Great turnout for Ambition meeting weekend

30 April 2012 AT 11:17:06

With many of our athletes attending Alex's birthday celebrations on Saturday night, i thought we may lose a few for Sunday's meeting day, however it soon became clear that we had under-estimated and needed a few extra chairs come Sunday lunchtime.

With new athletes, new parents and a new proposal we decided to get everyone together asap after the winter to discuss plans for 2012/13. It hardly seems as if we have stopped but already we are well into fitness programs & testing along with plans for summer camps and more. I think we had about 75% of the potential athletes with us this weekend where we went through a summary of 2011/12, discussed the new proposal and were lucky enough to have Mark Garfoot & Danille Surrett take the athletes through their paces with a range of tests and injury prevention workouts.

For skiers looking to join Ambition in the future, it is important they know what its all about right from the start! The weekend also gives everyone the time to meet, chat and catch up away from the bottom of races where it is always difficult.

Huge thanks to Rikki, Benn, Justin, Jo, Mark, Danielle & Monika for helping with the day & to all the athletes and parents who came along.

We look forward to more 'Team' weekends through the summer!

Ambition in action....

Going to be a fun weekend...

19 April 2012 AT 17:20:40

Had a little look at the startlist for the first of the new format GBR series this weekend and what a turnout we are going to have....

Ambition athletes old and new look set for an assault (of some sort) at Chill Factore this weekend;

Brad Morgan and James Foster (Ambition 2010/11) will be there, along with young guns Barney Lewis, Kieran Norris & hopefully (if entry is accepted) Max Asquith..... Myself and Ashley Hill will be having our usual start of summer battle (hopefully not for 9th & 10th position) - lets not forget that the old man managed to take down the young grasshopper last year. 

In the girls side, Beth Widdup will be flying the Ambition flag, along with nippers; Ella & Olivia Ward plus Sarah Glasgow. The children boys are also coming out of the woodwork with Ben Smith and Robert Waghorne making an appearance.

Mr Benn Hall is too scared to race so is going to for-run instead - we need a lot more peer pressure to get him out of retirement....!!

We are trying to encourage more and more of the Ambition athletes to train & race on a regular basis over the summer and use the facilities we do have in the UK to our advantage, certainly the progression of skiers Will Wheeler & Anna Henderson in recent years has been largely down to the regular time on skis. 

Lets hope the GBR series is a real hit and the new format works well - certainly the numbers look great especially in the mens event.

Also - really like this picture so im posting it again

How it all ended...

2011/12 season finished.

06 April 2012 AT 19:06:05

Well thats us done, its been full on since we started the Stelvio Summer Camp 9 months ago - indoor camps, plastic camps, Chile camp followed by the small matter of a new property to modify for the team then straight into the winter.

I had mixed feelings as we finished everything today as i do every year - a huge amount of relief, complete exhaustion, nervousness as to the workload ahead and wondering what i could have done better. The break for us will start in June once we have reflected on this season, documented what comes next and continued with the planning that must happen in the next few weeks.

And what to say of the last few days? Well Roy score his best result today in GS (43), Imi made her best Slalom result (61), Peter made his best slalom result (94), Izzy took another podium and the CH2 girls won Best CH2 Girls team (Anna, Izzy & Alice) to go with the Junior Club team from earlier this week. Its hard to say which year or team has been the strongest at Ambition and when i look at our 'Trophy Cabinet' on the website we have been luckily enough to work with most of GB's best up and coming athletes, but i think this year has been a year where we have re-defined our Children's team and i hope we can carry this success onto next year.

I am always sad at this time of year because it is all over for a while, but i want to say a huge thanks to all the athletes, parents and staff for being part of Ambition and making it something special.

British ChIldrens Champs Super G Days 1 & 2

No longer sunny in the 3 valleys...

