Pendle skier Charlotte Holmes made it a sensational week for her family with victory at the 2017 English Alpine Championships in Bormio.
Just days after older brother Robert was third in the under-16 boys Slalom event, Charlotte claimed the under-12 girls English National title in the Combi race, an event, which is aimed at aiding development of the ‘minis’.
The fun course on the Stella Alpina piste was made up of Giant Slalom and Slalom gates, berms and a jump, and tested all elements of technical skiing.
Colne Park High School student Holmes took full advantage of the stunning conditions to send down a lightning-fast opening run, and despite crashing out in the second, her time was enough to seal the win ahead of Erin Ward by 0.70 seconds.
And after the race she admitted some reassuring words from her brother had made all the difference: “I am really, really happy because I have only done a few on-snow races so it was a bit of a shock. I have really knuckled down this season and focused on having fun this season, so it is obviously working. I started skiing when I was two because my brother skied at Pendle and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.
“Before the race my brother had a chat to me and it meant I wasn’t nervous. He made me feel confident. He is definitely an inspiration, although annoying at times!
“I want to try and do more training on snow so I can get more experience. My parents are so supportive and I know I have to wait my turn.”
The Championships were celebrating their tenth year in Bormio, with over 400 of the country’s most talented skiers – ranging from under-10s to senior racers – flocking to the Italian resort to battle it out for the coveted English titles.
Most of Britain’s most revered skiers of recent times competed in the Championships during the early stages of their careers, including four-time Olympian Chemmy Alcott and current racers Cara Brown and Dave Ryding.
The Holmes siblings train at Pendle Ski Club, the same venue where Ryding himself began skiing, and their father John admits the Lancashire racer is a huge inspiration for everyone on the slope.
He said: “It is unbelievable that we come from a 120m dry ski slope and we are skiing against people who spend weeks in the mountains each year.
“We are rivaling them for the podium places, with Charlotte beating everyone!
“We are all so proud as a family, and it really does prove that the things we are doing back home on the dry slope are paying off.
“We are getting it right, and it enables us to compete with the best.”
l Follow the English Alpine Championships on the Snowsport England Facebook page and get live updates on Twitter @SnowsportEng.
Full results will be available at www.snowsportengland.org.uk while you can find your nearest slope offering value-for-money GO SKI GO BOARD sessions at www.goskigoboard.org.uk