Meribel 2019

Meribel 2019: What Happened At The Inter Services Snow Championships?

Competitors from all three services were in action on the French Alps.

Athletes from the RAF, Army and Navy have competed on the French slopes of Meribel in the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships.

Held in the French Alps, the event saw over 150 competitors take part across the five days.

The championships were serving as a chance to earn a place in the 2019 UK Armed Forces team for the British Alpine and Snowboarding Championships.

The Inter Services competition was open to regular personnel and reservists, which saw all three services battle it out to be crowned champions.

They also saw competition from the Australian Defence Force who sent a team of 30 athletes to put the British teams through their paces.

Meribel 2019 Opening Ceremony Credit Crown Copyright.jpeg
The military's best winter athletes were at the five-day event (Pictures: Crown Copyright).

DAY ONE: SHOCK WINNER IN TELEMARK SETS TONE FOR TOURNAMENT

There was a shock winner on day one of the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships in Meribel.

In the Telemark Giant Slalom event, there has been a brewing rivalry at the top of the rankings between James French and the Army’s Rob Houstoun.

For many events over recent years, it has been French who has come out on top but in the snow of the French Alps, Meribel proved to be Houstoun’s moment.

He came out on top on two runs by a fine margin, just 0.14 seconds, but it meant a gold medal on day one for the Army man.

Meribel Day One Rob Houstoun Credit BFBS.jpg

DAY TWO: ARMY DOMINATE DOWNHILL AND SNOWBOARD CROSS

It was a day of Army dominance on day two of the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships in Meribel.

The day started with the Snowboard Cross, which was an event postponed on day one due to a heavier-than-expected snowfall.

It ended with an Army double at the top of the rankings. In the men’s race, it was success for Sergeant Kris Looker while in the women’s, Sergeant Lisa Quinn took the gold medal.

In the Alpine Downhill race, the Navy’s James French was knocked down into second place as a success story from last year’s championships won the men’s race.

Sapper Euan Kick won by 0.05 of a second.

In the women’s race, Lieutenant Sophie Nicholls took the plaudits and completed another Army double with the victory.

The evening race was another snowboard event, but this time, Kris Looker couldn’t grab the victory in the men’s event.

The Parallel Giant Slalom was won by the Navy’s Ross Taylor, who used his distinctive style under the floodlights to take the gold medal.

Meanwhile, it was a close finish in the women’s event as RAF team captain Claire Collis won the race by just 0.01 of a second.

Her closest competitor was from the Australian Defence Force but despite Megan McDermott’s late flurry, it was the RAF racer who took first place.

Snowboard Cross Meribel 2019 Credit Crown Copyright

DAY THREE: BROTHERLY LOVE ON THE TELEMARK PODIUM

Two brothers had a moment to remember as they shared a podium on day three of the Inter Service Snow Sports Championships in Meribel.

Lieutenant Colonel Huan Davies and his brother Major Luke Davies were competing in the Telemark Classic event.

The race was won by the in-form Robbie Houstoun, but with Lt Col Huan in second and Maj Luke in third, it was a day to remember for the Davies family.

A favourite for the event was James French, but the skier fell early in the run and failed to finish the race.

Earlier in the day, the Alpine Super G final provided a win for the Australian Defence Forces in the women’s event.

It was Captain Elizabeth Lambert who came out on top and the result meant a first gold medal of the week for the Australian team.

In the men’s race, it was more dominance for the Army team.

Private Rob Poth was the winner, with two more Army riders, Euan Kick and Duncan Kuwall, rounding out the podium.

Davies Bros Meribel 2019 Day 3 Credit BFBS.jpg
The Davies brothers both made the podium Telemark Classic event in the French Alps.

DAY FOUR: A RETURN TO FORM FOR NAVY TELEMARK ATHLETE

The Navy’s James French has recovered from falls in his two previous race to win the Telemark Sprint event.

In both the Giant Slalom and the Classic, French failed to complete the course without an incident meaning the Army’s Rob Houstoun could win on both occasions.

However, French made a triumphant return to form to take the gold medal and reclaim his spot back at the top of the Telemark discipline.

French and Houstoun will still have one more battle this week as they take on the Parallel Sprint on the final day of the Championships.

Meanwhile, in the Snowboard Slopestyle, it was another Navy victory as Ross Taylor stylishly took the gold medal.

The athletes wowed the crowd with a number of impressive jumps, but it was the Navy man who came out on top with Ian Sanderson and Matty Hannah making up the rest of the podium.

Meribel Day Five Snowboard Slopestyle Credit BFBS

DAY FIVE: MORE GOLD MEDALS FOR THE ARMY

The Army's Rob Houstoun took an early lead over the Royal Navy’s Luke Stroud in the final clash of the Telemark Parallel sprint. 

Houstoun, the number one seed, went on to win the event.

It was a clean sweep for the Army in the Mens' Giant Slalom after Rob Poth, who is ranked fourth in Britain added another Gold medal to his haul. 

In the the women's event, Captain Lizzie Lambert scooped her third gold for the Australian team after beating the Army’s Sophie Nicholls to the finish line. 

The women snowboarders took advantage of improved conditions to put on a show for the crowds.

The RAF’s Claire Collis took the top spot, followed by the Royal Navy’s Aaby Aldridge, and Lisa Quinn from the Army coming in third.

	Meribel Day Five 080219 CREDIT BFBS.jpg

FINAL RESULTS:

TELEMARK

Giant Slalom - Navy

Classic - Navy

Sprint - Navy

Parallel Sprint - Army

TEAM PRIZE - NAVY (3 back to back wins for Royal Navy)

TELEMARK INDIVIDUAL COMBINED

Best Newcomer - Luke Stroud

  1. Robbie Houstoun
  2. Huan Davies
  3. Gordy McCrae
Flying Without Wings RAF Meribel 2019 Credit ACpl Nick Egan ACSSU RAF Halton.jpg

SNOWBOARD

Boarder Cross Women - Navy

Boarder Cross Men - Army

Parallel Giant Slalom Women - Army

Parallel Giant Slalom Men - Army

Slopestyle Women - Army

Slopestyle Men - Navy

TEAM WOMEN - Army

TEAM MEN - Army

SNOWBOARD INDIVIDUAL COMBINED

Best Newcomer - Rachelle Bales

Best Trick - Matty Hannah

Women

  1. Claire Collis
  2. Lisa Quinn
  3. Aaby Aldridge

Men

  1. Ross Taylor
  2. Kris Looker
  3. Matty Hannah
	James French Meribel 2019 Credit Crown Copyright.jpeg

ALPINE

Downhill Women - Army

Downhill Men - Army

Super G Women - Army

Super G Men - Army

Slalom Women - Army

Slalom Men - Army

Giant Slalom Women - Army

Giant Slalom Men - Army

TEAM WOMEN - Army

TEAM MEN - Army

ALPINE INDIVIDUAL COMBINED

Women

Newcomer - Lauren Kerslake

  1. Elizabeth Lambert ADF
  2. Sophie Nicholls ARMY
  3. Hannah Williams ARMY

Men

Newcomer - Rob Poth

  1. Rob Poth ARMY
  2. Duncan Kewall ARMY
  3. Hayden Grand ARMY

SPECIAL PRIZES

COOMBES CUP - Disabled Skier - Dan Sheen

DELANEY TROPHY - Outstanding Commitment - Adrian Pery