by Pete Davies November 15, 2017
Charlie Raposo has travelled the world in pursuit of his dream of being a top alpine ski racer. The 21 year old has already had a taste of the World Cup, but wants to make sure he is competing at the highest level for Great Britain on a more regular basis.
Wellsnowsports caught up with Raposo before the start of the European winter race season:
You had a World Cup Giant Slalom start in Soelden and a great performance in the World Junior Championships in Sweden, how were those experiences?
"They were both great experiences. Obviously the World Cup was my first race and it was cool to be competing at the highest stage of the sport that I’m in. I hope to be knocking on the door there and competing in the World Cup in the coming years.
“The World Junior Champs in Sweden was my last junior champs. It was also my fourth. It was a cool experience and I managed to finish sixth. I was hunting to get a medal and I was fairly close (only 4 tenths off the podium). A few too many mistakes on the first run cost me. Nonetheless, it was great to be fighting for the medal.”
How was last season as a whole?
“Last season I had a lot of ups and downs. I struggled a lot with racing. I struggled to find good flow, I was having good sections, but wasn’t putting a whole run together. Towards the end of the season I was able to salvage things and sort myself out.
“World Juniors went well and a few more races throughout the year I managed to produce some good skiing. I guess I was happy with it all by the end of the season.”
How has your summer prep gone?
“Summer prep has been really good. There is a new programme for the upcoming season with the British Europa Cup Team made up of myself and four other athletes. There has been a massive volume of skiing and it is the first summer I have not raced since I have joined FIS.
“It has also been the first summer I have not gone to the southern hemisphere in eight years, so it will be nice to be European based and get more volume on European snow. Hopefully that will all pay off come winter time!”
What is it like training with British racers like Dave Ryding, Laurie Taylor, Billy Major and Nick Moynihan?
“I really love it! Having a British national team has a different feeling to it then it has before. We all come together to help each other, not that did not take place before when I was skiing with Global Racing, but the support structure is really good. There is so much to learn from Dave and even Laurie, Billy, Nick and I learn things from each other.”
Do you have any aims for this season?
“I just want to be able to produce good skiing. That is sort of the goal for this season. I want to keep a level head and there is a lot going on when I am tackling European Cups, North American Cups and maybe some World Cups. I also hope this might be my first Olympic Games, but we will have to see about that one!”
What are your long term goals?
“Long term I want to reach the top of the sport. I have been working hard for that since I was a young kid and I will continue to do so now. I definitely want to be competing at the World Cup at the top level.”
How did you get into ski racing?
“I grew up skiing in Verbier when I was 10 and the ski instructor turned around to me and said: ‘There is not much I can do with you Charlie, you should start racing’. So my first year was with British Ski Academy and then I did two years with Ambition Racing and I am still a member of Ambition. Then I went to the US for High School there and that is where things really kicked off for me.”
Which World Cup skier do you admire the most?
“That is a tough question! I think what a lot of the top guys do is cool. They are all competing at a high level with a lot of consistency. They know when to bring their A game. When it doesn’t matter so much they are not the fastest on the hill, but when it does really matter they are.
“You know though, you can’t not say Marcel Hirscher; the guy is an unbelievable talent. Not only by the way he skis, but what he was capable to do in his head was seriously impressive winning the Overall, Giant Slalom and the Slalom title, as well as the World Championship Slalom and GS. It is pure domination and it is amazing to see.”
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by Pete Davies November 06, 2017
Rob Poth is an emerging talent in the British alpine ski team and has shown some great performances in the technical disciplines. Last season the 20 year old went to the Junior World Championships in Are, Sweden for the first time. He was unable to finish in the slalom, but finished 55th in the Giant Slalom. Each of these experiences are building to his main goal of reaching the World Cup in future years.
Wellsnowsports caught up with Poth before the full winter season had started:
Last season you raced your first Junior World Champs in Sweden, how was that experience for you?
“It was pretty exciting competing against the best in the world for my age. Although I did not ski my best I still came away with valuable experience, which I will use for the future. Especially at next years World Junior Champs.
How was last season for you overall?
A mixture of ups and downs I would say. My Giant Slalom came along well with consistent results. Slalom however was a little inconsistent with good results coming every now and then. Some of the main highlights were competing in my first World Junior Champs and Europa Cup races. Those races showed me how much work needs to be done to get the next level.
How was the Norwegian Kandahar camp this summer?
Probably one of the best summer training camps I have had. The variety of Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G and different terrain meant training was always exciting. Plus, with the Fonna Glacier not being as high as most glaciers, we could get a lot of volume in.
How has your summer prep been?
Summer prep has gone very well. I have had a good mixture of time on snow and dry land training. Not only have we spent time on the glacier in Norway, but we have also used indoor centres to get some technical work dialled in.
