Blues edge Varsity battle on the slopes

first_imgHundreds of spectators turned up to watch the Oxford men and women’s blues teams ski to victory at this year’s races, held on the Varsity Trip in Val Thorens, France. Vin chaud and hot dogs kept the crowds warm as a DJ pumped music onto the slopes and the Oxford and Cambridge ski teams slalomed their way down the flood lit course, finishing through an enormous Varsity Trip inflatable arch to the cheers of their supporters. The Giant Slalom races were held during the day in terrible conditions. With a snow storm, strong wind and a badly cut up course, it was not a surprise that the Olympic race piste, which was one of the longest and most challenging in Varsity history, took its share of victims. The money was on the Oxford men’s blues team (Adrien Geiger (capt), Freddie Clough, George Hamer, Freddie Athill, Phil Senior, Laurence Whyatt) to hold on to the cup, however ex Great Britain team member Freddie Clough and highly ranked BUSC racer Phil Senior were quickly sent crashing out of the course and into the side netting. Four out of six team members must complete the course to avoid a heavy time penalty, so with the first and third seeds down, the remaining four skiers put up a brave fight and played it safe to stay in the game, however the Oxford blues were far behind Cambridge, with 12.61 seconds to make up in the Slalom races. Meanwhile the top four Oxford women blues finished well and were close on the heels of an exceptionally strong Cambridge side. The Slalom races started in the evening, along with the crowds and entertainment. All racers were keen to impress, and above all, the Oxford Blues men, who knew they had to make up vital seconds. This time all six team members made it down with exceptional times. After a tense wait and a nerve wracking announcement, whereby Oxford… no… Cambridge… no… Oxford were finally declared the overall Winners by just 0.92s. The Oxford Women’s Blues team also managed to shave off enough seconds, beating Cambridge equivalents in exciting races. The Oxford Men’s second team were less fortunate and lost to their counterparts due Christian Reinecke’s controversial disqualification, who finished the course with a superb time but on only one ski, which breaks international FIS regulations. The men’s third team and women’s second team won by impressive margins. The Varsity Trip 07 was the biggest and most successful in history, with 1700 Oxbridge students descending on Val Thorens, one of the highest resorts in the French Alps, for two weeks of racing, freestyle events, and debauched Frederick Athilllast_img read more