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17 March 2023
Thirteen of our ski-enthusiastic boys in Years 6-8 joined forces to enter the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) Ski Championship 2023 in Italy from Sunday 5 March to Friday 10 March. The event was exhilarating and big success. Mrs Thomas reports on the trip:
Eagerly anticipated, prestigious, and such an exciting trip – a week of firsts for our Beacon Ski team, matched with some great successes! On the early hours of the 5 March, we set off for Passo Del Tonale , Italy with a very excited group of thirteen boys across Years 6, 7 and 8.
On Monday morning the conditions on the mountain were what can only be described as a whiteout. Visibility was only just being able to see the chairlift in front of you, but this didn’t stop our boys from their first go at the slalom. It was icy. It was cold. It was hard to see the flags. It was an adventure the team rose to like Eddie the Eagle in 1988! By the afternoon, the boys were flying down, weaving in and out of the flags with vigour.
The evening of Monday was subdued, nerves were setting in for the Giant Slalom qualifiers of Tuesday and the boys went to bed early to preserve their energy post a delicious pasta dinner.
Tuesday was a cold one, but with beautiful blue skies. Motivational music played out through a tinny iphone in the gondola seemed to help the boys get going for their chairlift first view of the track. The day started with a course observation (an icy affair where the boys side slid the entire course behind many other schools). Ms Jones and myself were shaken to find out that as we are The Beacon, we were the third last to attempt the course – Wetherby Prep and Westminster Under were the only two after us…!
The boys were all incredible, despite the now very icy conditions! William F in year seven simply FLEW down, and though some of our boys conducted impressive 360s on the course we all made it – elated.
At dinner, we got the boy’s times and set together our strategy plan. William F had qualified for the championship race – no easy feat after only two days of slalom! We told the boys their teams, and prepared for our parallel attempt on Wednesday (after The Beacon was the last school standing at the disco of course)!
Wednesday morning, the team all enjoyed some free skiing, but then opted at 10.30 to slide ourselves down to the side of the parallel slalom to support our team (Finlay F, Thomas S and William F). Both Thomas and Finlay were narrowly beaten by the catsuit clad Wetherby team – we were told that these can knock three seconds off an end time! Despite this, William won his race and the cheers from us and all the boys could’ve set off an avalanche! He ended the week 8th fastest out of 95 others! The evening entertainment of pizza and a movie went down a treat before heads were laid on pillows.
Thursday – the big day, the plate races! We had four teams taking part, the course wasn’t as icy as Tuesday and was shorter, but it was slightly lumpy as we’d had some fresh snow overnight. Each boy raced through the gates to cheers and cow bells and once crossed through the final gate archway “just like the pro’s Miss Thomas!” awaited their time. Across two run attempts all the boys had a PB, and though we didn’t have all the gear, realised we certainly had an idea (Jamaican bobsleigh team comparisons perhaps?)!
The evening was the formal prize giving, with all seventeen schools in attendance. We all enjoyed the IAPS video of the week, where our boys were spotted several times. The championship medals were given out and we clapped our support to new friends. The plate under 13 medals were given out and we did the same. Then, myself and Ms Jones were enjoying a brief discussion of the previous winners when… “Silver under elevens goes to The Beacon”! We stood, whooping – perhaps a little too loudly, the team cheered, overwhelmingly chuffed and supportive of their teammates. Our first year in a ten-year running event and we won a medal! Louis DS, Finlay F, Thomas S, and Cameron R in Year 6 had bought it home for the team. We were all delightedly proud. Who did we come second to? Wetherby Prep…
The celebrations were rounded off with authentic Italian gelato , and another disco – where, you guessed it.. The Beacon were the last dancing… again!
We are so proud of our first Beacon Ski team, the tenacity of our boys against some real competition was astounding, and a great week was had by all. As for next year? It might be time to look into Beacon branded catsuits…
Reported by Miss Thomas – Trip Leader
A huge congratulations to Ski Team Beacon – Louis D (Year 6), Finlay F (Year 6), Cameron R (Year 6), Thomas S (Year 6), Jack D (Year 7), William F (Year 7), Alex L (Year 7), Jo M (Year 8), Ben S (Year 8), Zachary S (Year 8), Charlie SW (Year 8), Theo T (Year 8) and Arthur W (Year 8).
Click an icon below to view the short video: