Each week on a Friday, here in Arinsal, we organise a race for all the ski school groups as a finale for the week. There are two courses, one for beginner groups, and one for intermediate groups. Flopi, who coaches racing in Argentina during our summer, generally sets the intermediate course, but having a group who finished on the Thursday this week I had to set the course myself if we wanted a race. Not having a racing background I have never set the ski school race course before, and the result was not quite the usual shape. However, I was quite happy for a first attempt, and the groups seemed pleased enough with it.
It was quite interesting trying to set the course and pull it afterwards during the course of a two and a half hour lesson, but with the help of Helen looking after my group and Kevin from the Quo, who was out videoing groups and helped out carrying the poles, I managed to fit it in without too much disruption to the lesson.
Setting the course is a matter of drilling holes into the snow and slotting slalom poles into them. We have a couple of large drills in the ski school for the purpose (see above), and I think some of the guys in the group were a bit jealous of the size of my drill bit when I turned up to the Thursday morning lesson.
In the next post I plan to go over some tactics and common mistakes in the ski school races, as many ski schools will hold a similar event.