutty's question was........

Bitter - Sweet.

The good, the bad and the ugly....

06 February 2012 AT 22:13:10

So i'm the good obviously.... Jutty is the bad.... and well..... he can be the ugly too...!!

In all seriousness, it's been a tough few days, we kicked off in gates yesterday with a full-on drill course session in Maria Alm - suicides / 3x3's / line drills / leaning towers, all to improve basic skills of ski racing. By the end we had the nippers clearing a lot better and had the juniors moving their feet pretty damn fast through the various flush combinations. (this is the good news)

At the same time, the kids were racing in Piesendorf at an Austrian children's race. Great to get that experience but by the end of the day we had lost Will and Beth Soman to injury. Both will be out until the end of the season and beyond which is really sad news (that is the Ugly news)

Today we had an awesome day on Hinterreit with the juniors, Kieran, Barney and Peter all skiing brilliantly and pushing to be fastest having won 1 run each by the 4th run. The girls looked alot stronger too after yesterdays 'drills' day, taking the exits in a much stronger position. Then, a few niggles were seen to and it appears the blister on Barney's toe is the start of frostbite and somehow Peter's nail is coming off, sidelining him for the next few days.

Its the end of a long day and i'm not sure weather to be pumped, sad or just pissed off. Mix of all 3 i think. Tomorrow we are on for slalom again in lane 4, as Vonn, Mancuso and Reisch are taking up the first 3 lanes - pretty cool and something to look forward to there!


One of those days...

...where a bit more luck wouldn't have gone amiss!

05 February 2012 AT 20:25:08

So today all of Ambition's children athletes took part in a local race, part of a series known as the Bezirkscup. Being part of the local Leogang ski club meant that all of our kids (apart from those born 2000 or later) could compete in a race predominantly for the region's best up and coming skiers. Today was a 2-run slalom race in Piesendorf on a hill that, at first glace, didn't seem to bad at all: a little steep on the top half, flat as pancake on the bottom.

On closer inspection though, it turned out the piste had been heavily injected, turned into something best described as an ice rink really, particularly on skier's left. Suffice to say, this made things pretty difficult for almost all of the racers, whether they were British, American or Austrian. All of our guys gave it a really good go, some really attacking it, some being more fortunate than others. Izzy and Freya made it down the first run (the much tougher, icier side of the slope) in order to give it full attack on the second which they certainly did, with some great skiing along the flat at the bottom!

Unfortunately the day was not so positive for others. As the day went by, both myself and Aaron slowly realised that it was one of those days where luck just didn't seem to be on our side. Unfortunately Beth took a tumble early on on the first run, binding pre-releasing and her subsequently tipping the next gate. After a coach making a fall of himself boot skiing down to her on the ice rink and a trip to hospital, it turned out she'd fractured both her tibia and fibula, which just goes to show sometimes how a small crash in slalom can have serious implications. Following that, after some free-skiing runs after the race, Will caught an edge and landed awkardly on his bad knee: another trip to the hospital to get it bandaged up and crutched for weight-bearing for a few days.

Even after over 100 racers there was hardly a scratch on the course...

So, definitely a great learning experience for all our guys who got their first taste of ski racing on seriously injected snow. Most the guys are pretty bummed out by  Beth's injury but we all of course wish her all the best with her speedy recovery. There's absolutely no doubt everybody wants to see her back out here ASAP on skis again!

So... a day certainly put down to experience, but no less valuable for everybody!