Last Sunday, the Stover School Ski Club headed up to our home slope for the Devon Schools Annual Competition. Despite having won the Primary School competition for the last 3 years running, with over 70 competitors from across Devon entering this year and missing two of our top racers through injury and others through fixture clashes, the team had an uphill battle. Schools competitions are typically split by gender, age and also for established racers as opposed to novices who essentially cannot have any prior race experience or have trained with a registered Club as opposed to within a School environment.
For any novice racer, with typically little or no experience of racing, it is quite a daunting challenge made all the harder when you know that the overall School result depends on your performance. Our novices however had an absolute ball! Firstly, Livvy McCarthy in only her second session on an artificial slope and in her first ever race, skied two quick runs. Continuing with the Senior school, Will Robinson who we tipped for stardom after some superb racing earlier in the season, was too hot to handle and secured the fastest novice time of the day in any category and just missed the overall podium. Another astonishing result in his debut season. Whilst the Stover Ski Club has a plethora of sibling combinations, Sunday saw early success for two previously unheralded racers. Both racing in the infant novice category, Molly Arnold finished four seconds ahead of her nearest rival in the girls category whilst Lucas Cox finished two seconds ahead in the boys category; both securing points for Stover. Both Molly and Lucas at 6 years old were quick enough to have made the overall U9 podium which is quite remarkable.
In the experienced racer categories, the racing was incredibly close. In the Junior Boys category, Frazer Cox finished the first run as the overall race leader and with a blistering second run won his category but missed out by thirteen hundredths of a second on the overall race win, finishing second. Rosie Arnold, stepping up into the older Junior Girl category for the first time, skied two technically beautiful runs to finish in second, eight hundredths of a second off Gold. In the Infant Girls Category, Arabella Armitage absolutely threw caution to the wind on her second run to come from behind and win a quite sensational and very brave Gold. In the infant Boys category, Tom and George England ran away from the rest of the field but this time the result from the summer racing was reversed with George just pipping Tom to Gold in a dramatic finish.
With eight medals spread across the team, Stover had enough strength in depth to win the overall Primary School Championship for the 4th time in a row and will aim for the double (Primary and Senior) this time next year!
A big thankyou to both Miss Robinson and Mrs Edwards as well as all the parents who gave up their weekend to support the team.
The Ski Club continues this Friday and all are welcome.
James Arnold (Coach)