Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Training Wednesday 31st May

Good Evening All, Wednesday’s Race Training will go ahead tomorrow at Alford. The competition is hotting up and we’re approaching the end of the current session, so make sure you’re there if you’re looking for race points.

We also have the Twin Peaks Races coming up this weekend. So, if you need a last training session in gates, make sure you’re there for the races. There is no better training for a race, than to race.

Come prepared with sharp skis and your race face ready to go.

Gary Whatford

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Training Sunday 28th May

For this Sunday's training session at Alford I'm delighted to
welcome Ella Still to the coaching team. Ella is a Gordon Skier and member of the British Ski Team.

Ella will be working with the Performance Squad Athletes and James will be running the session for Race Development.   I'm sure Ella will run an excellent session, so make the most of it, as she's a busy girl and isn't around too much.

We also have 3 members of Gordon Skier's Performance Squad racing in Landgraaf, Holland, this weekend.  Good luck to Neil Simpson, Beth Whatford and Ben Whatford.  Tomorrow they will be racing Slalom in the morning, with a Pro-Slalom in the afternoon.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Training Report, Wednesday 24th May

We had very close racing at Wednesday’s session with 15 racers. The session started with the Performance Squads training with Andrew and the Development Squads training with Kathleen
and Rachel.

After the warm up both squads worked on consolidating the balance sessions we have been doing for the last few weeks. Andrew set up training gates for the Performance Squad with a focus on fore-aft balance in the top section and lateral balance in the bottom half which tested all of the skiers. Kathleen and Rachel set up a similar course in stubbies for the Development Squads.

The course set was challenging, especially through the last 3 gates. Coach James was mixing it in the top 3 overall last night. Andrew Simpson followed James with Beth following closely behind into third, as first girl. Welcome back to training Beth, good to see you back in the gates last night. Congratulations to Daisy C who made it into the top 5, of the skiers, last night and was top Bairn.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wednesday Training, 24'th May.

Just a reminder to all that race training and timed runs will be on this Wednesday, at 7pm.

All skiers have been working really hard on their race skills, so let's see them put into practice in the gates.

Who will take the 100 points this week?

Gary Whatford

Monday, May 22, 2017

Training Sunday 21st May

Well done to the coaching team tonight. Kathleen and Jamie were ably assisted by Rachel, to deliver a fun session. Kathleen and Rachel were coaching the majority of the skiers and were working on drills and skills that helped to develop the timing required to move into performance skiing. Kathleen is one of our members and racers that has recently qualified as a BASI Level 2 instructor. Rachel is still a racer and is working her way through the Instructing and coaching qualifications, who has qualified as a BASI Level 1 and will also soon be going for her BASI Level 2 qualification.

Great to see the girls working together tonight and engaging with the kids. Great demos and team work.

Jamie was working with the Performance Squad Skiers, continuing the theme of challenging balance from recent sessions. The Performance Squad ranges from age 17 to 11, with the whole age range on the hill tonight. The Performance Squad were being thoroughly challenged by Jamie tonight, with slow speed performance and early edge change being the theme.

Gordon Skiers are lucky to have Parent Members who are very strong skiers and it was really refreshing to hear them commenting and giving feedback tonight on the strength of our skiers on the hill. One was even heard to say “I’m glad I’m not the one being asked to perform these drills” Although Alford mat is only 60m long, the skiers can be challenged at any level and Dendix is the perfect to develop new skills.

With new members on the hill tonight, the coaches set a head to head stubbie course where the racers could challenge each other and have a chance to race against each other and the coaches.

The racing was very close, with a few surprising results. Findlay and Cameron Cormack were receiving the majority of the cheers, from the bottom, tonight with amazing skiing from the boys. Definitely two boys to watch for the future.

We also had a, potential, new member trial tonight who should some great skill. Well done to young Fraser Scott, who showed brilliant potential and skills. Keep it up Fraser, you’ll be chasing your sister Kizzy in no time.

Wednesday Race Training is going ahead this week. If possible, please let me us know if you will be there.

Gary Whatford

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Wednesday 17th May

Wednesday night saw another good turnout of members ranging right through the age groups from our youngest member to our coaches. The session was led by John and James and followed on from the themes from last week's session of; turn shape, early turn and initiation and then the skiers started to look at building pressure up throughout the turn. Following a couple of drills the skiers then demonstrated what they had learnt in a simple 3 gate course with the focus on 'the start' and first few gates of a course.

