We were helping kick off the Championships with our charity Team Distance Challenge, and with over 180 livery men and women taking part – it was going to be the biggest single ski event Switch180 had ever organised!
We have had so much support from Livery companies over the years, so it was fantastic to see many familiar faces alongside many new people attending the Championships for the first time. There was a great sense of competition and friendly rivalry as teams gathered for a briefing before the Challenge began.
ILSC organiser and charity supporter Christopher Hudson introduced the challenge alongside our Founder Dan Charlish. A new rule to this year’s Challenge meant that teams could no longer ski the same piste more than three times, adding an extra strategic challenge which teams enjoyed.
It was a beautiful bluebird day as teams gathered for the Le Mans start at Nyon before 2 hours of non-stop skiing began. 180 pairs of skis were lined up on the start line, making it our biggest start to date! It was incredible to see teams skiing off in all directions to begin the challenge. Some chose to immediately ski down the closest slope, while others headed to the chairlifts to gain early height. Some took a more leisurely approach as the video below shows!
As always with these events, we worked with TracTrac to provide accurate live tracking of the challenge as it took place. The leaderboard on the right logged everyone’s position whilst the route choices of all teams can be seen in the condensed event clip below.
The event finished at the Aubergade in Morzine, where teams arrived back to receive their finisher medals and some well earned apres ski drinks! In total 39 fantastic teams took part, skiing over 1,350 km’s collectively in the 2 hour period! (London to Morzine is 1,050km). There were many stand out performances, but the podium places this year went to:
1st – The Leathersellers Young Guns (49.7km)
2nd – Vinters (48.2km)
3rd – Goldsmiths’ 1 (46.1km)
A commemorative wooden spoon was presented to Christopher Barrow, captain of the Leathersellers Masters Team whose total distance and tracking activity during the challenge largely showed the team heading to a lovely mountain restaurant and back! The Master himself gratefully received the spoon and was quoted saying they were, ‘more focused on the fundraising!’ in which, as always, they excelled.
Christopher Hudson announced the Top 10 teams in the short summary film below. Full results can be seen here.
Livery companies are fantastic supporters of charity generally, and this event was once again a wonderful expression of their focus on giving, with over £20,000 raised over the course of the day. As the fundraising deadline approached, teams finalised last minute donations, and the Switch180 team were overwhelmed by the commitment to support our work. Huge thanks to everyone who contributed. Many companies have continued their fundraising after the deadline – and we are very grateful for this. But our top 3 fundraisers at the point of cut off during the event were:
1st – Mercers 1 ,2 & 3 (£1,817)
2nd – Slalomanders (Ironmongers) 1 & 2 (£1,494)
3rd – Leathersellers Masters, Misfits & Young Guns (£1,307)
A final highlight of the ILSC event came during the evening when one of our young people Kym Scobie was given time on the main stage to explain her journey with the charity. Speaking in front of 300 people is a daunting task, but Kym overcame her fears and spoke honestly and movingly about the challenges she has overcome, to become a qualified ski instructor, now training for her BASI level 2 in Morzine (with support from Andrew Stewart and BASS).
The response to Kym’s talk was wonderful and really brought the work of Switch180 to life to everyone in the room. We were so grateful to have the opportunity to speak to everyone and this capped off a fantastic few days together.
Dan Charlish said: ‘This is a special event for Switch180. Christopher and the team have kindly invited us to be involved for a number of years now, and we feel more welcome and more a part of the event every year. We would like to express our huge thanks to Christopher, Suki and all Inter-Livery Ski Championships participants for all their fundraising efforts to support our work; and thank you to everyone that donated! We look forward to seeing you all again next year!’
Christopher Hudson said: ‘The Team Distance Challenge has added a whole new dimension to the Inter Livery Ski Championships. Almost everyone that I have heard from has said what fun it was, as well as giving great satisfaction by directly supporting such a great cause. I hope we can continue to work together with Switch180 for years to come.’