Martin Woodhead writes: The main item of news, as recounted in the Master's blog, is losing the Master before the competition began! Sadly, on a practice red run in Switzerland, he pulled a leg muscle but was fortunately able to continue to the bottom and then take a chairlift back up to the French border from where he was loaded onto a blood wagon (ski jargon for a stretcher pulled at high speed on the snow
by first aiders) and then whizzed away in the front seat of a helicopter to the medical centre in Les Gets. Luckily there was no serious damage but don't be surprised if you see him hobbling a bit over the next few weeks. Heroic stuff!
So then there were five to compete in the inter-livery ski competition in Morzine on 23 / 24 January - Court Assistant Trevor Fenwick, Court Assistant Martin Woodhead (team captain), Liverymen Oliver Gadsby and Rodney Mountford and Freeman Bob Findlay. The first race was the slalom which was quite difficult with two runs down the same icy course and so with a record number of 160 entrants it took
a lot longer than usual to complete. But we had no falls, unlike many other teams, perhaps due to Trevor Fenwick's hip flask which kept us both warm inside and relaxed. Then it was off to Hotel L'Equipe for drinks and eats before heading off to our favourite restaurant, La Chamade, for a truly sumptuous meal.
Saturday's grand slalom was held on the Pleney slope above Morzine and consisted of 2 runs in sunshine on good snow and that was great fun. Then another favourite mountain hut beckoned, Nanon, where we celebrated our survival with an excellent lunch followed by some gentle afternoon skiing.
Despite our best efforts, the Saturday evening's gala awards ceremony and dinner produced little in the way of trophies for the Stationers. Even Lucky, the Stationers' prize teddy bear for the fastest team of three skiers whose total ages exceed 200, escaped our clutches. Lucky was not even present to watch the proceedings but was retained by the Vintners, the Leathersellers being second and the Shipwrights third. The overall winning company was once again the Vintners. The prize we should have suggested is for the oldest average age of all participants representing a Company and then we might have have won hands down! The average age was a lot lower than in previous years but there are already promising signs that we might be able to persuade younger and faster Stationers to join us in 2016.
To console ourselves during the dinner, we awarded prizes to ourselves such as the Goofy Award won jointly by Trevor and Bob for sliding so gracefully off a chair lift on the first day. And despite several nominations guess who won the Prang of the Week award? The overall winner of the Stationers' awards was Bob Findlay who skied with great style and also wore a smart new jacket which was the envy of us all.
Within our team, it was again a battle between Oliver Gadsby and Trevor Fenwick as to who was the faster but once the results have been examined in detail these will feature in a Stationers' News summary of the competition.
Please contact Martin Woodhead, firstname.lastname@example.org , if you would be interested in taking part in 2016.