For the timed run session, the coaches replicated an off camber course set by having more focus on the right footed turns. The course was challenging, with 3 older skiers unable to complete the necessary 2 runs, with a slightly larger (2 mat diamonds) offset which allowed the younger skiers to compete with the older skiers.
Andrew S was on good form and held a clear lead in front of the pack with Andrew C and Ollie tightly contested behind. The 'Nicholson family battle' continues with Jera taking the honours this week ahead of brother Joe. Was excellent to see young James back again this week as well as welcoming Finlay to our club training sessions.

Training, Sunday 21st May

Afternoon All, Sunday’s training coaches will be Kathleen and Callum on Race Development, with Racer Rachel Brown shadowing and helping out with the groups. Jamie is making a return to the slope and will be working the Performance Squad Skiers.

Let’s hope the rain holds off for training, but has left the mat nice slippy for us all.

As per last week, have a think on what we’ve been working on and let your coaches know what you’re keen to work on and develop.

Please be ready to ski for the start of the session at 16:30 and remember to sign in before skiing.

Thanks, Gary W

Friday, May 19, 2017

Training Offer

As you now know, from James’ recent post, we have a few Summer race events coming up soon. To make these events more enjoyable for the racers, we often have a training session prior to the races.

Our first event is the Twin Peaks, which takes place over 2 days, at different dry mats. The Saturday takes place on Firpark. This a smaller mat and doesn’t really merit a training session. However the Saturday race is on Hillend, where skiers do benefit from training.  Twin Peaks takes place on Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th June, so training would be on the Saturday Evening.

The next big event is the Scottish and British Indoors, taking place on Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th June, at the Braehead Indoor Snow Slope.  I’m awaiting feedback from Brahead to confirm that we will have slope space, with gates available, for training on the Friday Evening.  As the start lists are not yet published I can’t see who has entered either race. I’d really appreciate if you let me know, by mail or feedback on this post, who has/intends to enter.  Once I have a better idea of numbers, then coaches can be arranged and training confirmed.

Many Thanks, Gary W

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Landgraaf Camp

Good Morning All,

In an effort to make European races more available to our club members I have arranged partnerships with other clubs, that have more of a presence in the European Ski Resorts.

As we have seen in the past, Gordon Skiers often struggle to generate enough interest, or race entries, to justify running our own camps as the costs would be very high.

One such race is approaching, so I apologise for the short notice. I have only just finalised the arrangements. I believe there may only be 2 places left.

This race is of particular interest to those skiers changing age group, as BASS points are awarded, even though it’s an indoor race.

With our, recent, poor snow season, I saw many racers unable to qualify for the Brititsh Champs at the end of the season. To secure a start in the British Champs, a racer must achieve, less than, 400 BASS points. This is easy to achieve, but they must have the chance to enter a race.

Accommodation at Landgraaf is situated adjacent to the ski slope, so all facilities are easy to access, once in at the ski slope.

Please take a look at the following link for more details on the ski slope.


I have added short details on the race below and a link to The Downhill Only (DHO) web page to provide further information.

SSE BASS Race Series

Friday 26 May to Monday 29 May

This camp is now open for booking

These are BASS races and so points earned here can improve your seed points, which is important for race qualification and start position.

This short camp will include a day of training and two days of racing. The price includes transport by minibus from SE England, 3 nights half board accommodation and coaching and race support.

The 4 day camp will cost GBP400


Please get in touch if you would like further info, or have any further questions. I will also be travelling to and attending the races, so Gordon's will have a presence.

Gary W

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Wednesday, May 10th

We follow a format on a Wednesday where the first part of the session is focused on a particular aspect of improving our performance. We then use that in the gates to see if the racers can transfer it into their skiing.

The racing is always close and each skier has their own target of who they are chasing and looking to take points from.

Exam timetables allowed some of our senior members to attend last night and it was great to see them having some relief from studying for a couple of hours. If they were that high last night, I can only imagine what the session after the exams are finished will be like.

Top honour for the girls went to Rachel Morrison, Rachel showed great form in the gates last night with consistent and accurate runs. Sophie R worked hard last night and was rewarded with fantastic improvement in her last run, taking 0.11 seconds off her best time.

Welcome James Gask, who raced for the first time in the Wednesday League. The coaches were keeping a keen eye on his improvements last night.

The competition for the boys was close as ever . Thanks to the senior racers for putting on a great show for the new and young racers last night. Ollie and Andrew S were in great spirits and skiing very well, keeping their skis firmly on the mat and putting their new Body Management skills to effective use.

