Torphins teenager Alex Tilley was in the form of her life as she swept the boards at the 2012 Delancey British Alpine Ski Championships in Meribel, France.
With maximum championship points Gordon Skiers member Alex was crowned the overall champion and was presented with the Victrix Lodurum Cup by Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex.
This emulated Chemmy Alcott, Britain’s leading Olympic and World Cup skier, who completed a clean sweep of all five events back in 2008.
The Delancey British Championship is the biggest event on the GB alpine calendar and has been held annually in Meribel for several years.
The best of British alpine race scene attend these national championships together with foreign racers from around the world who compete at senior and junior level.
The Championship got underway with the senior’s Super G. After a rather nervy wait for the best of the competition to complete their runs and, despite some errors, Alex had enough speed to win by 1.13 secs from her good friend and fellow GB team girl Charlie Guest from Perth.
Alex started the junior Downhill event in a downbeat mood having struggled to adjust the ski during the practice run but she put in a much improved performance in the race itself. The jump was more controlled and she was getting the feel for the Downhill ski. Alex finished in second position just 0.3 secs behind Charlie Guest. Alex didn’t know it at the time but this was to be her only silver medal in the entire championships.
Confidence having been given a lift Alex returned to the top of the hill to start the senior Downhill on the fourth day of the championships. Once again there was an improvement in her performance, taking 1.5 secs off the previous day’s time. Somewhat unexpectedly, as this event was considered completely open, Alex lifted the Senior Downhill Trophy.
On the fifth day Alex took to the slopes for the Super Combined, which is a Super G race combined with one leg of Slalom on the same day – a multi discipline event that combines speed with technical. Again it was Charlie Guest who was shadowing Alex and was a real threat. Alex took a 1.4 sec advantage going into the Slalom with the pressure now on her team mate to attack, generating mistakes in the softer snow that added to her time. Alex had the luxury of being allowed to ski a solid Slalom and won the senior Super Combined by 2.5 secs.
Day 6 was the Senior Slalom which comprises of two runs. Alex attacked the first course under perfect conditions and gained a 1.7 sec advantage over her nearest rival Charlie. The second run was staged in much softer conditions that made it more difficult and risiker to attack so once again Alex had the luxury of skiing solidly and without needing to take risks.
On the final day of the championships was the Giant Slalom. Alex’s strongest discipline but she knew that if she failed to finish, a very credible risk, that Charlie would take the overall title she was so close to. Once again it was near perfect conditions for the first run. Alex attacked the course and gained a 2 sec advantage over Charlie for the second run. The second run was solid and the Overall Championship was in the bag.
Alex said: “It is real thrill to get my name on this trophy. I stood on a GB Championship podium for the first time with Chemmy winning a couple of years ago and I knew I wanted to win more sometime soon. Of course it’s a shame she’s not here because I would like to have raced against her, but I’m over the moon!” During the last few days of these championships Alex went onto to win the junior GS and Slalom titles that also earned her the British Junior Champion title and scored FIS Points to lower her world ranking.
She also achieved the title of Overall Scottish Champion in the Scottish Championships that immediately followed the British in neighbouring Courchevel. The Overall GB Champion is without doubt the pinnacle of Alex’s ski career to date but the 18-year-old is keeping her feet on the ground.
Alex is hoping to represent the Team GB at the Sochi, Russia Olympics in 2014 and recognises that she will still need to up her game to meet the selection criteria.
Alex would also like to thank Atomic Ski’s for providing the platform for her success and to Deeside Mineral Water for their support.