A Downhill Struggle
In the end it was one gate that cost them.
Stirling University’s Snowsports team rolled into Edinburgh for the Scottish and British Dry slope championships over the last two weekends. The events take place at Hillend, a place that is famous for two things; Europe’s longest dry ski run and, after the clocks go back, having sunset at 10am! All were told it may not be the most hospitable place for a team to arrive on a Saturday morning, but Stirling are made of stern stuff and after a quick course inspection the team took on the Giant Slalom course. Some tentative skiing by some of the less experienced members of the squad cost themembers good times, and a slip from Caitlin Cummings costing her a stunning time and a place in the finals. Angus Buchan was once again strong in making the freestyle finals for the 3rd year in a row.
Ali McFie was celebrating his 4th and final year with the squad, and as a testament to his quality, was disappointed to finish 5th in the Giant Slalom and to be knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Individual Duels.
The British Championships proved to be an even bigger challenge for Stirling as 1500 competitors from as far afield as Plymouth came to show what they were made of. Stirling lost James Ray to a nasty elbow injury during the warm-up. He was taken to A&E to receive stiches, ruling him out of the championships. Ali McFie once again led the line finishing in 13th place in the slalom, missing out on a Top 10 by less than half a second.
One missed gate in the second round of the Slalom Duels cost Stirling against Manchester University, one of the biggest Ski clubs in the country. However, the upset wasn’t to be and Stirling had to be content with a solid showing from rookie team members and the potential offered by a team dominated by 1st and 2nd year students. The departure of star Ali McFie will obviously hurt the team moving forward but hopes are high that Captain Rosie Gray can turn her young squad into something very special indeed.
To get more information on Snow Sports, Joining the Club or their Annual Holiday e-mail Kate Eyres on: firstname.lastname@example.org