On 27 January 2018, a group of 15 boys from the Ski Team flew to Switzerland for the DHO (Downhill Only) British Schoolboys’ International Races, held in the Wengen resort on the world famous Lauberhorn.

The first day of skiing saw an early start, ready for an intensive day of training for Slalom. Overseen by Miss Evans (Head of Skiing), Mr Hindocha (Race Team Manager), Mr Willatt (Head of Co-Curricular) and Mr Sanderson (Headmaster). The boys spent the morning working on their skiing technique and helping the Headmaster to improve his skills before moving to a slalom course in the afternoon. The course allowed the team to re-adjust to skiing on snow again and gain some valuable gate practice in before the races.

The second day, we went directly into training for the Dual Slalom event that evening. At around 2pm we came off the slopes in order to tune our skis and focus our minds on the race. The highlight of the dual slalom was Jonathan Kay securing first place in the Minis (U12) age group.

The serious racing began on the third day with the Giant Slalom. The team worked together visualising the course and encouraging one another in preparation for the race. It was great to have the other boys and parents cheering their support from vantage points along the course. The GS races saw a mixed bag of results for the team but most importantly resulting in three podium positions. Jonathan Kay received third place in the Minis, Theo Austin came third in the Under 14s and Diaco Abrishami secured first place overall. Ben Hummel also came fifth in his age group.

The races continued on the fourth day with the Slalom. Long courses provided many options for the racers to make mistakes, so a detailed inspection was essential. This allowed us to visualise the course, planning our strategy for the race before we did our runs, resulting in a collection of fast times and two more podium positions. Second place was awarded to Alex Lancaster in the Under 14s and a win for Diaco Abrishami overall. Other notable results included a fourth place for Fergus Bidwell and fifth place for Theo Austin and Ben Hummel in their age groups.

There was also a team competition in which the school had some excellent results. This event took the top three times from both Slalom and GS for a total of six times. The A team came third and the B team placed sixth overall with them winning the Under 14s.

The team that represented the school was made up of Jonathan Kay (U12); Ferus Bidwell, Alex Lancaster, Luke McCool, Theo Austin, Edward Botes, Ketan McMillan, Harry Johnson (U14); Diacro Abrishami, Ben Hummel, Liam Donnelly, Matthew McCool, Daragh McHale, Pietro Vascotto-Vidal and Kyle McMillan (U16).

We learnt many lessons over the week and look forward to putting these into practice over the rest of the season. We are also very grateful for the opportunity to represent the school and are thankful to the staff and our parents for making it possible.

Written by: Liam Donnelly 10JKO