Sunday, January 31, 2016

Training Report January 31st 2016

It was a difficult call as to whether to train today, however a lot of happy smiling faces suggested we made the correct call based on the freshly fallen snow from the past two days. Conditions were tricky to say the least, slightly thin in places, uneven piste bashing and flat light added to the excitement of the day.  True Scottish skiing!  Ski that and you can ski anything!

We had 5 coaches on the hill today, Jamie on PS1, John and Andrew on combined group D2 & D3 , Malcolm on D4 and myself on a combined team of D1 and PS2.

Jamie managed to find enough snow, albeit soft, to set some Slalom gates for the Performance kids to bash through and then walk back up (he did let them use the lift occasionally), whilst John and Andrew were working on various balance drills. Malcom was concentrating on matching the skis (parallel skiing) and even threw in some backwards skiing towards the end of the day, meanwhile I picked a patch of decent snow and was working on one of the weakness of lots of racers- starts and skating.

As well as lots of the regular faces we welcomed back Catrina and Jennifer Brown after the trial two weeks ago, as well as conducting two trials for another two new members today. The club is constantly growing and their seems to be a fantastic atmosphere amongst the trainees, parents and coaches.

Next weekend is Glenshee Winter Games depending on the snow conditions. Let’s all do our snow dances and hope the snow continues to fall and we get a great season of training and racing

James P (Wreck it Ralph)

Jamie proving what a gentleman he is by carrying the girls skis

Training Is ON

Training is ON, there may be a slight delay on the roads but they will be working to get them cleared as soon as possible. We will aim to meet outside the hut for 9.30 start but if you are late do not worry we will arrange to meet up- a radio will be left in the hut.Take care on the roads and hope to see you all up there.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Training Sunday 31st January 2016

Training is currently on with a final call being made at 8am tomorrow.

Snow is falling, runs are filling in and more snow forecast for overnight with winds dropping overnight and into tomorrow.

We will aim to run training tomorrow BUT will go for a 9.30am start with a final yes/no decision being made at 8am, this is to allow us to check the conditions and allow the resort to clear the roads.

Groups will be based on the normal groups and coaches will be assigned in the morning.

We will endeavour to train to the best ability that we can and work with the conditions we have.

Hopefully some good training in preparation for Glenshee Winter Games as well as for those racing this week in the SSSA events.

Watch out for the 8am notice tomorrow but look forward to seeing you all up and ready to go for 9.30am. If roads are bad and you are late then don’t panic we will arrange to meet up with the ones that are late arrivals.

James Paxton

Friday, January 29, 2016

Glenshee Winter Games, Entries Close Tonight

Entries to Glenshee Winter Games close today (Friday 29th), so if you haven’t entered but would like to go then please get your entries in ASAP. Gordon Skiers will be providing coach support for the two days of racing. Entry forms

If you are attending please drop James an email to let him know so we can organise coaches well in advance –



Sunday, January 24, 2016

Gordon Skiers Open 2016, Bairns Race Results

Gordon Skiers Open 2016, Bairns Race Results

Here are the results for yesterdays Bairns Race.  Results for the BASS race will follow as soon as they are approved.

Photos From Bass Race Run 2

Conditions a bit soft for the second run, some of the U14 were disappearing in the ruts!
Posted by Gordon Skiers Racing on Saturday, 23 January 2016

Photos From Bass Race Run 1

Fabulous light for photos on run 1 of todays BASS race. Feel free to download your photo.

Posted by Gordon Skiers Racing on Saturday, 23 January 2016

Photos From Bairns Race

We tried to catch everyone on camera, apologies if we missed anyone. Some great skiing on show and many thanks to all...
Posted by Gordon Skiers Racing on Sunday, 24 January 2016

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Message From James Paxton, Chief of Championships

Message from a very relieved Chief of Champs

First of all a massive congratulations to all those that participated today especially to those that hadn’t raced before.

Conditions today were somewhat challenging, soft snow and winds added to the excitement of racing for the day- after all it is Scottish ski racing.

Bairns managed to ski 3 runs on a fantastically set course by John Mcrae ably assisted by Ella Still (British U21 Athlete). 3 runs of 80 racers in under 3 hours, an excellent achievement. The race piste held up remarkably well

BASS race got off to a slow start with a few issues, gates not at the top of the hill when expected, but a great team managed to get set and ready to in record time. Kenny set a splendid course and the first run ran so swiftly that they were running well ahead of schedule by end of first run. Quick course change and course inspection saw the 2nd run commence and run smoothly.

As Chief of Champs I was summoned to the slope to inspect and make a decision for Day 2. We had heather and mud showing on every gate and rivers flowing from the base of the gates, a decision was made to call it off for tomorrow. Forecast of 50-70mph winds helped in the decision making.

Prize giving was slightly delayed, it does take a while to input 410 times into a computer and generate the results!

Hopefully everyone has gone away happy with how today went.

A huge thank you to all the Gordon Skiers parents that helped out today, without these volunteers these events don’t go ahead. A special mention to Jamie Brown, an ex-club trainee who got thrown in at the deep end today and did a great job of back up timing.

For those eagle eyed spectators today you may have noticed we were displaying Roy Cowie LBS banners on both race courses, this is because Roy Cowie LBS kindly sponsored the medals for this weekend, so on behalf of Gordon Skiers I would like to say a huge thank you to Roy and Heather Cowie for their generous support.

Now time for a lie down and recover!!!

Gordon Skiers Open 2016. Sunday Race Cancelled.

Unfortunately due to the adverse weather forecast we have had to cancel the Sunday races at the Gordon Skiers Open. The race course on the Buzzard cut up badly today and with rain forecast overnight and higher temperatures tomorrow it will not be possible to run the races due to the very poor snow cover.

Many thanks to everyone involved with running todays races, especially the course crews who worked tirelessly to hold the course together and cover all the heather and grass that kept appearing in the ruts!

Congratulations to all the skiers who made what were challenging conditions look easy, some of the ruts towards the end of the second run of the BASS race on the Buzzard were immense.

We have posted photos from the BASS race on the Buzzard on our Facebook page "Gordon Skiers Racing" .  Photos from the Bairns race will follow.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

Gordon Skiers Open 2016


I have just returned from the Lecht , yes it looks a bit grim on the webcams , yes it’s a bit bare when you get there but we are still on for tomorrow.

Buzzard has enough snow to run the BASS- it will be soft and may be a slightly shortened length.

Bairns- Lecht are working to chuck snow onto the Eagle at the top where it has become slightly patchy. Again it will be soft.

Buzzard Lift- unfortunately this lift will be open to the public as well so we do not have priority on it so please respect the 1 on 1 queueing system.

There is limited space for warming up due to the rest of the slopes being fairly depleted of snow last night and today.

We will work to run as smoothly as possible and will post the running order for the BASS after the Race Committee have discussed tonight.

See you all tomorrow


Gordon Skiers Open 2016

RACE DATE: Sat 23rd and Sun 24th January 2016

- BASS- Buzzard or Harrier (weather dependent) . Bairns- Eagle Race Raceway.

: BASS – U14 2 x 1 run Slalom Races both days. U16+ combined run races each day. Bairns – 2 or 3 runs (best 1 or 2 combined) each day. GS on Saturday and either GS or Combi on Sunday. (Combination of GS and Slalom Turns all on stubbies)


  • Bib Collection 8.30-9 am
  • Course Inspection 9.10-9.40 am
  • Start 1st Run 10 am
  • 2nd Course Inspection for BASS ~ 12.30pm
  • Start 2nd Run ~ 1 pm
  • Prize giving 4.00pm (approx.)

  • Bib Collection- 8.30-9am
  • Course Inspection 9.10-9.40am
  • Start 1st Run 10am
  • 2nd Course Inspection for BASS ~ 12.30pm
  • Start 2nd Run ~ 1pm
  • Prize Giving 4pm @ Top Café in main building.

 :Bib collection will take place in the main café. Please don’t harass the helpers- we will get bibs out as quick as we can.

: The race office is located in the Gordon Skiers Hut.-the blue building on the right (as you come from the south) in the main car park. We would ask that you stay out of the building unless you need to speak to the Race Organisers.

OFFICIALS: Race meeting to be held at 8.45am in the main café. Officials lift passes will be provided along with hot drinks and packed lunches. Please dress in appropriate clothing as although it is due to be warm the winds could be cold.

START LISTS: Will be posted in the main cafe. Coaches will be able to collect start lists at bib collection.

: The method of course inspection will be from the top down. Bibs must be worn with the numbers clearly displayed. Competitors must not ski down the prepared course or ski through the gates.

: Due to time constraints and resources all U14 + athletes will race on full sized gates.

UPLIFT: The cost of uplift is not included in the race entry fee. Competitors using the uplift facilities must clearly display their race numbers when doing so. Anyone seen to be misusing the lifts will have their bib and lift ticket removed.

: Provided by The Lecht Ski Patrol.

