RN Telemark Team defend Inter-Services Championship title

The Royal Navy Telemark Team returned to the snow after a gap of two years in a bid to defend their title at the 2022 Inter Services Ski and Snowsport Championships in Meribel.

The Senior Service got off to a great start, winning the first Giant Slalom event, but ended up finishing second overall to the Army.

The RN team managed a two-week training camp in Tignes ahead of the championships, where they could only take a five-person squad.

Royal Marines Colour Sergeant Steve Farrant was the top RN skier, managing a podium place in every race, finishing second in the Giant Slalom and third in both the Classic and the Sprint.

In the individual competition the Royal Navy Team managed three skiers in the top five, with C/Sgt Farrant finishing third, Capt Gordie McCrae RMR finishing fourth and Lt Cdr Ramsay Shaw fifth.

The RN Telemark Team consisted of Capt Gordie McCrae RMR (Team Captain), Capt Pete Bird RMR, C/Sgt Steve Farrant RM, Lt Cdr Ramsay Shaw RN and Sgt Andy Spain RM. Capt Pete Bird RMR and Sgt Andy Spain RM were awarded their RN Telemark Colours for attending the Inter-Service Championships for the first time.

The Countess of Wessex, patron of the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships, visited competitors in Meribel.

During her visit the Countess spoke to military competitors taking part in Alpine, Telemark and Snowboarding.

The event was opened by General Sir Patrick Sanders, President of the UK Winter Sports Association.

Athletes from the Royal Navy, Army, RAF and the Armed Forces Para Snow Sports team competed in the 15th championships to be held in the French resort.

Telemark Racing is a form of downhill racing on telemark bindings with a ‘free heel’ over a race course that includes a jump and a skating section.

Anyone interested in trying telemark will be able to do so at taster sessions at the Royal Navy Ski Championships in Les Arcs in March and in Stubai Glacier in May.

Telemark tasters and racing will also be available at the RN Indoor Festival and Race at Milton Keynes (date TBC Sep 22).

A growing number of women are becoming involved and the aspiration remains to enter a women’s team into the 2023 Inter-Service Championships.  All events are open to all full-time and reserve services.

Anyone interested in trying Telemark or attending any of the above events can find more information by contacting Lt Cdr Ramsay Shaw on [email protected] or 07815 019270.

Details of the 2023 Navy Telemark Championships will be released via DIN in September this year.