Evo Breakout Slalom a success despite weather

Yet again the lure of racing was the big winner as the Team Evolution organised BreakOut Slalom at Gosling Ski Centre in Welwyn Garden City saw some great racing from racers that braved the conditions. Storm Alex did its best to dampen the enthusiasm but the format, first tested out in Stoke, meant that there was a quick turn around for racers and parents. There were race wins for Charlie Howe and Isabel Lincoln overall but that was not the full story of the day.

Following the format of small groups doing their three runs in quick succession, the advantage of this was there was no hanging around for the athletes as the rain belted down. While it was more of an intermittent drizzle, those attending the race wore big smiles as they got back to doing what they enjoy: Either racing or attending racing from a social side as they watched their offspring race. The mental health positives are just as important as the physical positives in these trying times.

George Brown was the first to show his hand in the opening group and the U14 racer from the Midlands Ski Club held on to win the age group with a competitive best run time and finish seventh overall.

The second group saw a competitive battle between the Under 14 girls as Daisy Putman and Katie Saunders tied for the age group win, both using the time that they posted from the third run. Just 0.02 seconds separated the top three as Anna Sarkar, in the same group took third.

The format of random ages in the groups meant that Lila Ayton, going in the last group, knew what she had to do to make it into the age group podium but despite going quicker on each run, could not quite make the time requited and finished 0.07 behind the winning two!

Group three saw the fastest time by a female as Isabel Lincoln posted her time on her first run and was unable to better it. Abigail Putman had posted a strong time from the second group but she slipped to third as Olivia Howeson posted a time just 0.14 behind Lincoln in the group after her.

Group four saw Adam Grecula post the fastest time to that point amongst all the racers. Grecula, recently returned from living in Russia, showed good skills to post his fastest time on the second run after crashing out on his first. The bar had been set! The Under 16 age group was strong and Harvey Stanley, racing in the last group went close to Grecula's time on his first run but could not better it and finished two tenths off the pace set by Grecula.

If just the excitement of being back slapping plastic was not enough, Charlie Howe raised the bar in terms of tension in going for the race win. Run one saw him 0.04 behind the time set by Grecula, run two saw him 0.01 behind and on the third run it all came together and the Norwich racer posted a time 0.21 ahead of Grecula for the overall race win. Great racing and a great spectacle in the trying conditions.

After the race, this was for many, the first time they had experienced a race format like this, some of the parents and racers felt that this was a great format as it dispensed with the long periods of hanging around doing nothing. Like Stoke, Welwyn Garden City allowed for a warm up area so that racers could come in, register, do their warm up and then race before leaving with standings being emailed out after each group.

While the social element of summer racing is one of its big draws, when the rain is pouring or even drizzling, the quick turn around has its plus points!

With many wanting more racing, the fun element of racing was a huge part of this race again. It is hard to see national racing taking place this summer and this means the likelihood of seeded races this summer depends very much on governmental guidelines. Some racing is better than no racing at all it has to be said.

Yet again Gosling Sports Centre and its ski slope delivered and showed just how important it is to the ski racing community. The fight to keep it open and available to all is ongoing!

The age group winners were:

Female: Phoebe Harris (Under 8), Helena Rishton (Under 10), Freya Tresidder (Under 12), Daisy Putman (Under 14), Isabel Lincoln (Under 16 & Race Winner), Evie Ayton (Under 18), Charlotte Blyth (Senior), Bev Anderson (Masters)

Male: Marcus Pop (Under 8), Samuel Greenland (Under 10), Hunter Barnes (Under 12), George Brown (Under 14), Adam Grecula (Under 16), Edward Fisher (Under 18), Charlie Howe (Under 21 & Race Winner), James Fisher (Masters).

Many thanks to Team Evolution and Ski Bartlett for sponsoring the pictures taken by Racer Ready and these are available on www.racerready.zenfolio.com

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