EQUIPMENT, HEALTH AND SAFETY: Racers’ skis must be fitted with operational ski brakes

HELMETS: Helmets must not have any non-factory fitted customisation- such as mounts. Any racer wearing a helmet with a mount or other protruding feature will not be permitted to start.

: In the event of unsportsmanlike behaviour following gate faults, including carrying on to cross the Finish Line, swearing and pole abuse, all TD’s and Race Organisers have been reminded that sanctions are to be applied if behaviour contravenes competition rules. Please be aware that this could ultimately lead to the sanction of ‘Suspension from events’ (ICR 223.3.2).

: Disqualifications will be posted on the official notice board in the Gordon Skiers Hut after each run of the Slalom. Racers will have 15 minutes from the time of posting to protest against disqualification. Each protest (which should be made to the Referee) must be in writing and be accompanied by a deposit of £25 which will be forfeited in the event of such Protest not being upheld by the Jury.

MEDALS: Medals will be awarded to 1st, 2nd & 3rd male and female competitors in each category and race respectively U18/21/Sen and Masters will be treated as 1 category. Trophies will be awarded on a championship basis- for combined times on the Saturday. All prize-winners are expected to show courtesy to the organisers by attending the prize giving. Those who do not attend without good reason lose their claim to an award.

: Hot drinks and food will be available for purchase in the Café in the main building.  For more details please contact Gordon Skiers Race Organiser-

Gordon Skiers Open, Arrangements for Members

Evening All,

I hope you're all ready for the big Gordon's Event at the Lecht this weekend.  James has a treat in store for all of us with 2 great pistes set aside for the races. I think we're looking at hosting the biggest snow race in the UK this year, with over 200 racers registered.

I'm delighted to post that 38 racers are registered from our very own club. What an amazing turn out.
So many of our new members have taken the plunge and registered, so a huge Well Done to all of you. I promise, it's not scary and it's great fun.

For those that haven't raced before and as a reminder for those who have.  We'll have the hut open from before 8am and Gordon Skiers will be able to use the hut, for storing bags, etc., Registration for the race will take place in the big main building. (Probably in the main cafe, or top cafe) Best to turn up early and get your race bib, as it will very quickly be busy.

Although Gordon Skiers can use the hut, please do not enter the big room that has the serving hatch. It will be full of computers, printers, cables, radio chargers and race officials taking care of calculations. For this race weekend, this room has to remain out of bounds.

It's best to put your bib on when you get it and keep it on. Coaches are assigned to the racing groups and will make sure all racers have the chance to inspect the course before racing. All racers MUST have a bib on to be allowed to inspect the course and race.

Coaches this weekend are Andrew, Kenny, John, Malcolm, Gary and James. James is the Chief of Race, so will help out where he can.

We have a very special guest appearing as a coach this weekend. Ella Still is home for a short break from full time ski racing. For newer members, Ella is a member of the British Alpine Ski Team (and is also a Gordon Skier) I've been skiing with Ella for more than 10 years and she is one very talented young lady. Not only can she race, but she's also very handy on the steeps and through the trees.

Where time allows, coaches and members (older racers) will be on hand to give lots of advice on ski servicing, race rules and anything else that come up.

Can skiers please meet the coaches at our hut after bib collection. We need to be warmed up and ready for inspection for 09:10.  We will have a lot of skiers descending upon the Lecht very early in the morning, those needing lift tickets should be aware that the queue will be longer than normal at that time of the morning so give yourselves plenty of time.

As Ever, don't hesitate to ask questions.

See You All There, Gary W

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Gordon Skiers Open

Evening All

Entries have now closed. Huge entry, even bigger than last year.

We are saying our prayers that the weather forecast improves and we hold the snow, latest reports from the Lecht are still positive so no reason to cancel just now.

There are still a lot of unpaid entries, if you haven’t paid please do so as matter of urgency, we will not be accepting payment on the day so no payment will result in no start. Payment can be settled either through paypal using or a cheque made payable to Gordon Skiers sent to the address in the email that has gone out to all entrants.

Aprovisional acceptance list and officials allocation sheet has also been emailed to all entrants.  Many thanks to those that have volunteered, without you these events don’t go ahead. If you can check that I have allocated you a job you are happy with that would be great. WE ARE REQUIRING A BACKUP TIMER FOR THE START ON SATURDAY ON THE BASS RACE!!!.

I will aim to get a bulletin out tomorrow night – we are awaiting confirmation on few things from The Lecht which will allow us to finalise the bulletin.