Do you have any particular goals moving into the new season?
As always I am working hard to make changes or improvements to keep chipping away at my FIS points.
One of the main events this season is the World Junior Championships in Davos. I am hoping to achieve a top 20 placing in Slalom.
You wear a Briko helmet, what do you like about the product?
It fits extremely well for me and has some very cool designs, especially this season’s products!
How did you get into ski racing?
My Dad is an ex ski racer. On my third birthday my parents took me to Welwyn dry slope for my first ski lesson. I have loved it ever since doing my first dry slope race at the age of four and snow race at five.
What World Cup skier (past or present) do you admire the most?
It has got to be Dave Ryding! From watching him on the dry slope when I was a kid to now being amongst the best slalom skiers in the world, is so awesome to see.
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by Pete Davies November 01, 2016
Laurence Willows is a prime example of how to follow your dreams whilst also studying to prepare for the future. The 20 year old is on the British Ski Cross Team and is currently doing a degree in Economics, Finance and Banking at the University of Portsmouth. Willows has a clear drive in what ever he does but also a grounded attitude to both his sporting aspirations and career choices.
Wellsnowsports caught up with the London based skier to talk about his ski cross achievements so far and how he’s going to prepare for this coming season.
How did last season go?
“Last season was the best overall season I have had. My world ranking dropped to 152nd. I also started two Europa cups for the first time at the end of the season and managed to finish 31st and 32nd place. I was really happy with those performances.
“I was disappointed to make a mistake in the World Junior Champs but my results in the Nor-Am were really pleasing because that’s where I managed to drop some of my ranking points.That has really set me up for this season”
What has your highlight been so far in Skier cross?
“I would say one of the highlights was when I was in Canada and I got to train and race against their national team. There was a World Cup race on before that I got watch and then I was up against some of the same guys in the Nor-Am Cup, because they ski the same course. It was great to see the best guys in the sport up close.”
How far are you off the world’s best?
“If I was to look at things realistically, I would look at the top 10 and say I’m about six per cent off their time. At the moment, because I have not skied much this season I have no idea where I will be. I have just been focusing on power work in the gym.
“I have also changed skis from Stoeckli to Salomon this year and I have new boots, so all that will be new to me. When I head off to Italy in a month’s time it will be clear how far I will be off the top guys.”
How many races are you doing this season and what are your goals?
“I have got two FIS races in Italy at the end of November lined up. Then I am going off to train in Austria just before Christmas. Early January I am off to Sweden for more FIS races. Then later in January I will be back there for the Swedish National Champs and more FIS races.
“In February I am off to Kazakstan for the Winter Universiade where I hope to finish top 10 and break into the semi finals. Later on in March I will go to central Europe for the Europa Cups, then move across to the world junior champs in April and hopefully break top 20.”
What are your long term ambitions?
“Long term aim is to make it to the 2022 Olympics. Although I do not like to look too far ahead. I like just want to take each season as it comes. If I feel I can really reach that pinnacle of the sport then that is when I will be able to look two or three seasons ahead.”
by Pete Davies October 10, 2016
by Pete Davies October 02, 2016
Since the first Winter X games back in 2002, park and pipe skiing has grown into a great spectacle that many people around the world come to watch. ESPN have invested heavily in broadcasting the winter action sports and park and pipe is the one of the main events to reap the rewards.
The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics saw the first ever park and pipe events for men and women competitors. Slopestyle was one of the most viewed events in Britain during the Sochi games, with Britain’s Jenny Jones taking Bronze in the snowboarding slopestyle.
Since Sochi there has been major funding and excitement surrounding the GB Park and pipe team who will be gearing up for the next Winter Olympic games in Pyoengchang during 2018.
But who are the world’s best park and pipe athletes we need to keep an eye out for?
Some of the best in the world
Ladley has been snowboarding on the pipe for many years and has had his fair share of injuries to deal with. The 2015/16 season saw him really come to the limelight when he won an X Games Superpipe medal in Aspen and the U.S. Grand Prix in Park City. The Chicago born boarder gets huge amplitude on the pipe and does some of the hardest rotations with ease!
New Zealand’s Wells has been competing in the X games since 2008 but got his first gold medal in ski slopestyle this year. He holds his own Big Air invitational event in New Zealnad and has featured in numerous ski movies over his career. UK fans can see him ride in the UK from the 2nd -5th October on Woodsy’s Only Mad dogs and Englishmen tour.
Kenworthy was actually born in the Chelsmford in the UK but rides for the US ski team. The 24 year-old got silver in pipe and slopestyle at the X games this year and was a silver medallist at the Sochi Olympics. It won’t be long before the young versatile freestyle gets gold in one of the major competitions in the future.
