Artemis British Interschools Ski Challenge: Pila March 2017

Adam and Laura Harrison-Smith and Daniel Hutchings raced at the Artemis Interschools Race in Pila this week, representing St Mary’s Independent School in Southampton. Dan had already had a packed week of training with ESSKiA, so was excited to be putting what he’d learnt into practice, (but a also little tired)!  Fabrizio Ghislanzoni joined us from Verbier as team coach so the team were able to apply some of the drills that they had learnt on the dry slope to the alpine environment.


There were two days of racing – on the first day, Giant Slalom, with Adam and Dan racing first in the U12 boys race. Laura was racing later in the day and she got the raw deal as hot weather and the usual racing delays meant that she was racing on a very tracked out course.   The field was enormous, with about 200 children competing from Switzerland, France and Italy as well as the UK and standards were very high.   Laura came 12th in the U10 girls, Adam 28th and Dan 63rd, so all three came at least middle of the field.


On the second day, it was the boys turn to race second. Laura skied a blinding first run, showing the importance of planning her race with Fabrizio and skiing that plan, skiing a good line and beating very good skiers who didn’t have the benefit of Fabrizio’s expertise! That performance got her third place on the podium.


By the time the boys came to race, there had already been about 150 runs through the soft course and by the time 80+ U12s had charged down it, it resembled more of a skier cross course than a slalom one. For both boys, getting down in one piece was dominating their thoughts, so we were all very proud to see Adam get 24th and Dan 46th. Again, with Fabrizio to guide them, they were able to plan their races, though it was clear to see that both of them were being bounced around so much that it was very hard to keep their intended lines.


We all had a great time in Pila, which had good race pistes and was very welcoming to a huge number of racers. It was a fantastic opportunity for the skiers to race against some very accomplished skiers and to experience racing in spring snow. We’d like to thank Fabrizio for being a great coach, channelling Laura’s emotions to get her that great result!   We’d also like to thank him for finding us good food and sorting out Mike’s tyre!!!!!


Roll on Pila 2018!

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