Maj Edd Alderson
The Team conducted two weeks training at Flachau, Austria; this area is perfectly suited for competition training as there is a progressive park, a snowboard cross course and plenty of excellent pistes to practice carving and slalom. The Team performed superbly and won the male and female competitions following a hard-fought contest against the RAF, RN and Australian Defence Force (ADF). Inter-Services Champions – Army Team.
The Snowboard Cross course was the most challenging it has been for several years and the competition was fierce. Sgt Kris Looker finished in 1st place with LCpl Matty Hannah in 4th. In the Female competition, Sgt Lisa Quinn finished 1st and one of our new riders; Capt Rochelle Bales won the small final and finished 5th overall. The Army dominated the middle ground, earning vital points and demonstrating the importance of strength in depth; we took an early lead in the overall team competition.
Parallel Giant Slalom (PGS)
Conditions for qualifying were challenging, with lots of snowfall and the course being relatively soft underfoot. Despite this, the Army qualified with the most riders from a single service going forward to the finals. This year, the course was extended, and the committee made a prudent decision to alter one of the gates, which has consistently vexed riders on one of the courses; this led to a much fairer event and some incredible riding from all competitors. Sgt Kris Looker narrowly missed out on the win and finished 2nd to AET Ross Taylor from the Navy. The small finale was Army vs Army with Maj Kelly Richards beating Sgt Lisa Quinn, earning 3rd and 4th place respectively; the
Army maintained the lead in both competitions.
The final event was delivered over three days, which gave the riders plenty of time to practice their tricks and get used to the park. The Female competition was delivered on the top park in Meribel, with the Male event-taking place on the DC 43 Park. The standard across the field was remarkable and the competition saw its first backside 900 by AET Ross Taylor. For the Army, LCpl Matty Hannah finished 3rd and won the coveted Nelson Pratt ‘best trick’ prize and sealed the overall team victory by just five points. In the ladies competition, Sgt Lisa Quin won the Bronze, whilst the Navy’s two top riders were knocked out in the qualifiers and the Army took the overall team win; it was a great effort by a team with riders that had never competed in the park before.