2023 saw the return of the British School Girls Champs in Flaine, France, since before the pandemic hit. You could feel the buzz around the resort as the teams arrived and the Surbiton skiers were excited to be racing again.
The skiers had two days training, before the races started with the Giant Slalom on Monday. Super performances from all, but the outstanding mention goes to Emily Magnani, who went from bib number 106 into 6th overall, and picked up 3rd in the U14 category.
Later in the afternoon it was the Dual Slalom race, this is always super exciting as two teams race against each other side by side. Unfortunately, this year only the A teams got to race, but this didn’t damped the B teams spirits as they took on the role of chief cheerleaders. After three comfortable wins we were through to the ¼ finals against Reeds, with two ex-Surbiton pupils in their team we knew this was going to be a tough race, and this it was. Off they went neck and neck, Surbiton getting a small lead, then Reeds catching up, with the final racers starting at the same time, fighting all of the way. Half of the crowd holding their breath and the other half cheering them all on, after a tense few minutes while the finish line video was check (as it was to close to call by the eye) Surbiton A team were announced as winners (whoop), but no time to celebrate, back up they go. Beating Aiglon in the Semi Finals, we were then up against Wellington School, including the winner of the GS race that morning, but we knew that our girls had been training hard for this moment and they completely delivered, coming away as Dual Slalom Campions.
No time for celebrating though, as the team went back to the apartment to prepare their skis for the Slalom race the next day. The weather slightly warmer, making the snow softer and bumpier, so conditions a little tricker. But this wasn’t going to phase our pupils, who always show an amazing about of resilience and determination. This time Ella Butterworth gets herself on the podium, 2nd in the U18 category, with rest of the girls finishing comfortably in the top 30 out of 132 starters.
We then had the tense wait until prize giving for the overall combined results… Finally it was announced, we had won the Eve Alcott memorial cup for the fastest combined B team. With alumni skier, Chemmy, there to present her mother’s trophy to the Surbiton High School B team, this was a special moment for all involved.
Congratulations to all who competed! All racers who attended came away having been on the podium, it really does show that hard work does pay off. The team work and support from the girls, both on and off the slopes, was an absolutely fantastic, they are a real credit to the school. I was immensely proud to be there with them.
Miss Archbold, Head of Skiing