One important thing to note is the new ruling on mounts on helmets. New Equipment rule 6.2.4: The helmets shall be used without alteration/modification, as certified by the manufacturer. Furthermore, no additional element/equipment shall be affixed on the surface of the helmet.

Think that is all for tonight.

Kind regards

James Paxton

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Training Report Sunday 17th January

Sunrise at the Lecht from the top of the Buzzard at 8.30 this morning!  What a fantastic days training today in truly alpine conditions.  An excellent cover of hard packed snow and clear skies along with temperatures well below freezing gave perfect conditions for all our racers to put in some serious training prior to the Gordon Skiers Open next week.

The performance squad were working over on the Buzzard and Falcon (when it was working) under the watchful eyes of Jamie and Kenny.  The older U14 and U16 skiers were able to put in some valuable practice on a slalom course in the afternoon (see the Facebook page for the photos).

Meanwhile the development squads were putting in some practice over on the Eagle runs with Alex, John, James and Mark before doing some training runs on the stubbies in the afternoon.  The amount of energy reserves some of our younger members appear to possess has to be seen to be believed.  There was more than one parent having to drag their skier off the slopes as the lifts were closing and long after training had finished!

For any members who have not yet entered for the Gordon Skiers Open, please do give it some thought, it is a great weekend and will involve no more than what our skiers have been doing this afternoon and there will be a full coaching team to provide them with all the support they need.  Entries are open till Tuesday evening so there is still time.

And for any parents who have not yet volunteered their services........we still have a few jobs that need covering, none of which require any specific skills.

Here's hoping we get similar conditions for next weeks race, see you all then!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Training Sunday 17th January

Well the conditions are looking great and the forecast for tomorrow looks promising (we may even have the sun with us).

Slight change of leadership in the coaching side this week with Gary away for the weekend I have doubled up my roles for the weekend and will step in to Gary’s place for tomorrow.

We have 28 trainees confirmed for training tomorrow, the coaches on the hill for the day will be Alex, John, Jamie, Kenny and myself.

We will confirm the final split of groups in the morning but they will be based around the 6 squads we have worked with so far this season.

Plan is to have two parts to the training day, with technical skiing and drills in the morning followed by some gate skiing in the afternoon in preparation for the Gordon Skiers Open next weekend. We will move trainees around in the afternoon so that the U14+ trainees are skiing the Slalom course and the U12 are on a GS.

Coaches will try and make best use of the time we have on the hill so if you want to pack pockets with snacks then please do so in the occasion that we don’t stop for a mid-morning rest.

Coaches are all on radios and a radio will be left in the hut for communications if necessary. Groups will be leaving the hut shortly after 9 so if you are late for any reason then please arrange to get your child to the relevant group.

The hut will be open from about 8.15am onwards and can be used for changing and leaving kit in. Please do not use the small room with all the training gear!.

Committee members will be around the hut during the day (Chairman maybe around more due to an injury) so please come forward and chat to us about anything or if you have any questions.

See you tomorrow. James P

Friday, January 15, 2016

Message From James Our Race Convenor

Happy New Year to you all.

We realise that we have a lot of new members to the club this season who may not have been involved in racing before, so some of this talk about racing can be quite daunting so I am hoping I can break down some barriers there and explain a bit more.

There are various levels of racing that go on throughout the season but I will concentrate on the more local events. Throughout the snow season there are various weekends put on by the local clubs, they are national events but are still run on a friendly basis.

U12 children tend to race GS (wide open turns) races and the U14 upwards racers will ski Slalom and maybe some GS races in Scotland- if you want more info on that part just speak to one of the coaches.

Gordon Skiers will try and provide race support to the athletes at most if not all the events in Scotland so the racers will be well looked after by coaches who have experience in the racing scene.

Our own Event – Gordon Skiers are holding a race next weekend (23/24 Jan) at The Lecht. It is a national event but open to all racers from U8 upwards. As a club we would encourage all our members to enter , the Bairns race for U8/10/12 racers is a great event to start with in the season. You don’t have to enter both Saturday and Sunday, you can enter one or other of the days. On the Sunday we will NOT be providing any normal training and your training fees would cover your race support for the day.

If you would like to enter (strongly encouraged too) then you can enter by going to the Gordon Skiers Open page on the website.

HELP NEEDED- if you are entering your child/children into the races, we would really appreciate it if you can offer your assistance with the running of these events. We currently have 150 racers registered and this takes a fair number of volunteers to officiate. The roles are not particularly scary and we would try and give you a job that you felt comfortable with.