Let me know if you have any special (training) requests for Sunday and we’ll see if we can work it into the plan.

Gary W

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Sunday 7th May 2017

Sunday night saw a very select gathering at Alford due to exam revision and several kids being ill. Coaches Callum and James worked the skiers hard through a range of drills with Callum’s focus on shape turn and matching the skis whilst James was working on some more race orientated drills building up to skiing a Slalom course in preparation for the Twin Peaks event.

We welcomed another potential new member to the club last night, young James, who was racing at Braehead in the schools event a couple of weeks ago and father Mark saw the Gordon Skiers brand on show and enquired about joining. Five new members in the last 3 weeks is a good end to the season and shows the appetite for next season, great to see lots more young skiers coming through.

Wednesday night sees the usual Mid-Week Training at Alford from 7-9pm, come along and join in. Please email racing@gordonskiers.com to note your attendance, please bring £12 cash on the night.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Braehead Video

Many thanks to James for this video from last weekend's Braehead trip, some great skiing on show.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Wednesday Evening League, 3rd May

Tonight, saw another glorious night at Alford for the mid-week sessions with a turnout of 15 skiers plus two coaches. Many of the older athletes are in full exam revision mode just now hence several them haven’t been present so far this series.

With the mat dry and sticky again tonight the focus was more orientated round precision and slow drills working on posture and edge control with a build up to a Short Swing challenge/ competition before break.

Andrew C was on course setting duty and set a lovely flowing course which was suited to the dry conditions we faced tonight.

Again, there was some very tight racing tonight and some family rivalries. James took a comfortable lead over fellow coach Andrew, seems to be each coach loses on their own courses recently. Kieran L then sat in 3rd leading the Newmachar pack with both Andrew H and William L having the same combined time to take joint 4th with Nathan just 2 tenths behind into 6th place. Daisy took top ranks for the females tonight just ahead of Sophie who rounded off the 16 second marks. Michael was in good form after his great session at Braehead on Sunday and scored a solid time tonight breaking below the 18 second barrier with Kizzy and Keira fighting it out in 10th and 11th respectively. Louisa had a superb 3rd run bringing her combined time right down, Josh J (new to Wednesday night sessions) skied excellently and picked up all important points. It was then onto the battle of the Nicholson family with only a hair to split them over last two weeks, Joe managed to pip sister Jera by 0.09 seconds combined today to give him the win in the family battle. Josh H was unlucky on his 3rd run and took a crash but showed true sportsmanship and finished the course but unfortunately made his combined time not reflective of his other two runs.

Sunday training at Alford as usual this Sunday 4.30-6.30pm. Hope to see you there.


Wednesday Night Team

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Braehead Trip

Yesterday saw 22 Gordon Skiers kids plus parents and 3 coaches head to the snow dome at Braehead for an afternoon of training. We were joined by our friends from Aberdeen Snowsport Club who brought along 10 of their kids as well as some of the parents and their two coaches.

It was a long day with the bus leaving Westhill at 9am, before picking up at various stops enroute and not arriving back to Westhill till 9pm but everyone was in good spirits throughout the day.

Bus arrived at 12.30pm to Braehead and shortly after everyone had dumped their kit bags off in the room they were all given a sandwich lunch before getting ready for the ski session at 2pm. Braehead staff were very helpful right from the start to the end and had two course set for us; one full size gate slalom course alongside an open corridor stubby course.

Bang on 2pm we all made our way out onto the slope and split into three groups. Callum S oversaw the younger kids whilst Stuart had the middle group with James looking after the Performance and top end Development athletes. Each group did their own warm up drills but all made the most of the variable terrain we had on offer- all the snow had been pushed into bumps at the edges whilst the middle was slick. It was great to be working alongside ASC and seeing the similarity in training provided from the two clubs in the North East. Groups slowly progressed up to skiing the open stubby course (which was slightly bumpy) before the Performance kids moved across to the full slalom course allowing other groups onto the stubby course. Athletes were working on certain individual skills in and out of the courses so every so often they would be pulled out the gates to go work on another drill before returning to the gates. The improvement in the short period of 3 hours in all skiers was amazing and it was fantastic to be able to train on a course longer than the 8 gates we get at Alford.

Everyone seemed to have fun and pick up new skills and techniques with all 3 coaches reporting back positive comments on the kids.

James took some video footage of the older kids and hopefully we can get this compiled shortly and posted for viewing.


Wednesday Night training is on as usual this week from 7-9pm at Alford @ £12.00 for members and £15.00 for Non Members.