The 18th City Ski Championships in Verbier witnessed sunshine, snow storms, high winds and great competitions, dinners and parties, as well as a highly successful Financial Times Alpine forum.
Some 250 guests congregated in the resort of Verbier on Thursday 2nd February 2017, starting with a traditional Swiss meal, seeing old friends and meeting new faces in the rustic warmth of La Channe.
On Friday, after an early snowfall, the sun came out in all its splendour over the City Ski Championships race paddock at Savoleyres, the focus of Friday’s racing and networking activities.
The paddock came alive with Knight Frank’s legendary Bloody Mary cocktails, gloves and sunglasses, Isokinetic’s physiotherapists and doctor to look after our guests, Snow + Rock looking after their skis, tuning them to perfection for the race and offering a multitude of test skis to try out, with Chel-Ski keeping everyone warm with their mulled wine and cheese fondue. The Lodge Verbier, Virgin Limited Edition’s contribution was excellent beers from the micro Brewery Winslow.
Guests started with a fine tuning of their technique at the GS ski clinics or simply toured the pistes with Warren Smith Ski Academy, having just arrived in Verbier and needing to get their ski legs back.
The Virgin Limited Edition Speed Trap Challenge was very well attended and the Accenture Dual Parallel Slalom this year was a gruelling competition with great participation from mixed teams. Both the open and mixed team finals were almost photo finishes!
Après–ski at Le Rouge with the beats and rhythms of Dj Niko de Rohan proved the ultimate networking forum for all after a hard day’s skiing.
The W Hotel Verbier was the host for our Friday evening activities, starting with a welcome reception and race registration in the lounge, with fantastic Valais wines from Provins winery provided by Valais region for the event.
After a networking standing dinner it was time for the Financial Times Alpine Forum, hosted by Ravi Mattu from the FT, with a fascinating insight into the lives, challenges and life change of our panelists Victoria Pendleton, Damon Hill, Colin Jackson and Greg Neuwenhuys, CEO of Outdoor & Cycling Concepts.
Saturday started with snow and wind storms, yet miraculously the race paddock, dismantled for the winds the previous night, came to life again the midst of the roaring elements as the Giant Slalom started, with no visibility and fantastic snow conditions.
Despite howling winds and freezing temperatures, the Giant Slalom was spectacular with some excellent times, theatrical skiing performances and even a few rays of sunshine.
After the racing, back to the W hotel off piste bar, brought to you by Dare2b and Rum Knuckles with a legendary live band Counterflow and special guest star guitarist Damon Hill, for an après–ski to remember, whilst the authorities worked out if the dinner up on the mountain at Mouton Noir would actually take place despite the high winds; thanks to all in Verbier our awards dinner at Mouton Noir with transfer by gondola became a reality, with a vibrant prize giving during an excellent seated dinner and a party upstairs with DJ legend Ibba until late.
Sunday, a flurry of snow, a flurry of departures and a flurry of memories.
Join us next year for the 19th City Ski Championships in Verbier from 1st – 4th February 2018.
To enquire about the 2018 City Ski Championships, please contact Jessica on 020 7183 6096 or by email.
THE CITY SKI CHAMPIONSHIPS 2017: THE BEST EDITION YET
City Ski Championship Highlights