Winter Sports

Meribel 2022: What's happened each day at the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships

The Inter Services Snow Sports Championships 2022 have now finished in the French Alps.

It was the 70th edition of the competition and the 15th time the event was held in Meribel.

Here's a round up day-by-day of the biggest stories of the week.

Watch: Meribel 2022: Alpine Giant Slalom delivers thrilling finale

Day five

The final day of action was all about the Alpine Giant Slalom.

In the men's race, the Navy's Graeme Price completed an impressive debut tournament with his third win of the week.

Army pair Duncan Kuwall and Hayden Grand pushed him all the way but it was Price standing top of the podium.

The women's race saw another repeat winner as the RAF's Rachel Hughes proved herself as star of the week.

Her fourth winning race meant Air Force teammate Winks Baxter and the Army's Jen Kehoe were denied victory.

Watch: Meribel 2022: RAF's Rachel Hughes wins third event in Alpine Super G race.

Day four

A big day of action saw the Snowboard Slopestyle event dominated by the Royal Air Force.

In the men's race, Flight Lieutenant Paddy Morris took top spot, adding to his win in the Snowboard Cross event on Monday.

His closest challengers were Marine Chris Harrington from the Navy in second and Colour Sergeant Sven Benevides from the Army in third.

The women's race was also won by an Air Force competitor as Wing Commander Claire Collis defeated the Navy's Aaby Aldridge and the Army's Private Isabel Howell.

You can check out our gallery of fantastic images from the event here.

Backflip during Snowboard Slope Style event at Meribel Inter Services Championship 03022022 CREDIT BFBS.jpeg
The Snowboard Slopestyle event resulted in some impressive flips and tricks from the competitors.

In the Alpine Super G event, Rachel Hughes won her third race of the week beating the Army's Jen Kehoe and the RAF's Winks Baxter to the victory.

The men's race was an all-Army podium.

Duncan Kuwall took top spot with Hayden Grand and Findlay Farquharson joining him in the celebrations.

Elsewhere, the Telemark Classic took place after being postponed earlier in the week.

The Army's Stefan Hurst doubled up on his Telemark Giant Slalom gold with a highly competent run that was three seconds faster than the next racer.

He also later won the Telemark Sprint with the Army taking the team prize.

Day three

The hotly anticipated Alpine Ski Slalom was the big event on day three of the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships, after the Telemark Classic was postponed until Thursday.

In the men's event, the Royal Navy's Able Seaman Graeme Price clinched gold, seeing off strong competition from the British Army's Sapper Duncan Kuwall, who came second, and the Royal Navy's bronze medalist Lieutenant Jack Danns.

Able Seaman Price, who spent two years racing for the British team, said: "It feels great to win the Alpine slalom, it's my favourite discipline so I'm really happy with it.

"Conditions are really good just now, the second run hardened up a lot more with the cold, the cold coming in for the night, so the second run was much better."

Watch: Meribel 2022: RAF and Royal Navy win gold in high-speed Alpine Ski Slalom runs.

The RAF's Corporal Rachel Hughes won the women's event, beating fellow Royal Air Force skier SAC Winks Baxter and the Army's Colour Sergeant Lou Dodd into second and third place respectively.

Corporal Hughes told Forces News: "Amazing, really tough day. Both runs absolutely massive battle and then what a shot at getting the team win, just incredible. Almost in tears when they announced it, it's amazing.

"There's so much that goes on in the background of the coaches, everyone involved in the team. For it to come together and succeed like that is just incredible."

There was further RAF success in the women's team event, while the Royal Navy won the men's team gold for the first time since 2014.

Colour Sergeant Lou Dodd, left, Corporal Rachel Hughes and SAC Winks Baxter, right, on the podium at the ISSSC in Meribel
The RAF's Corporal Rachel Hughes, centre, on the podium after clinching gold in the Alpine Ski Slalom.

Day two

All three disciplines battled it out on Meribel's main piste on day two of the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships. 

