Meribel 2020: Opening Ceremony Marks Start Of Inter Services Snow Sports Championships

Twelve events are taking place during the five-day tournament in Meribel, the French Alps.

An opening ceremony has marked the start of the annual Inter Services Snow Sports Championships in France.

Around 150 competitors from across the UK Armed Forces have gathered at Meribel ski resort for the tournament.

Poor weather conditions on Sunday meant the ceremony had to be held inside on an ice rink where teams from the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and the Armed Forces Para Snow Sport were introduced.

Championship director, Major General Jez Bennett, told Forces News: "We have a plan for this sort of thing [bad weather].

"The snowboarders have a spare day in the diary and the other telemark and alpiners know that if they need to, they can run fewer qualifying races and do slightly less training.

"If absolutely necessary, if the weather is really is awful, you decide the Inter Service championships on one event or two rather than three."

Competitors at Inter Services Snow Sport Championships 2020 CREDIT BFBS_0.JPG
Around 150 competitors are taking part in this year's Inter Services Snow Sport Championships.

The bad weather also caused some training and qualification stages to be cancelled.

But not all competitors were concerned by the rain.

Army alpine skier, Corporal Findlay Farquharson, said: "I'm kind of used to it - I'm from Scotland!

"So for me, I'm used to it...I've skied many times in the rain!"

In total, 12 events are taking place during the 5-day tournament, including Alpine Ski Downhill, Snowboard Slopestyle and Telemark Parallel Sprint. 

The events will begin on Monday with the BFBS Snowboard Cross final and the Telemark Giant Slalom final.

Last year, the British Army won both the snowboard and the alpine events, while the Royal Navy won the telemark.

This year marks 20 years since snowboarding was first included in the championship.

The competition's history dates back to 1914 when the first tournament was held in Villars, France.