Staff member, Jess, takes the Eurotest
Under blue skies and in perfect racing conditions, CairnGorm Mountain was turned into a world skiing stage recently as an FIS & BASI Giant Slalom speed test was held there. The White Lady red run, one of two FIS approved slopes in Scotland, was closed off especially for the race, which welcomed FIS officials from the UK and France and Olympic skiing legend Alain Baxter as an opener.
Alain was one of four BASI (British Association of Snowsport Instructors) pace-setters who hurtled down the famous White Lady piste at Cairngorm Mountain yesterday to set the time for aspiring top level ski instructors to emulate. Twenty-one BASI level 4 instructors attempted to get within 18% of the aggregate time of the pace-setters in order to gain this final accolade and widespread international recognition for their qualification.
The Eurotest takes place 13 or 14 times a year usually in Europe but this was the first such test to take place in Scotland for five years. The target time for the men set by Alain and his fellow pace-setters (Aaron Tipping, Jaz Bruce and Nicolas Sauvage) was 45.82 seconds in the morning and 45.87 in the afternoon but it was just too demanding for even the best of the racers with the closest, Todd O’Brien, missing out by a gut-wrenching 0.5 seconds.
Our Aviemore Staff Member, Jess Higton, was amongst the racers and was delighted to be part of the action. “The conditions were perfect for racing and we all gave it our very best on the day. The course was exciting and fast and seeing Alain’s performance inspired us all. There were many who had trained for weeks/months in preparation for this but it was nice to have such a small number of racers for such a prestigious event. The fact it was held on the White Lady, on Cairngorm, the home of British Skiing, was even more special.”
BASI Eurotest co-ordinator Susie Berry commented “This was a very efficiently organised event in perfect racing conditions and I would like to congratulate Cairngorm Mountain on their race piste preparation. BASI hopes to run a Eurotest in Scotland every two years in future.”
The Event was reported on the BBC and can be viewed here and was a big success story for BASI, Cairgorm Mountain Ltd, the Racers, all the support Staff and for skiing in Scotland.
All pictures reproduced by kind permission of BASI.