The British Schoolgirls Races, which is organised by the Ladies Ski Club, returned to Flaine this January 30th & 31st after a three-year absence for its 62nd edition.
143 girls from 26 schools spent two days racing in excellent conditions, with crowds of teachers, parents, coaches and other racers cheering them on at the base of the Calcite piste in the centre of Flaine. With two days of cold temperatures and sunshine, the racers were able to take on two runs of Giant Slalom and a Team Parallel Slalom on the Monday, followed by a Slalom on Tuesday. There was even a guest appearance from Chemmy Alcott who was in Flaine coaching some of the girls.
2023 saw four new schools taking part – Portsmouth Grammar School, St Albans High School, Stafford Grammar School and Epsom College, with many other schools returning for more after several years of taking part in the British Schoolgirls Races.
As has been the case for many years, the event continued to welcome skiers of all levels, ranging from British team racers through to those who were racing on snow for the first time. With several of the girls taking the competition seriously, there were equally as many girls there to learn new skills, build confidence and enjoy being part of a fun and inclusive event.
Day one of the racing saw the girls tackle a Giant Slalom, with the slope in perfect condition. Despite the nerves, most of the girls completed the course with a smile and were eager for their second run. Overall winner of the GS was Emily Turner from Wellington College with Amelia Pietrazak from New Hall School in second place and Matilde Nola from Aiglon College in third position. The Best School was Wellington College with Aiglon College in second and New Hall School in third. The Best New Team was Stafford Grammar. (All age group winners for registered and non registered racers can be found on the British Schoolgirls Races website.)
Following the conclusion of the GS, the girls got the chance to take part in the Team Parallel Slalom. As always, there was some close racing with the girls getting even more competitive in front of an enthusiastic crowd. After the opening rounds, the final ended up being between Wellington College and Surbiton High School (pictured top), with little to choose between the two teams. With the first two skiers (out of three) from both the teams crossing the line within centimetres of each other, it was the final skier from Surbiton High School who crossed the line first to secure the victory and send her teammates into raptures.
Day two saw the sunshine return for the Slalom, with many girls taking part in a slalom race for the very first time. With all the girls putting in a great effort, nearly all the racers completed both runs. After two runs it was Emily Turner from Wellington College who again was the fastest skier on the course, taking overall victory from Scarlett Winter from Reeds School who finished in second place and Amelia Pietrzak from New Hall School who ended up in third. The best school was Wellington College, New Hall School took second place and Aiglon College were third. (All age group winners for registered and non-registered racers can be found on the British Schoolgirls Races website).
British Schoolgirls’ Races organiser Anne Taylor said following the event: “We couldn’t have asked for better conditions for this year’s British Schoolgirls Races. The piste was in perfect condition and the sun was shining. We want to thank all the schools and parents for again making the event what it is, and also to our partners and volunteers for helping everything run smoothly. This is my last year heading up the event, and it has been a pleasure to see so many girls enjoy themselves and flourish over the years.”
The British Schoolgirls Races couldn’t take place without the invaluable support from partners Powderhound, Nimrod Capital, Beyond-X, Rock & Ruddle, Ski Bartlett and Erna Low who all return to support the event.