Meribel 2019

Meribel 2019: The Team Behind The Scenes Keeping Courses Running Smoothly

These workers are preparing the courses at all times, including the early hours of the morning.

The athletes will take the headlines in Meribel for the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships but it is because of the efforts of one team that means they are able to compete.

The hill team are responsible for preparing the courses and making sure everything runs smoothly.

It means getting up before sunrise and working through very low temperatures on the conditions of the slopes.

One of the men is Alpine Technical Delegate Tristan Cole, who walked our reporter through his night’s work.

He said: "We are checking the course this morning for the Downhill. We are making sure everything is safe and the gates are set up. We are making sure all the nets are there and it is a fair, even course.

"Overnight, we could have had a fresh dump of snow but luckily, we’ve had a nice clear night. It’s actually helped.

"It has made the surface a lot harder and there is a lot more ice which means the guys will go a lot faster today."

Another part of the team’s work is to control the racers who will compete on the day.

Lieutenant Commander Jez Spring is a Start Referee on the day and explained what difficulties he could come up against at race time.

He said: "The start referee’s job is to basically make sure that the races are in the right condition, in terms of equipment, everything being safe, they have the right size skis, their helmet is on and their boots are done up.

"We basically control them on to the course.

"For a speed event, they go at one-minute intervals and we have a clock running so they can see exactly how long they have before they are allowed to depart.

"The main thing is to make sure they get on to the course safety and we don’t allow anybody else on the course unless they are under our control."