04 April 2012 AT 16:54:37

So the last two days have seen the children racing super g. Yesterday was meant to be a training day, but with the weather slowly deteriorating, they decided to go for two races instead, incase today didn't happen. As it turned out, the organisers made a great call because the clear and cold nights that Meribel and Courchevel have enjoyed for the last week came to an end. Last night the cloud moved in and so the snow only froze hard about three quarters of the way through the course. As a result, the bottom of the course was too dangerous with soft snow so the race was called off.

Yesterday was a different story, however, with the snow conditions perfect for super g. The race was a bit of a mixed bag for us, but considering it was many of the guys' first or second super g, it wasn't too bad at all! Izzy Taylor won the only Ambition medal of the day; 3rd in CH2. She's been skiing super g really well for the last couple of months so it was great to see her converting that into a result. Phoebe Long also skied a blinder to end up in the top 15 for her age, something which was a specific target she had set for this week. For the rest of the guys, it was a case of another super g race in the bag, and some more valuable speed experience with it.

Tomorrow, the girls are on slalom and the boys are on GS, with the weather looking a little less favourable for GS (slalom can run in almost anything!).


Scottish Champs Day 1...

Courchevel carnage....

03 April 2012 AT 15:19:58

Courchevel took on its normal role today at the Scottish Champs with the sun beating down on the slopes, making for soft conditions and some interesting racing. It was tough today but nowhere near as tough as the results sheet shows, half of the DNF's were still on their feet, skiing out rather than fighting until they were on their arses. Disappointing to watch the lack of fight or spirit in some of the athletes including 3 of Ambition's own skiers. 

The boys first run caught the majority of skiers out, rutting after the first 3 men it was more a case of fighting to get down and stay in rather than making speed. Kieran, Peter and Luke Steyn ended up crashing out in style on the first run, while Barney skied a solid run to place well inside the top 30. Despite Roy Steudle walking, he still managed to place well inside the 30.

Max Asquith battled his way down showing true determination to get into 30 poisition! Giving Max the chance to ski a clean course for the first time in a race this season in the 2nd run. Sadly Aza had a fall about a third of the way down on run 2, but went for it none the less and i am sure he will get in those position more in future years. Barney and Roy skied clean runs on the 2nd course, not perfect but pretty well considering the state of the course! 

In the girls race, Imi placed 3rd after the first run, staying in touch with the leader on the shortened GS. The 2nd run she was even closer to end 1.5 out overall and score her 2nd best result of the season. Both Vi and Thomasine were well inside the top 30 after the first run, but run 2 proved tough for them both as they had costly mistakes, with Thomasine going onto the DNF list. Alex Buchanan skied some great turns today, not perfect at the top of the turn but an improvment for sure and we hope she can build on that in tomorrows race.

All in all not too bad in the Courchevel lottery!!!

Sunny Courchevel

A successful couple of days for the children at th

02 April 2012 AT 19:54:37

So the Children's races in Courchevel are already over, even though it only feels like yesterday (it in fact was Saturday) that we finally arrived at our appartments near Meribel Village after a pretty long journey across Europe.

Courchevel proved to be pretty successful for us though, with a grand total of 7 medals: 1 gold, 2 silvers, 4 bronzes across the two days. Not bad at all! Anna Henderson finally overcame her GS demons on the second run today (after crashing out on the first run) to win the second run in the girl's competition, whilst Ella Ward built on her bronze in the second run of the slalom yesterday to take bronze and silver in the first and second run respectively today. Alice Taylor skied some awesome slalom yesterday to storm the first run into 3rd place, and whilst she unfortunately came out on the second run, she showed what she's capable of achieving as we move in to the British Champs races.

Although Izzy Taylor may not have any medals to show for her efforts over the last two days, she had an unlucky day in the slalom yesterday, having caught Anna's cold and subsequently lost her voice, (bliss for the coaches...). Today, she was a little unlucky too, at least on the first run. In Aaron's words, she was 'flying' until she fell inside towards the bottom of the steep and hip slid. Second run was looking good too until she skied too straight into an undergate coming onto the flat which cost her speed and time not far from the finish...

In the boys, we had a little more of a mixed bag. We started off the races badly with Lucas and Patrick both crashing on the 4th gate due to some pretty 'slick' snow. But things got better from there, and we ended up today with all the boys putting in some really solid runs in slalom, with Robert Waghorne, a new addition to the team for this camp, making it within three gates of finishing two solid runs in a row... He was by no means the only one to succumb to this third-to-last gate though, with a good half of the field having the same problem.

Tomorrow we have an even earlier start for the Super G race, changed from a training run due to the fact that the weather seems to be turning against us for the rest of the week. So fingers crossed for some more fast skiing from the kids tomorrow, building on the last couple of days!

Here's some shots of the podiums from today from an extremely sunny Courchevel...


Done and dusted...

Last race of the British Champs!!

02 April 2012 AT 14:19:28

The last 9 days have been excellent here in Meribel, we have had perfect racing conditions every single day. From the moment we arrived it has been clear and cold every night, with beautiful sunshine during the races, we have had solid slopes, full length courses and perfect visibility in every race.

Today was the last day and Ambition once again had a day to remember. The girls were on GS and while Imi had some mistakes, she skied a good 2nd run to come 2nd Brit, changing the order on the podium for the last day! Violet Miller had an great 2nd run too, showing that she can mix it with the best junior girls in GS aswell as speed.

In the boys race, the NJC slalom was exciting, the J1 race was wide open after the first run with about 10 athletes all placed within the same second. Barney Lewis was well in the pack and had it not been for his ski flying off over the first ridge, could have easily ended up on the podium. Roy Steudle completed the first run with some of the best slalom skiing i have ever seen from him - sadly he crashed on the second run but hiked to get the finish and collect vital points towards the overall. Ash Hill had a poor first run by his standards but nailed the 2nd run to become British Junior Slalom Champion for the 2nd year in a row.... a special mention must also go to Charlie Raposo who would have left te J1 field in his tracks - this guy was blisteringly fast first run until he ate ice through the last flush!!

And so came the overall titles:

  • Roy Steudle - Overall Junior & Junior 2 Champion
  • Imogen Taylor - Overall Junior (3rd) & Junior 2 Champion (3rd)
  • Violet Miller - Overall Junior 1 (2nd)
  • Charlie Raposo - Overall Junior 1 (2nd)
  • AMBITION - Overall Junior Club Champions

We retained the title as junior club Champions and between Roy and Ash took 3 out of the 4 mens Junior Champion titles!! The Ambition old boys doing great things, give it 12 months and i think we will be seeing some of our J1 boys taking the steps of the podium too.

Onto the Scottish in Courchevel - Thanks Meribel!!


A day of results and PB's for Ambition.

01 April 2012 AT 12:29:01

What a day we have had today!

The girls started off strong today with Imi skiing a great first run to place 2nd, Thomasine came down into 8th follwoed by Beth Widdup going into 10th overall. Although Alex Tilley smashed the second run, Imi finished to come 3rd overall and 2nd Junior, while Beth had another strong run to place 2nd Jnr 1! Thomasine had an error on the steep and ended up DSQ after not hiking high enough. So far so good, 2nd place in both Jnr 1 & 2 for the girls.

In the boys event, Roy Steudle carried on his awesome run of form, placing 4th overall, making his 2nd best points result and winning the Junior Championship GS title to go with his SG title from last week. Charlie Raposo showed his awesome GS skills to take the jnr 1 title, with Barney & Peter both skiing well to make the top 30 and ski well to score PB results in GS. Max Asquith did not quite make the top 30 but he also scored his best points result of the season in GS.

All in all an awesome day, racking up the points for the junior club award too - having missed out at BARSC and English Champs, we are all determined to win this award tomorrow.