Alpine Skiing

BY LIEUTENANT COLONEL RUPERT KITCHING MBE

CHAIRMAN ALPINE

The 2018 Inter-Service Alpine Championships were another huge success with some outstanding performances from the Ladies and Men competing at this, the final Alpine event in the military winter sports calendar.  Sadly, there were no international teams in 2018 but the Navy, Army and Air Force ensured that the competition was as strong as ever and it was unclear who would take the combined honours until the very last races.  In the Combined competition, the RAF Ladies and Army Mens teams secured victory in the respective Combination Cups. In the individual competition, Cpl Rachel Hughes (RAF) took the top spot in the overall Ladies Individual Combination with wins in the Super G, Slalom and Giant Slalom races. For the Men, Sapper Euan Kick was the most consistent skier across all the races thus securing the Men’s Individual Combination.

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the Méribel team from the ESF for the phenomenal effort in providing such superb races for our competitors and ensuring that the programme runs so smoothly.  They are hugely supportive of our Championships and remain flexible to our demands throughout the week we spend in Méribel. We look forward to returning in 2019. I would also like to thank my predecessor Brigadier Jonathon Calder Smith for his significant contribution as both Chairman Alpine and Director ISSSC since 2010 which has elevated the Championships to the level it is at today.

The UK Armed Forces Alpine team was selected at the end of Inter-Service Snow Sports Championships 2018 and went on to compete at the Delancey British National Ski Championships, which were held in Tignes for the fourth year in row.  The 2018 team was based upon those who had competed consistently throughout the 2018 Championships but also relied upon availability from individual Services, which can always be a challenge once the routine of normal work resumes!   This year the Alpine team was captained by Sqn Ldr Caitlin Wroe (RAF) ably supported by Capt Lauren Barr (Army), Lt Hollie Stuff (Army), LCpl Hayden Grand (Army), Spr Euan Kick (Army), Spr Duncan Kuwall (Army) and SAC Barnaby Rudge (RAF).  Each member of the UK Armed Forces Alpine Team performed exceptionally well against a high quality, world class field achieving the best results by a UK Armed Forces Alpine Team ever.  Of note was Euan Kick’s third place in the National Junior Championships Downhill and Slalom races and Caitlin Wroe’s position as best overall combined non-GB lady.

Looking forward to this year, those who have been to Méribel before will note that the Alpine Race programme has not changed from last year.  You can look forward to 3 days of Downhill, followed by a packed morning of Super G and Super Combined with the Slalom element of that competition taking part on the Méribel Stade that evening.  At the end of the week we run the Floodlit Parallel Slalom on Thursday (with the exciting Sponsors’ Team Slalom that evening) and on the Friday the final event is the Giant Slalom (followed by the ultra-competitive Sponsors’ Giant Slalom) completing a packed week of Championship races. Another exciting Championships are in the offing.