IAPs 2024 – All the gear? Good idea!

12 March 2024

The pressure was on our IAPs Ski team boys, last year we came home with a silver medal in the plate. With full ski jackets, suits, fleeces and helmet covers this year, surely, we had to come home with a little more.

The early hours of Sunday morning led to Miss Tierney and Miss Thomas eagerly waiting for the boys’ arrival, quick goodbyes to parents and we were off to the questionable drum and bass soundtrack provided by Daniel Sanderson enroute to Heathrow airport at 4.20am. A jolting wake-up call to the week ahead for us…

Getting to Italy the usual rigmarole of any ski trip was met quickly by our boys – boots fitted, helmets double checked, poles replaced due to being bent and A.Lloyd and W. Fjeld were eager to check that their skis had been sharpened and waxed (a sign of last year’s lessons learned). A great dinner with a little exploration of the hotel and a very tired early night was had by all after our rigorous day of travel.

The first day on snow gifted a white out morning, hard to see the slope (or the flags) of the practice slalom track. Beacon boys are hardy though, and raced down in between the blue and red, working on their angulation and turning techniques- returners from last year offered sound advice to newcomers and by the end of the morning it was clear that the confidence levels of all boys was growing. Pasta filled stomachs and an afternoon of more practice with a little free skiing of some black runs for good measure, the sun came out and finished our trial run Monday. Another early night, another delicious dinner – The Ski Squad were in bed early again, ready for their time trial day, where they slept peacefully knowing that this year we were entered as “Beacon Ski Team” , meaning we were further ahead in the alphabetical battle of first onto the increasingly icy course…

Tuesday morning bought a blow at the breakfast table, hot chocolates almost spilt from mouths and cups, the alphabetical running this year would be from Z-A… After a strongly worded email being sent, this was righted quickly. We had secured a timeslot for third team down the course. The team made great times, the adrenaline of flying through the start gate and ending on the timer laser was felt by the boys and they each skied some brilliantly controlled (and fast) turns.

Tuesday night disco time – yet again our boys were in the thick of the action, dancing around post a chicken wing dinner (Laszlo was delighted)!

Wednesday saw a bright, crisp and sunny morning – the best of the week so far. The Beacon Parallel Slalom team were ready, donning new ski catsuits for the occasion and ready to knock seconds off as a result. William, Alex, James, Henry and Sam were heroic – beating all of their opponents in the first round by a large margin. The teammates Miss Thomas and Miss Tierney watched from the side and many voices were lost to the cheering (mainly Miss Thomas!). Unfortunately, our second round proved less fruitful, and we were affronted to learn that we would not be able to go through to the plate due to winning all of our first round – a technical detail I have emailed about for next year!  Not to be too concerned by this, gelato and movie night when down a treat back at the hotel and there was a determined atmosphere amongst our boys as they went to bed ahead of the giant slalom of Thursday.

Thursday can be described only as a whirlwind… Our three teams (two under 11 plate and one under 13) waited patiently at the top of the slalom course having ploughed down it analysing the turns first thing. Each boy shot through the start and made The Beacon proud – no falls, hard turns, great technique, a measure of sheer progress across the course of the week. Apparently it was something to do with the lucky charm rainbow suits that could be spied from both the top and bottom of the course..?                                      The final afternoon was filled with free-skiing at high speed, taking in the views, and a hot chocolate stop.

Pizza and gelato back at the hotel followed by another disco with our boys front and centre (again) led into the prizes…

The results came in, and the team waited with bated breath, our Under 11’s won a GOLD in the plate! Whilst our Under 13 team won a Bronze also in the plate race. Schools have been attending this event since 2011, two years in a row now The Beacon has proven to be a force not to be underestimated, starting as the underdogs last year I think we can firmly say we’re “one to watch” next year.

Our Beacon Ski Team this year were fantastic, Friday afternoon as they walked through Heathrow to their parents there was a sense of camaraderie in the team, all smiles and pride in their achievements. As for next year? I think The Beacon Ski Team will be flying down the slopes yet again, and looking the part to boot. Cannot wait!

(If your son is going to be in Year 6/7/8 next year and is capable of skiing black runs/ reds to a fast and high standard please do get in touch if you would like them

Written by Miss Thomas

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