Kent Snow: 5-0 win for Varsity
It was fast. It was competitive. It was everything you would expect snow sports to be – with the small exception being there was no actual snow. No matter, as on the hottest day of the year so far, Kent Snow romped home to a convincing victory over Canterbury Christ Church University, slipping and sliding with confidence and ease down the Chatham slopes on a sun-soaked afternoon. For CCCU it was a case of what might have been. An awkward fall in the warm up saw one of their competitors, Tom Brown, 20, forced out of the event on medical grounds, with a nasty cut on the elbow being treated by the helpful and well- equipped Chatham medical staff. “I think it affected us quite a bit”, Austin Foster, 20, the President of Christ Church Snow Sports, told Inquire when asked about the injury. He continued: “We lost a bit of pace. But to be fair we pulled it back … it was tough. It was a very tough day.”
Kent Snow’s pace proved to be too much for their competitors and their winning margins in the first two rounds, victorious by 12 seconds and 16.84 seconds respectively, demonstrated their superiority. The Varsity victory would be decided on who could win 5 rounds first on the slalom, with the two teams speeding down one steep slope and attempting to avoid obstacles on the way down, potentially penalised if they failed to do so. Kent Snow ran away with it: the third round they won by a margin of 12.55 seconds, the fourth round by 15.78 seconds and, with fatigue potentially creeping in, the fifth round margin was only 9.61 seconds.
President Paul Tucker was satisfied with the win: “[I feel] exhilarated really. All the training has really helped. Our last one, just before this, on Tuesday, really hammered home what we had to do to win it.” When asked to pick out the best performers, he said: “Our newcomer, Megan, who is a resident here at Chatham dry slopes, she races at the club, and she absolutely shone. Also our fresher Nina who lives in the alps, she was absolutely amazing. Everyone pulled it out the bag today.”
Tucker led the troops from start to finish, keeping spirits high and encouraging a friendly rivalry with CCCU. He and the team met at Darwin bus stop at around 11.30, with their growing congregation exchanging hugs and words before mounting the coach to Chatham, reinforcing the tight bond many of the players seem to share. While victory was important, fun and camaraderie was another important ingredient of the day, with Tucker, whose thick beard spent most of the day coated with gold glitter, leading by example. At one point on the coach, much to the amused disappointment of his teammates, he said of Christ Church Snow Team: “it’s a shame – I like them all”.
While Tom Brown’s injury will be a worry for teammates and opponents alike, most of the afternoon was spent in high-spirits and good competition. Asked how he will be commiserating the lost, Austin Foster, “[We’ll be] getting to the bar. A nice cold pint … or many”. On the same subject, Tucker said: “We’ll join
Christ Church at their local and celebrate with them. We always do every year to try and keep it inclusive and keep it friendly.”