Rankin, Kadrnka and Parton take spoils in the Winter Sports Foundation Pro Slalom

The buzz around Pro Slalom racing following Dave Ryding's superb performance in taking second in the Oslo World Cup City Event, was evident at the Winter Sports Foundation supported Pro Slalom at the Ambition Championships. With three age groups, Under 10 and 12's, Under 14 and 16 and then the Over 16's, there was plenty to keep the watching parents and siblings entertained. After a qualification run to determine the draw it was Charles Rankin that emerged victories in the older age group with Markus Kadrnka and Lewis Parton taking the victory in the younger age groups.

Rankin had been on course to meet his good friend and training partner, Owen Vinter in the final before Vinter had a momentary lapse of concentration in the semi final and allowed Sarah Woodward to edge him out. With money on offer to the winners, Vinter was lost for wards after the race as to why this had happened. Woodward is renown for fighting all the way to the finish and Vinter will have learned a hard lesson with this.

Woodward gave Rankin a run for the money but despite Rankin losing a pole, he had too much power to keep Woodward in check and take the win.

In the Under 14 and 16 category, Markus Kadrnka edged out Sophie Fister by just 0.10 to take the win. Foster had qualified second fastest behind Kaylan Huisman Muro. Huisman Muro was beaten in the quarter finals by Ryan Pye who in turn lost out to Kadrnka in the semi final. Pye went on to take third place.

In the youngest age group, Lewis Parton came through to take the win. Parton had been disappointed with his qualification run that saw him in third but skied with gusto and battled his way to the final, beating the fastest qualifier, Holly Tutt in the semi final before beating Katie Saunders in the two legged final. This was great racing and the mix of girls and guys in the same field raised the stakes for many of the racers! Brodie Hodge took third.

Smiles, excited racers and parents that braved the snow and wind to support were the highlights of the opening day of racing at the Ambition Championships. Two days of Slalom racing followed by two Giant Slalom races on the Hintereit slopes await!

More innovative and exciting races are needed to bring excitement to young racers. With the Pro Slalom now part of the World Cup, World Championships and Olympics, the more practice racers can get at the format the better.

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