The Alpine Downhill kicked things off this morning, with substantial snowfall on Monday and bright sunshine on Tuesday morning creating perfect race conditions.

In the women's event, the Army's Major Jen Kehoe beat the RAF's Corporal Rachel Hughes and the Army's Colour Sergeant Lou Dodd, into second and third position respectively.

After 10 years with Paralympics GB Snowsport, where she excelled as a guide for visually impaired athletes, Major Kehoe is delighted to be back competing with her Army teammates.

Her wealth of race experience contributed to a winning run in the downhill – unbelievably the first time she's done so at these championships.

"For me to have a day like this and snow conditions, just all came together perfectly," she told Forces News.

Watch: Meribel 2022 – Jen Kehoe wins first Inter Services Alpine Downhill title.

"The snow felt amazing, the run felt amazing and I was buzzing when I got down to the bottom, love it."

In the men's race, Sapper Duncan Kuwall made it an Army and Royal Engineer downhill double with his gold medal, while Royal Navy skier Graeme Price finished second, in his first year of competition at the ISSSC, and the British Army's Hayden Grand finishing third.

For COVID reasons, the team awards are this year being presented on the podiums post-race to make up for there being no prize-giving ceremony planned for the end of the week and the Army unsurprisingly took home the silverware, presented by the Countess of Wessex.

In the Telemark event on Tuesday afternoon, the Army's Captain Stefan Hurst took gold, Colour Sergeant Steven Farrant of the Navy came in second while the Army's Staff Sergeant Danny Johnson was third.

The weather took a turn for the worse in the evening, with heavy snow showers and subzero temperatures making skiing conditions even more difficult in the Parallel Giant Slalom, broadcast live on our Forces News Facebook page.

Overcoming the taxing environment, the Royal Navy's Leading Survival Equipment Technician Aaby Aldridge was victorious in the women's event, while the men's saw a remarkable tie for first place, between the Army's Colour Sergeant Sven Benevides and Sergeant David Grant.

A dramatic Snowboard Slalom capped off an entertaining day two.

In the Parallel Giant Slalom, a dead heat meant it was Army riders Sven Benevides and David Grant sharing the win while the women's race saw Aaby Aldridge take the title and gain some retribution for missing out on the podium in the Snowboard Cross event on Monday.

Watch: Meribel 2022 – drama in the Snowboard Slalom!

Day one

The Snowboard Cross, sponsored by Forces News' parent company BFBS, and the Alpine Super Combined events were held on day one of the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships. 

Conditions in the unpredictable boardercross event were made more challenging by low visibility and consistent snowfall. 

With its tricky corners and deviously placed kickers, the race can prove to be carnage, but the racers relish the competition.

In the men's event, the top four seeds went head-to-head, with Flight Lieutenant Paddy Morris victorious, with Army men, Staff Sergeant Dale Gallagher and Colour Sergeant Sven Benevides, in second and third respectively.

In the women's race, the number one seed, Leading Survival Equipment Technician Aaby Aldridge, from the Royal Navy, didn't make the final, leaving Army duo Major Jess Drew and Gunner Jordan Buckley to fight it out against the light blue duo of Wing Commander Claire Collis and Corporal Jasmine Furber.

Tactics came into play and the Army came out on top with Major Drew taking top spot with Corporal Furber in second and Gunner Buckley in third.

Meanwhile, at the stade, the alpine skiers competed in the Super Combined event, with the RAF's Corporal Rachel Hughes and the Royal Navy's Graeme Price taking the titles.

Watch: Meribel 2022 – snowboarders provide thrilling action on day one.

Opening ceremony

The Countess of Wessex officially declared the Inter Services Snow Sports Championship in Meribel open on Sunday at the opening ceremony, just two weeks after the French government finally opened its borders to the UK.

The 2021 competition was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic.

Watch: Meribel 2022 kicked off with a spectacular opening ceremony.