I will be at training on Sunday if you want to chat to me about anything to do with racing but I would love to see as many Gordon Skiers racing next weekend.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Message from the Chairman

On behalf of the committee, many thanks to all racers, parents and coaches for making today such a successful start to the snow season and a very warm welcome to our new members. As Gary said, if you have any questions or suggestions regarding the club then please don't hesitate to speak with any of the committee or coaching team.



Sunday, January 10, 2016

First Weekend Back!

What a great way to start the New Year and a welcome return to snow training for Gordon Skiers.
As always, it's brilliant to see the familiar faces back at training. What is really refreshing is being able to meet new club members and parents.

Well done to Molly, Fergus, Angus (apologies if I've gone for the wrong spelling) and Oliver on your successful trials today. I asked Molly what she wanted form skiing and her answer was brilliant. "I want to go racing" Go Molly!!

We saw it all today. Rain, Snow, Sun and Mist. We even managed to ski some powder. There's no challenge greater than skiing Scottish powder.

I was delighted to welcome one of ASC's strongest skiers to join the Gdn's Performance Squad today and also to have one of ASC's coaches joining in the fun too. Great to ski with you today Calum. I hope you enjoyed your day and took something away to work on.

Another new face today, was the welcome addition of Andrew Campbell to the winter coaching team. Andrew has been a member of Gdn Skiers for longer than I remember and has been coaching at Alford, regularly. He is one of 3 brothers and his youngest brother, Graeme, is still a trainee in Performance Squad 1. Middle brother Iain still appears at the odd race and helps out with coaching, whilst parents (Neil and Tessa) are part of Gordon Skiers DNA.

I managed to see most of the groups skiing today and all seemed to be having a great time.

I was asked about the difference between the development and the performance squads. A great question.

I guess an easy way to summarise is to look at the difference in the drills the squads perform. Today the performance squads were working on their balance skills on one ski, working up to doing 360 Deg spins on one ski, in each direction. Joining the spins up with short radius turns, all on one ski.
The Development Squads were working on similar skills, but with different drills. They were also working on balance, skiing variable terrain, with no poles and their hands behind their heads.

We're lucky to have a strong team of coaches, so please don't hesitate to question them on your child's performance or progression. We're all committed to ensuring the skiers have the best time they can, whilst improving their skills quickly and safely.

New Parents, Gordon Skiers is a club run by volunteers and we're always looking for a succession plan. Don't hesitate to ask questions of longer standing members. Ski racing is complicated and takes time to learn the pathways. The committee and coaches are here to support the club, so feel free to ask us for help.

See You All Soon, Gary W

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Snow Training Sunday 10th January

Hi All, it's time to work off the mince pies and turkey.  Members of the committee were up at the Lecht at 08.30 this morning diligently checking out the conditions and can attest to the fact that it is looking great for our first day's training tomorrow. So far, we have 28 trainees confirmed for skiing.

This week's coaches will be Alex, John, Nick, James and myself.

We'll confirm the groups on Sunday, but they'll be based around the levels set on the mat, during Alford training.

Please make sure you bring all you need for the full day's skiing. Spare gloves and goggles are always handy, just in case they get wet before lunch.

Our hut has been prepared by our Chairman and Race Convenor, so please make sure it's left nice and tidy at the end of the day.

To save on a lunch time rush, the coaches will make efforts to stagger the lunch break. Please ensure parents are available to help the younger kids at lunch time. It's often the case that several families have the same bags, which can become confusing for the younger kids.

Sandwiches are always easier, but we have a microwave available for the preparation of hot food too. There's also a kettle, for a welcome coffee break.

All coaches will be on radios and a radio will also be available in the hut, in case any skiers need to return for any reason.

Please be ready for skiing by 9am and we will endeavour to be finished training by 3pm.

Please come back to me with any questions.

See You Sunday, Gary W

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Its Official, Snow Season Has Started!

Right, that's it, 12th Night is done and dusted so Christmas is officially over!  Time to get your heads into skiing mode.  As per the last blog entry, James has set up a new system for registering for snow training that now lets you opt in or out for training sessions so that if you have an alternative commitment such as a skiing holiday booked you can let us know at this stage and your fees will be adjusted accordingly.

We do however need you to let us know when you will be attending training by completing the form now and that includes paying up front for those sessions you will be attending.  This includes those who filled in the old form, we will adjust payments for those who have already paid in the old system and make the necessary refunds.

The snow is falling at the Lecht and there is more forecast so things are starting to look up.  In order for Gary and his team to sort out coach numbers and groups of skiers we need you all to sign up your skiers ASAP and by Friday 8th at 5PM at the very latest.

Many thanks.