YUsnow went to the largest BUCS points event of the year during the Easter holidays: the British Universities Snowsports Council’s ‘Main Event’, a week long snowsports competition with nearly 100 points up for grabs in skiing and snowboarding events. YUsnow claimed six of these as their own as once again Marlies Neuner stepped up to the podium, finishing third in the snowboard giant slalom (GS) behind old rivals from Newcastle and Loughborough. Neuner also finished second in a tight snowboard parallel slalom and second in the boarder cross, both exciting head to head, high-adrenaline events. Tom Farrow and Paul Oates also had good results in the snowboard GS, coming 15th and 34th respectively, a really strong performance in a competitive category.
The skiers also did well considering the increased level of competition and the professional level of the courses. All ten skiers had chance to compete in a skier cross and in a qualifying run on a short GS course: the top 90 men qualified, as did the top 60 women. Unfortunately Alana Buchanan, Sam Woodman, Matt Cooke and Alex Reilly did not manage to qualify on a tough and icy course. The rest of the team went on to compete in a second GS round, two slalom rounds and the Super G. This week is the only time the Super G is run for university skiers; the event is a bigger, faster version of the GS, with longer turns which encourage the skiers to go as fast as they dare. Notable results include 18th place for James Lodge in the GS and 9th in the ski cross, 45th for Matt Thomas in the slalom, 49th for Mike Perkins in the Super G and 19th in the women’s Super G for Louise Cotrel-Gibbons.
Marlies Neuner finished third in the snowboard giant slalom and second in both the parallel slalom and boarder cross. Photograph courtesy BUSC Media Crew.
However, the best results were saved for the youngest members of the team. In the women’s events first year Steph Campbell-Woodward gave excellent performances all week, finishing 13th in the slalom, 17th in the GS, and 11th in the Super G and 5th in the ski cross. Dave Tee just missed out on BUSC points in every event: he came 5th in the GS, 6th in the slalom and 6th in the Super G. These promising results for the fresher skiers indicate YUsnow has a great future ahead, with hopefully several skiers in the medals next year.
The Main Event was also an exciting week for YUsnow’s fledgling freestyle team, who entered two snowboarders in the halfpipe and slopestyle (an event with several different jumps, rails and features for the competitors to do various tricks on). Farrow and Oates tried hard in the halfpipe competition but unfortunately did not qualify for the final round; an understandable result as they had not had chance to train on a halfpipe previous to the competition. Slopestyle was much more their stronger event, as both boarders qualified for the final round. This is a great start for a team in it’s first competitive year; hopefully next year York will be able to enter more skiers and boarders into the events.
Dave Tee was fifth in the Giant Slalom, sixth in the slalom and sixth in the Super G. Photography courtesy BUSC Media Crew.
YUsnow not only coped well with the higher levels of competition, but also with massive levels of fatigue as they had been on their club trip just the week before. The numbers of competitors entering the events in the Alps, and consequently the great results produced for a relatively small club compared to other universities, shows that YUsnow is continuing to go from strength to strength. As the committee changes over this week those that have contributed to this year’s success can look back with pride, and the new committee must realise they have a big challenge to make next year even better for York University Snowsports.