(Photo Credit: Redbull Content Pool)
Canadian rider McNorris has six snowboarding gold medals in the Winter X games over his career. He also got a bronze in slopestyle at the last Olympics. At only 22 years-of-age, the young boarder continues to produce runs with bags of tricks and always raises the level of competition.
(Photo Credit: Redbull Content Pool)
One of the biggest stories to come out of the X games this year was when 13 year-old Estonian skier Sildaru won gold in the 2016 X games female slopestyle. She is the youngest X games medallist of all time and has just signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with Faction. Watch out for her 10 year-old brother Henry, who is also said to be a great rider too!
(Photo Credit: Redbull Content Pool)
Canada’s O’Brien has five X games medals to her name but finally got her first gold this year in the female snowboard slopestyle. The 28 year-old is a late developer but has a distinct all attack style with technical prowess. Now that she’s finally won X games gold she’ll probably kick on to win many more medals in the future!
16 year-old Kim had an amazing 2016 by winning gold in snowboard Superpipe at both the Oslo and Aspen Winter X games. No only that, she also won the Halfpipe and Slopestyle gold medals at the 2016 Lillehammer Winter Youth Olympics. She’s Korean born but rides for the US team and will hopefully make her full Olympic debut in 2018!
Since 2013 Bowman has dominated the female skiing halfpipe discipline by winning four consecutive X games golds and an Olympic gold at Sochi 2014. The 22 American consistently puts down runs with bags of tricks and great stylish amplitude. She’s one of the most decorated female freeskiers of all time and it’s hard to see who can stop her winning more in the future!
The British freestyle scene is booming with many riders hitting the artificial slopes since the first Olympic slopestyle in Sochi. Events like the Championship Ski and Snowboard competition have been a huge hit in the UK. Riders representing their local slopes have been battling it out to see who has the best freestylers in country.
Teams from Bearsden, Braehead, Hemel, Milton Keynes, Aberdeen, Stoke and Tamworth have been battling out to win the CSS championship league. This year Bearsden won the ski and snowboard leagues. Check out the video below to see what all the fuss is about!
James ‘Woodsy’ Woods narrowly missed out on an X games medal when he finished 4th in the 2016 slopestyle. However, he has got two X games bronze medals to his name (2013 Aspen and 2011 Tignes). He’ll be hoping to get back on the podium in both the World Cup and X games competitions in the lead up to the 2018 Winter Olympics.
by Pete Davies September 27, 2016
Dave “the rocket” Ryding has definitely cemented himself within the top slalom elite on the World Cup tour. Ryding scored an impressive total of 115 World Cup points in slalom, which place him 22nd in the overall standings. He was the fourth ever Brit to qualify for the World Cup finals and achieved a personal best result on the World Cup with a 12th position in Val d’Isere in December 2015.
We’re sure “the rocket” will blast his way up the World cup standings again this year!
Alex Tilley started last season with mixed emotions. She qualified for the second Giant slalom run in Soelden but unfortunately skied out on one of the turns on the bottom half of the slope. The 22 year old brushed herself off and returned to the World Cup in Lienz with a fantastic 19th place in Giant slalom. Tilley has the best current British FIS points in Slalom, GS and Super G.
With the help of her coach and former GB World Cup skier Noel Baxter, Tilley will be hoping to break in to the top 30 in the world on a more regular basis this season.
Rising up the world rankings!
Check out our range of Briko Products worn here by Robert Poth
What the athletes had to say to Wellsnowsports on the coming winter race season!
Dave Ryding on his prep for this winter: “Over the summer I aim to continue the improvement I have been making the past two seasons. Come the winter I hope to be in a better position once again to push for better results this season.”
Charlie Guest talks about her targets for future: “The next couple of seasons are going to be the most exciting of my career so far. I am really looking forward to the World Championships in February where I will be aiming for a top 20 in the slalom.
“The biggest aim this season is in Europa Cup. I am looking at being able to finish in the top three overall this year, which will allow me to win my own start spot on World Cup going into the Olympic Season.”
Robert Poth also looks to establish himself on the world alpine stage: “My main goals for the season are being selected for the World Junior Champs in Are and the main World Alpine Champs in St.Moritz in 2017.
“I also want to break into the top 300 in the world for slalom and move into the top 3 ranked GB slalom skiers.”
This is just a flavour of who is at the top of the British team. There are plenty of other British athletes who could move up the rankings this season too. Let’s hope the nation can celebrate some great performances in alpine at the end of the season!
Keep your eyes peeled for a full interview with British alpine’s top female skier Alex Tilley in the coming week!
Rankings and points stated were quoted at time of writing on the FIS database.
Full British Alpine squad list 2016/17:
Nicole RitchieRoy Steudle
Arie Van Vuuren
Hannah Loeffen Gallagher
Shana DanenbergsonsZach Hall