Baxter and Sharp Win British Titles on thrilling final day
With a second place in the slalom, finishing just behind his brother Alain, Noel Baxter, 22 (Aviemore) retained the Men's Combined Championship title today while Lynn Sharp, 18, (Glasgow) completed a dream week as she lifted not only the Women's Combined Championship but also the Victrix Ludorum Cup for the best overall championship score.
Baxter could not conceal his smiles after what he admitted has been a physically tough week, skiing all four events. After lying a close second in the first run of today's slalom championship, only 14 hundredths of a second behind his elder brother Alain, Noel confessed later that he had nothing in reserves to take it right to the edge in his attempt to retain the slalom crown, and skied the second run for the overall title.
" I just had no gas left. Under normal circumstances here at The British Land National Championships you would risk everything because it usually marks the end of the season but I have a few races left I would not want to miss, and I was thinking also of making sure of winning the overall again. And it's worth it. It's a good feeling to have won it twice in a row now." Said Noel.
There was a successful end to the championships for Alain Baxter, 30 (Aviemore) who extended his record haul of British Slalom championship wins to seven with two solid runs on Meribel's sun drenched Du Corbey piste.
"It's quite a tough hill, certainly not easy. I did not think I skied my best but it is always a difficult one at The British. It is one of those things that there is not pressure on to win, there is more pressure on not to lose. People also make an awful lot of the rivalry here with Noel and I but after here it is over. They make much more of it than we do." Comments Alain.
Lynn Sharp (18, Glasgow) could not quite rise to beat the very much on form Jo Greig (22, Weybridge) who also composed two good runs to win the Women's Slalom title. Greig reported afterwards that her confidence has been high this week since her third in the French Championships Slalom and that the first glimpse of the sun this week also made a big difference to her confidence.
" I knew I was skiing pretty good when I cam here and winning the Super G was great and I felt sure that I could win today, but the sunshine today just seemed to make it perfect. It's the first time I have won the Women's Slalom title and it feels great." Greig explained.
But it was Lynn Sharp who pipped Greig for the title by 60 points. Sharp won the downhill and GS titles and finished third in today's slalom while Jo did not ski the downhill.
" This is something I have wanted to win for years. I came here for the first time and thought then that it might take a couple of years to do, but I am absolutely ecstatic." Said Sharp, " It is a shame Chemmy (Alcott) was not here because she has had such a good season. This has been a great championship on a good hill." Said Sharp.
Results. The British Land National Ski Championships: Slalom,
1 A Baxter (Aviemore/The British Land Alpine Ski Team) 50.48 49.80 1 min 40.28,
2 N Baxter (Aviemore/The British Land Alpine Ski Team) 50.62 50.95 1:41.57,
3 E Drake (Kingston Upon Thames) 53.97 52.15 1:46.12,
4 R Green (Falkirk/The British Land Alpine Ski Team) 54.51 53.25 1:47.76.
1 J Greig (Weybridge/The British Land Alpine Ski Team) 42.82 42.43 1:25.25,
2 P Thorburn (Strathven/The British Land Alpine Ski Team) 44.83 44.15 1:28.98,
3 L Sharp (Glasgow/The British Land Alpine Ski Team) 45.40 45.46 1:30.86,
4 M Piper (Auchterarder/The British Home Nations Development Team) 46.26 46.06 1:32.32,
5 M Craig (Duved, Sweden) 49.58 48.79